After wild offseason, Kiski Area’s Enzo Morlacci ready to prove himself
Sunday, December 20, 2020 | 4:29 PM
Kiski Area wrestler Enzo Morlacci has had quite the year, but he’s made the most of the past seven months.
“It’s been weird, but I couldn’t have asked for it to lay out any better,” Morlacci said. “I met some amazing coaches, and I got a lot better. I wouldn’t have had the opportunities that I did unless some of the things happened the way they did. Everything happened for a complete reason because one thing led to the next for me.”
The pandemic hit the country in March, and Morlacci made a big decision in May to try to improve his high school wrestling career. He decided to transfer to wrestling powerhouse Wyoming Seminary, an independent day and boarding school in northeastern Pennsylvania.
After going 17-8 as a sophomore last season, Morlacci wanted to test himself against some of the best wrestlers in the country.
But as the pandemic started to play out over the last few months, there were too many variables that were unknown. Morlacci weighed his options and decided not to transfer. Now, he’s suiting back up for the Cavaliers.
“With covid and everything, it was just what if the season gets canceled, what if this or that?” Morlacci said. “Then if I go, I wouldn’t have been able to come back. There were too many what-if’s, there were too many variables to leave and be stuck there. It was a risk-reward thing for me, and the risk just way out-weighed the reward, so it just wasn’t worth it.”
Not going to Wyoming Seminary hasn’t stopped Morlacci from improving as one of the top wrestlers in the state and possibly the country. Over the weekend of Oct. 24, Morlacci and several other WPIAL wrestlers competed in the Super 32 tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Morlacci admitted it wasn’t his best tournament, but it set the stage for the rest of his fall as he had the opportunity to compete in the Elite Eight, a dual tournament that stacked some of the best wrestlers in the country against each other.
The tournament had more than 80 top-20 ranked wrestlers in the country, and Morlacci had an eye-opening experience.
“It wasn’t a confidence boost, but it kind of gave me a sense of, ‘This is how I need to be. This is where I need to be.’ I’m there, and I have so much more to put out,” Morlacci said. “That was the first time that I felt that and was like, all right I’m there and we’re heading in the right direction.”
In seven matches over the course of two days, Morlacci went 5-2 and lost to Wyoming Seminary’s Gabe Arnold, who is ranked as the second-best 170-pounder in the country, twice. It was the type of turning point that Morlacci needed heading into his junior season.
After that tournament, Morlacci skyrocketed up the individual national rankings and is ranked as the 16th best 160-pounder in the country by theopenmat.com.
Last season, Morlacci battled a few injuries and sicknesses and missed out on competing in the postseason after a third-place finish in the section tournament as a freshman. After how last winter went, Morlacci is motivated to prove that he’s one of the best wrestlers in the state and the country.
“I won’t be happy with anything other than a state championship this year,” Morlacci said. “I don’t feel that I wrestled to my ability the last few years, and maybe I did and that was that, but this year is different. I feel if I walk away with anything other than a state championship, I’m just selling myself short.
“I’ve shown myself that I can beat the kids that I need to beat.”
Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
Tags: Kiski Area
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