Going into the season, Oley Valley senior wrestler Joey Fick had a goal. It was to at least get a state medal, and to improve on last year’s seventh place medal that he won at the state tournament.
By the end of this season, he didn’t reach his goal. He came home from the state tournament with an eighth place medal.
But considering what he was up against this year, an eighth place medal is an amazing feat for Fick. When the season started, he contacted mononucleosis. That kept him out of the line-up for seven weeks. After that, it took time for him to recover fully and get back to 100%.
“I did what I could considering my health issues,” said Fick. “My goal going into the tournament was to be in the top three. Last year I finished in seventh place and that just made me hungry to do better this year. I did my best.”
Fick, wrestling at the 120 pound weight class, lost his first bout of the tournament, an 8-0 decision against Sam Krivus of Hempfield, who was the Southwest Regional champion with a record of 36-3 coming into the tournament.
“I knew that the kid was good,” said Fick. “I just wrestled as hard as I could. He was a tough first bout.”
The loss sent Fick to the consolation round, where the best he could come home with was a third place medal. It was the same thing that happened in 2012, so Fick knew he was still very much in the running for a medal.
“My coaches just told me that it (the loss) was no big deal. They told me I could still come back and win a state medal and to never give up.”
He shook off the loss and came up with a 52 second pin, then a 10-2 victory. That was the victory that assured him of some kind of state medal. He was assured of finishing at least eighth.
“I was very happy when I won that match,” said Fick. “Going into the match I knew I had to win it to win a state medal. It was a very stressful match. It was a huge moment for me when I won.”
But then he lost a 9-1 decision to Mike Marino of Garnet Valley sending him to the seventh place match against Ronnie Perry of Solanco. He lost a 5-2 decision but he still came away with a state medal. He finished his season with an overall record of 25-7.
“It was a good tournament,” said Fick. “I wanted to finish higher, but considering what I’ve gone through this year, it was a good season.”
It wasn’t what he was hoping for when the season began, but considering his health, it was an amazing feat to get a state medal.
What the medal also did for him was to make him the first wrestler ever to win a state medal in two classes, AA and AAA. Oley switched from AA to AAA this year which afforded him the opportunity.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Fick. “I had no idea that this could happen until the week before the tournament. But it’s a pretty cool record to have.”
It capped off a great career for Fick at Oley Valley. Looking back, he has nothing but fond memories of his wrestling days at Oley.
“It’s been an amazing experience,” said Fick. “It’s been a lot of fun and a great ride.”