Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Cwnc Resurrecting Its Program

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Cwnc Resurrecting Its Program

Article excerpt

Troy Benson has a unique way of introducing student/athletes to the sport of wrestling.

"We have kids walk by the wrestling room and stop to watch us practice," said Benson, the new head wrestling coach at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic.

"My assistant coach Pat O'Shea will not let them watch. He tells them 'if you want to watch, you have to wrestle.' The strategy has worked. We've had a few kids come in and work out with us. We even have a couple basketball players interested."

Benson and O'Shea, assistant coaches for the Trojans football team, are trying to revive a wrestling program that was discontinued last season after three short years.

North Catholic made its wrestling debut four years ago as an independent team, then moved into the WPIAL and competed in Class AA Section 3 for two seasons. The program was dropped last season due to lack of support.

"I was a three-year starter on the wrestling team at Altoona High School," said Benson, who played college football at Pitt, then played for the New York Jets for six years in the NFL. "Football is my No. 1 sport, but I still have a passion for wrestling. That's why I couldn't let the program at North Catholic die."

Benson and O'Shea have concentrated their recruiting efforts on Trojan football players.

"We just want them to come in the wrestling room and roll around for a little bit," Benson said. "We want to create some excitement in the wrestling room."

North Catholic's success during the football season forced Benson to start practices a few weeks later than anticipated.

"We have five kids right now who have committed to the program," Benson said. "It may not sound like a lot, but Rome wasn't built in a day."

The season began Friday, and North Catholic had one wrestler entered at the Chartiers-Houston tournament. Matthew Ferraro competed in the 126-pound weight class and came home with a fourth- place medal. …

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