Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Cole Burning as Big Macs Wrestler

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Cole Burning as Big Macs Wrestler

Article excerpt

At first, it might be a bit difficult to pick Dennis Cole out of a crowd. He stands just 5 feet 7.

But it does not take long to recognize the varied and exciting talents of this Canon-McMillan senior.

Cole, who was instrumental in the Big Macs winning 16 of 21 football games the past two seasons, is now opening eyes on the wrestling mat.

After a pin Wednesday, helping Canon-McMillan defeat rival Trinity and earn the Section 6-AAA championship, Cole owned an impressive 17-2 record.

He has boosted himself to the top of the 152-pound weight class. His lone losses this season came in the Powerade Christmas Tournament, including a 7-3 decision to two-time defending PIAA champion Donnie Jones of Greensburg Salem in the semifinals.

Cole finished in fifth place there and established himself as a PIAA contender.

"I'm having a good season," he said. "I've surprised myself.

"It was important to place in the Powerade because I think it proved I am a pretty good wrestler."

Cole has been much more than pretty good, especially considering he is injured.

He missed the latter part of the football season with the dreaded high (right) ankle sprain. And while he tried to play in the Big Macs' WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinal game against West Mifflin, the injury took away his effectiveness and he had to be removed. Canon- McMillan lost after handling the Titans about a month earlier during the regular season.

"We just got banged up," Cole said. "It's part of the game. It was real frustrating for me because I wanted to help the team so bad. But I just couldn't perform to the best of my ability."

Cole, a running back and defensive back, is being recruited by California and Slippery Rock of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. He expects to make a decision soon, he said.

He averaged about 9 yards per carry this past season and was a stalwart in the Canon-McMillan secondary. Cole was one of the fastest players in the WPIAL.

He also has developed into a tough 152-pound wrestler. …

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