By Christine June
Harrisburg Bn A&PA
The New Kensington Recruiting Station has earned the bragging rights for this year’s U.S. Army STRONG
Wrestler/Wrestling Coach of the Year Campaigns for Pennsylvania.
The best wrestler and wrestling coach are both from Burrell High School in New Kensington, Pa.
Burrell’s Travis McKillop is the U.S. Army STRONG Wrestler of the Year for Pennsylvania, and Burrell’s Coach Ryan Yates is the U.S. Army STRONG Wrestling Coach of the Year for Pennsylvania.
“Ryan and Travis are very dedicated hard working individuals who deserve to be recognized with this Army Strong award,” said Sandy Johnson, a community member, who along with her husband, Neil, has watch wrestling at Burrell High School since the late 1980s. “We are very proud to have these gentlemen represent the community of Lower Burrell.”
For two weeks, The Sports Flash Radio Network, cosponsors with the Harrisburg Recruiting Battalion of the Army STRONG wrestling campaign, recorded 20,121 total votes for the U.S. Army STRONG Wrestler of the Year. McKillop totaled 4,298 votes to best Kiski Area’s Bill Emerick (3,280) and Wellsboro’s Jake Clemens (2,790).
McKillop finished with season 52-2 and won the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class AA title in the 160-pound weight-class, besting Charleroi’s Cody Wiercioch 7-3 in overtime in the final.
Fans from across the state voted for the U.S. Army Coach of the Year. The Sports Flash Radio Network recorded 14,680 votes during the voting with Yates receiving 3,633 votes to edge Greater Latrobe’s Marc Billett (3,503). Canon-McMillan’s Chris Mary finished third in the voting with 2,464 votes.
Yates guided Burrell to a state championship at the 2011 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Wrestling Championships in Class AA, scoring 85 total points with one state champion, three third-place finishes, and a fourth-place finish.
As the U.S. Army Coach of the Year, The Sports Flash Radio Network will make a $500 donation to the Burrell High School athletic department.
The Army STRONG Wrestler and Wrestling Coach of the Year Campaigns are part of the battalion’s 2010 Army STRONG Tour, which also included the Pennsylvania Passing League, Army Iron Man of the Year and the Army STRONG (football) Coach of the Year.