Young becomes 25th four-time District IX champ
CLARION — Punxsy senior Kody Young's 54-second pin of DuBois' Matt Bussatto during the 125-pound District IX Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championship match Saturday at Clarion University was a historic victory.
The momentous win put Young (29-2) in elite company, as he became the 25th wrestler in District IX history to finish his career as a four-time champion.
Young accomplished the feat a year after Ridgway's Garet Pisani became the 24th of that kind. Later in Saturday's Class AAA Championships, Bradford's Mark Havers became No. 26.
The Punxsy senior didn't need much time to win the 125-pound title. He took just 76 seconds, to be exact.
Young, the top seed entering districts for the fourth time, bulldozed through Clearfield's Frank Aveni during the semifinals and won by fall in 22 seconds. After a two-second takedown of Bussatto, Young quickly put Bussatto onto his back before the pin occurred in 54 seconds.
By then, Young was in line to climb on top of the district podium once again.
"It's pretty nice knowing that I'm one of 25 in all these years," Young said. "Coming into it ... I just wanted to end them fast and get warmed up and ready for next week, because that's when everything counts."
With two victories by fall, Young is now one step closer to even greater District IX history. He now has 91 falls and is three pins away from tying Clarion's Kyle Cathcart, whose record of 94 career falls took place from 1999-2002.
Breaking the District IX career fall record has long been a goal of Young's, but now that the regional tournament is this upcoming weekend, he's more focused on moving onto the next level.
"It (the fall record) was important in the middle of the year and toward the end of the year," Young said. "I'm working for it still, but right now, the goal is to get to states and get that medal at states."
Young — who won two district titles at 125 pounds, one at 112 and one at 130 — is one of the favorites to advance to states out of the Northwest regional.
Adding to his chances of reaching the PIAA Championships for a second time is that both the District VI champion (Indian Valley's Kaleb Loht) and District X winner (McDowell's Shawn Spearman) are on the opposite side of Young on 125-pound regional bracket.
Young is in position to reach the final before he would have to face either of those two.
"Really, making the final is the key. Once you're there, all the pressure's off. You know you're going to states," Young said. "You just go out and wrestle, (because) it doesn't matter what happens."
Young said that he has to take things one match at a time at regionals. He has a bye into the quarterfinals due to being a district champion and needs a victory Friday and a win Saturday morning to clinch his first-ever regional final.
If he wrestles with just as much determination as he did at districts, Punxsy head coach Eric Eddy feels he has just as good of a shot to win as any 125-pounder in the region.
"(Saturday was) a big night for Kody. He came out and did what he needed to do today," Eddy said. "He was focused. This was probably the most focused I've seen Kody. He's ready to wrestle."