Westmoreland Alumni Q&A with Ethan Berginc

The former Hempfield Area standout is in his sophomore season at Army West Point

Sun Jan 14, 2024 - 3:47PM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers
Ethan Berginc has posted a 16-6 record this season for Army West Point.Ethan Berginc has posted a 16-6 record this season for Army West Point.

Last Updated: Sun Jan 14, 2024 - 3:58PM

Ethan Berginc had a unique opportunity to represent two schools simultaneously throughout his high school career. Berginc attended Jeannette, but since the Jayhawks disbanded their wrestling program, he competed on the mat for nearby Hempfield Area. With the Spartans, he captured a state title. Now in his third year at Army, Berginc is again enjoying great success. Berginc is in the spotlight on this edition of the Westmoreland Alum Q&A.

Berginc made an immediate impact as a freshman for Hempfield Area in 2017-18. Competing at 106 pounds, he went 25-12, placing fifth in the section tournament, and qualifying for the WPIAL Class AAA event.

The next season, Berginc bumped up to 120 pounds, and compiled a mark of 28-16. He placed second in the sectional, and came in fourth in the WPIAL tournament, which allowed him to qualify for the PIAA competition. However, Berginc failed to place in Hershey.

In his junior campaign, Berginc dropped to 113 pounds, and ascended to the top of the pedestal. He achieved a record of 37-6, which included runner-up in the sectional, and a third-place finish in the WPIAL tournament. In the PIAA bracket, however, Berginc etched his name in history, as he took state gold.

In 2020-21, Berginc went 34-6 at 126 pounds. In the process, he won the section tournament, and finished second in the WPIAL event. In Hershey, Berginc placed third.

For his career with Hempfield Area, he posted a record of 124-40.

Following his graduation from Jeannette, Berginc opted to continue his career on the mat at Army West Point, redshirting for the 2021-22 season.

Last campaign as a plebe, Berginc competed at 125 pounds, and went 27-8 overall, including 11-2 in duals. In the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships, Berginc placed fourth, which allowed him to qualify for the NCAA Championships, where he failed to place. Collectively, Army went 6-7 overall, including 4-4 in the EIWA. The Black Knights finished sixth in the EIWA Championships.

Thus far this season, Berginc has achieved a mark of 16-6. Army has posted a record of 1-3 overall, and has not yet commenced EIWA competition.

Ethan took time from his hectic schedule to field questions about his growth as a wrestler, the biggest challenges of West Point, and the toughest opponents he faced in high school.

Q: How have you grown as a wrestler during your time at Army?

A: Since my time at West Point, I have grown as a wrestler by not worrying about the results (winning or losing), but focusing on wrestling the same style every match; this has allowed me to be more offensive and relaxed when competing.

Q: How would you describe your wrestling style?

A: I would say I have a more traditional hard-nosed wrestling style with a little bit of slickness. But personally, I’m not really sure lol.

Q: What did it mean to you to qualify for the NCAA Championships last year?

A: Qualifying for the national tournament was surreal and a great experience, but that wasn’t the final goal. So in my mind, I still had more to prove.

Q: What team and individual goals did you set for this season?

A: Some individual goals I set for myself this year are: competing the same style every match, wrestling free, and most importantly, having fun. When setting my goals this year, I stayed away from writing down results and focused more on traits. If I wrestle the way I am capable of every match, the result will come.

Q: What led to your decision to attend the Army?

A: My decision to choose West Point came from the fact that my wrestling career is not going to last forever, so I wanted to set myself up to be as successful as possible in the future.

Q: What is your major and ideal future profession?

A: I am an engineering management major. My ideal future profession would be owning some type of business.

Q: What has been the most challenging aspect of West Point?

A: The most challenging aspect for me is balancing all aspects of the academy, to become the best person, student, and wrestler I possibly can.

Q: You attended Jeannette but wrestled for Hempfield Area. How did you handle that transition?

A: The transition from Jeannette to Hempfield Area was extremely easy because I wrestled with most of my then teammates growing up through Young Guns and other clubs. Also, Coach Vince and Coach Dom supported me and pushed me to be my best, so it made the transition extremely easy.

Q: What was your fondest high school memory?

A: Winning a state title my junior year or taking second as a team at states my senior year.

Q: Who was the best opponent you faced during your high school career?

A: I wrestled a ton of great opponents in high school, but the best would have to be Kurtis Phipps or Carter Dibert.

Q: Do you use water, a sports drink, or something else during wrestling?

A: Immediately after weigh-ins, I have some type of hydration drink, and then the rest of the day, it’s just water.