PHILIPSBURG — Following the resignation of long-time coach Tim McCamley after the 2015-16 season, the Philipsburg-Osceola wrestling program is under the guidance of a new head coach.
And while Brad Pataky may be new to the P-O school district, taking on his first head coaching job, he’s hardly an unknown commodity in the area or short on coaching experience.
Pataky graduated from Clearfield High School with a 125-5 record and was a three-time PIAA placewinner, including a state championship at 112 pounds in 2004.
He went on to an 83-31 record at Penn State, where he was a three-time Big Ten placewinner and three-time NCAA qualifier.
Pataky was on the 2011 Penn State team that won the Big Ten Championship and the national title. He’s an accomplished freestyle wrestler and was an Olympic Team Trials qualifier and a two-time World Team Trials qualifier.
Pataky also spent time as an assistant coach at the collegiate level at both Army West Point and Lock Haven and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge with him to Philipsburg-Osceola, where he has been greeted with open arms.
“I’ve had so many amazing interactions with the P-O wrestlers,” Pataky said. “Towards the end of the summer I was able to get to know them a little bit prior to the school year. Now that we are in full swing of the season, my relationship with the kids has grown.
“I’m continuing to learn more about the kids as the year progresses. I’ve also had opportunities to get to know the other students and faculty of the Philipsburg-Osceola High School simply by teaching in the school. The support from the rest of the school district is also incredible. To me, the P-O School District is like a really large, close-knit family.”
Pataky comes into a nice situation with 11 letterwinners returning from a team that was 9-8 in dual meets a season ago.
Seniors Bradley Dunkel, Levi Hughes and Micah Sidorick, juniors Brandon Anderson, Matt Johnson, Ian Klinger, Jordan Smith and Noah Twoey and sophomores Braedon Butler, Noah Clark and Trevin Hampton comprise the returners who the Mounties will build around.
“It helps to build around the core letterwinners, but that isn’t our primary concern as a coaching staff,” Pataky said. “Our concern is that our wrestlers (starters and non-starters) need to understand that in order for our team to reach its potential, everyone plays a key role.
“Once our team (coaches included) is able to collectively understand this importance, then we will start witnessing significant improvement. This team has potential to be successful right away, but it will take this type of attitude to help us reach our destination. The response from the wrestlers, coaches, and boosters has been tremendous so far.”
Clark (120), Twoey (120/126), Butler (120/126), Johnson (132/138), Hampton (126/132), Hughes (145/152), Klinger (160/170), junior Josh Hubler (170/182), Anderson (182/195) Sidorick (195/220), Smith (220/285), and Dunkel (285) will be in the starting lineup according to Pataky and will be joined by a couple newcomers to round things out.
Johnson (24-12) was a second-place finisher at the District 6 Tournament and came in fourth at Northwest Regionals last season. Sidorick (27-12), Hughes (26-13) and Klinger (13-21) were all fourth at districts.
And while many of those returners that tasted some success in the postseason last year may have some higher goals in mind as the start of the 2016-17 campaign approaches, Pataky says the No. 1 goal for every one on the team is to simply better themselves as an athlete and a person.
“Our main goal as a coaching staff is to help our student-athletes become the best individuals that they can be both on and off the mat,” he said. “This goal can be achieved by creating good habits in every aspect of our lives (academics, athletics, social).
“With the creation of good habits comes success.”
P-O begins its season Saturday, hosting the eight-team Mountaineer Tournament.
*Bradley Dunkel, *Levi Hughes, *Micah Sidorick, Christian Snyder.
*Brandon Anderson, Andrew Holenick, Josh Hubler, *Matt Johnson, *Ian Klinger, *Jordan Smith, Kyle Taylor, *Noah Twoey.
Tristan Beauseigner, *Braedon Butler, *Noah Clark, *Trevin Hampton, Zach Kahley, Barry Kephart, Rylan Markel, Landon McDonald, Matt Shimmel, Luke Swortwood.
10—Mountaineer Tournament, 9 a.m.; 13—Bellefonte; 15—at Chestnut Ridge; 22—at Penns Valley; 28—at Conestoga Valley Tournament, 5 p.m.; 29—at Conestoga Valley Tournament, 11 a.m.; 30—at Conestoga Valley Tournament, 10:30 a.m.
5—at Brookville; 12—Tyrone; 14—at Juniata Duals, 9 a.m.; 19—Bald Eagle Area; 24—at Huntingdon; 27—at West Branch Ultimate Warrior Tournament, 1 p.m.; 28—at West Branch Ultimate Warrior Tournament, 9 a.m.; 30—at Northern Bedford.
2—Clearfield; 9—Hollidaysburg; 10—Central.
Matches begin at 7 p.m unless noted