By STEVE KRAH
When Trent McCormick became head wrestling coach at Yorktown High School, he was a teenager leading teenagers.
Over the decades, McCormick turned the Tigers into a mat powerhouse.
In his 30 seasons, Yorktown sent many wrestlers to the State Finals in Indianapolis. Fifty-nine times, they headed back to Delaware County as state placers.
Six times, they were state champions — Ross Janey (285 in 2010), Devon Jackson (138 in 2012), Rhett Hiestand (160 in 2014), Brad Laughlin (160 in 2017), Brayden Curtis (106 in 2017 and 113 in 2018). McCormick, 50, has announced his retirement and he steps away as the leader of the program with a memorable last go-round at the State Finals.
“We were a small team this year,” said McCormick Saturday, Feb. 17 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. “There were a lot of studs on the team. We always like to say, ‘Steel sharpens steel.’ It’s been a long, grueling season and to have four state placers and six state qualifiers, I was very proud of them.”
McCormick, a state champion at 185 for Delta in 1986 and an Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Famer, took his boys back to the State Finals after winning the 22nd sectional, 13th regional and eighth semistate of his career.
At Indy, junior Brayden Curtis (40-0) bested New Castle junior Andrew Black 6-0 in the finals to become a two-time state champion on McCormick’s watch.
“He knows how to plan and he knows how to coach us mentally and physically,” said Curtis of McCormick. “He’s a huge part of my success as well as (assistant) coach (Kenny) O’Brien.” Senior Christian Hunt (48-1) concluded his Yorktown career as a state runner-up at 145.
“It was a great honor to go out and represent my school,” said Hunt.
“I definitely wanted to come out with a first, but second isn’t too bad.”
“As a senior, I wanted to send Coach McCormick out on a positive note,” said McCormick. “I did absolutely the best I could.”
Senior Alex Barr (48-3) placed sixth at 132.
Senior Zach Todd (42-8) came in seventh at 106.
State qualifiers were junior Eric Hiestand (42-4) at 152 and sophomore Holden Parsons (39-6) at 285.
The Tigers finished seventh in the team standings. During McCormick’s run, Yorktown has been state runner-up twice and won four team state duals championships.
A lay coach for 18 years who transitioned into teaching and has been in the classroom for the past 12, McCormick said he plans to spend more time with loved ones. He also plans to travel and that means going to West Point, N.Y., to see son Cael McCormick wrestle for Army. Cael was a three-time state medalist at Yorktown.
“I’m going to spend some more time with the family and not so much time in the gymnasium,” said McCormick.