By Greg Gulas
State champions in swimming, wrestling and bowling were featured at Monday’s Curbstone Coaches weekly luncheon meeting.
Speaking at the Blue Wolf Banquet Center, the champions were Jackson-Milton’s Johnny Matasic (wrestling); Cory Bayus (bowling) of Struthers; and swimmers Jordan Moxley of Maplewood and Katie Joseph of McDonald.
Matasic, a two-time state champion at 130 pounds, has a tattoo, “The Heart of a Lion,” on his chest.
He has produced a school record 151 wins and was 40-2 overall this season whilebeing named high school All-American.
“I don’t want to be undefeated heading into the tournament,” he said. “My motivation is not to lose again and remembering the two losses during the regular season is enough motivation necessary in order to succeed.
“While this year’s title was special, last year’s was also very special because I lost twice during the regular season to Mike Kovach of St. Peter Chanel, but came back to beat him for the title,” Matasic said.
Bayus, a junior who is also a two-time state champion, has rolled five perfect games (two of which are sanctioned) and a career best 837 set, but settled for a 697 set to win state honors.
“It’s an honor that hasn’t really sunk in just yet,” Bayus said.
“Coach [Bob Eisenbraun] is like a second father to me so practicing five or six days out of the week isn’t a chore; it’s more of a challenge and fun.”
Moxley and Joseph are coached by Frank Supancik as neither Maplewood nor McDonald has a swimming team.
Both swimmers won their respective events after finishing second a year ago; Moxley in the 50-yard freestyle and Joseph in the 100-yard freestyle.
“Training with Coach Supancic has been the difference and to be called a state champion is so very exciting,” Moxley said.
“I always thought that track and field would be my ticket to college, but as it turns out it is going to be swimming,” she said.
Joseph, who has been under Supancic’s tutelage the past four years, said being pushed has been the key to her success.
“[Supancic] pushes me to always do my best, whether in practice or at a meet,” she said. “He has plenty of experience so we trust and do what he says.”
Bayus will return next year for his senior season, while Matasic will wrestle at Clarion University.
Moxley and Joseph will swim at Ohio State and Gannon, respectively.
Next week, Jordan Taylor, general manager of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, will be the featured speaker.