Boykin completes historic season with Coatesville’s first state title in 48 years

HERSHEY — Coatesville’s Mike Boykin has never been one for beating his chest or acting overly expressive.

Aside from his pre-match leaping routine, Boykin has carried himself very businesslike over his four years.

Saturday night, all those pent-up emotions finally erupted. And rightly so. Boykin saved the best for last, beating Boyertown’s Jordan Wood, 5-2, to win the 220-pound Class AAA PIAA championship at the Giant Center in Hershey.

Moments after staving off a desperate Wood in the third period, Boykin flexed his massive arms, nearly slapped his coach Bear Stephen’s hand off and smiled a smile only a champion could have.

“It’s about time,” Boykin expressed. “It’s about time.”

Boykin was the lone champ from District 1 in the tournament and is Coatesville’s first titlist since Terry Williams in 1966. He is the first from Chester County to grace the top of the podium since Octorara’s Mike Letts in 2006, and the first in 3A to do so since West Chester Henderson’s Jermaine Jones in 2001.

Boykin is the 11th state champ from a team now in the Ches-Mont League and 13th in Chester County history. Like Letts, Boykin finished his senior year undefeated, 40-0, and was also selected to compete in the Dapper Dan Classic next Sunday at the University of Pittsburgh.

“This is a wrestler’s dream come true,” Boykin said.

Boykin beat Wood by the same score the week before in the Southeast Regional final. Wood had a win over Bokin in the 2013 regional final, but Boykin was able to win the ultimate rubber match.

“I just took one match at a time,” Boykin said. “(Wood) was just another match to me. He’s a great wrestler and he has the next two years.”

Late in the first period, Boykin got ahold of Wood’s left ankle and converted for the opening takedown. The duo swapped escapes and went to the third with Boykin leading, 3-1. After Wood escaped again to cut it to one, Boykin was called for a stalling call with a minute to go and also took injury time, favoring his knee.

As the period wound down, Wood went for broke and Boykin was able to go behind for the final takedown.

“I was nervous, but Mike wasn’t,” Stephens said. “Coming off a loss, (Wood) came a lot stronger and Mike countered it and won the match. He wrestled great.”

Boykin used his athleticism all weekend, scoring 15 takedowns in his four bouts, while not giving up any. After three trips to Hershey and two top-three medals as a wrestler, and another trip for the state championship football game in 2013, Boykin cemented himself as one of the more distinguished two-sport athletes in Coatesville’s storied athletic history.

“It’s been 48 years,” Stephen said. “It’s unbelievable. This is something he wanted and I knew he was gonna do it. He wrestled real well and Jordan Wood is a high-caliber wrestler. Mike had the heart this year.”

Boykin will leave a legacy at Coatesville that will be hard to match for future Red Raiders. Over his four years, Boykin went 142-14, with a 10-3 record in the state tournament. He won the last 56 regular season bouts he wrestled, finishing 103-6 in the regular season and 39-8 in the postseason.

He also won the final 44 matches he wrestled in his career, dating back to the 2013 state quarterfinals. His last regular season loss was against Malvern Prep’s Harry Mauk on February 11, 2012.

“It didn’t get into my head about winning a state championship until my sophomore year,” Boykin said. “Losing in districts as a freshman and then winning PJW’s really helped.”

Boykin knocked off Solanco’s Bo Spiller, son of former Conestoga coach, Ed Spiller, 9-4 in the semifinals Saturday morning.

Stephens’ excitement after the final was met with a few tears. It was mostly pride, but there was also the thought of moving on from the most-prolific wrestler in Coatesville history.

“His dream was gold,” Stephens said of Boykin. “The worst thing is him not being there in the room and me not being able to see him anymore. This was well-deserved and it’s just unbelievable.’

Two 3A wrestlers, Kennard Dale’s Chance Marsteller (170 pounds) and Solanco’s Thomas Haines (285), won their fourth state titles. Marsteller was voted Outstanding Wrestler after finishing his career with a high school record of 166-0.

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