GLENVILLE, WV – Glenville State College alumnus Matt Cogar recently brought home the 2019 STIHL Timbersports Champions Trophy, adding to his impressive collection of victories over the years.
Originally from Webster County, Cogar’s journey to the world championship began as a child. He grew up traveling with his father to competitive wood-chopping events, instilling in him a love for the sport at a young age. “I had the easiest start because it was a sport that I grew up with,” said Cogar. “Watching my father compete and hearing about my uncles and great uncles competing – I soon began saying to myself, ‘I’m going to be up on that stage and competing with those guys!’ I started competing in a few disciplines in 1999 when I was 12, but I had a long way to build a resume for the STIHL Timbersports Championships.”
Cogar came to GSC in 2005 and pursued a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry. “I spent my time in study and sport, building up my resume, and in 2009, I was accepted to the STIHL Timbersports stage,” said Cogar. “It was a good first showing. I was .04 seconds from making the semi-finals my first year, and that helped solidify my spot in the sport. I got to compete with the men and women I saw on TV, and that was an amazing feeling.”
He graduated from GSC in 2010 and in 2013, won his first STIHL Timbersports U.S. Pro Championship – he has been undefeated since. Cogar has also had three second-place finishes at the STIHL Timbersports Individual World Championships prior to his win this year.
While Cogar has had much success in his journey, he also recognizes the adversity that he has faced along the way. “I have had to deal with bodily injury, so overcoming that took a lot of reflection and physical therapy,” notes Cogar. “The biggest struggle thus far, however, has been finding the balance between life, sport, and family. It’s a constant learning process, but a fulfilling one as well. The greatest thing about that is it’s always something to persist at. Right now, I’m doing the sport that I love to do and spending quality time with my wife and daughter. Everyone struggles with a number of things that life brings up, but that’s why we persevere.”
Cogar hopes to continue competing in Timbersports while also looking into career paths that align with his interests. For Cogar, family will always come first though. “Raising my daughter is a priority at the moment. Being there for her and giving her the tools she needs to succeed is very important to me,” he adds.
Following the recent Mid-Atlantic Professional Men’s Qualifier that was held in Morgantown, West Virginia, Cogar earned a spot to compete at the U.S. Professional Championships in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 26-28.