Canon-McMillan’s Kenny Hayman Storms Back From 5-1 Deficit to Defeat Patrick Noonan

HERSHEY, Pa.: There are a lot of aspects that go into being a wrestler who can perform on the sport’s biggest stage.

Of course, there is the obvious. You have to be in good condition, both in strength and stamina. You also need to have the right mindset. Then, there is the trait that isn’t often mentioned: Composure.

Canon-McMillan’s Kenny  Hayman met all criteria during Thursday’s Class 3A opening round of the PIAA Championships at Hershey’s Giant Center.

Hayman trailed Stroudburg’s Patrick Noonan, who is ranked No. 4 in the state, 5-1 late in the second period. That would have rattled most wrestlers, but the Big Macs senior never wilted.

Instead, Hayman kept chipping away and rebounded to score an impressive 7-5 decision in sudden victory to land a spot in Friday’s Class 3A quarterfinal round, which is scheduled to take place at 2:15 p.m.

“My coaches told me to keep trusting in my training, and everything would work out, and it did,” Hayman said. “I have to keep building off it, keep improving, and hopefully, make it to states.”

Hayman escaped with 23 seconds left in the second period to start the comeback. He followed it with another escape in the first 10 seconds of the third period to close the gap.

Down 5-3, Hayman ramped up the attack. He pushed Noonan and scored a takedown in the closing seconds to send the match to sudden victory.

“I know no one can hang with my pace if I really get on my stuff,” said Hayman, the No. 8-ranked wrestler in the state. “So, I knew if I really pushed him, he would break.

“I could tell he was slow to the line every time, and his first steps were backward. So, I knew I had to keep pushing him.

“I was going to come in and try to make a trip off the under-hook I had on the left side, but then I just kind of moved it over, through the leg in, and tried to catch a Merkel, and he fell to his hip.”

Noonan was on borrowed time in the extra one-minute frame. Hayman had all the momentum and continued to push the pace.

It paid off 27 seconds into sudden victory. Hayman scored on a takedown off a Noonan shot to earn the victory.

“I got a good sprawl, defended well, and it worked out,” Hayman said. “I have to keep building on it, keep improving no matter what, and take it once match at a time.”

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