Derry’s DeLuca eyes state title, not 150-win milestone
By: Paul Schofield
Tuesday, January 15, 2019 | 7:39 PM
When Derry senior Dom DeLuca began his high school career, he never set out to win 150 matches.
His goals were to qualify for the PIAA tournament, place in the tournament, win a state title and get 100 wins.
DeLuca has already achieved three of his four goals. The only one missing is becoming a state champion.
So is DeLuca rethinking his goal and eyeing 150 wins?
“Not really,” said DeLuca, who is 17-1 and ranked No. 1 at 220 pounds this season. “I don’t look at statistics and didn’t know I was that close.
“I’m just focused on getting better every day and having fun. If I reach that goal, I’d be impressed.”
Heading into Tuesday’s nonsection match against Indiana, DeLuca’s career record stood at 133-24.
No. 3-ranked Derry will wrap up its Class AA, Section 3B schedule Wednesday against Mt. Pleasant and will compete in the Section 3 team tournament Jan. 23.
There are 11 Derry wrestlers who have won more than 100 matches. Only two — Troy Dolan and Mickey Phillippi — have surpassed 150 victories. Dolan was 170-9 and Phillippi 169-14.
According to WPIALwrestling.net, more than 909 wrestlers have reached the 100-win milestone.
Only 75 wrestlers, however, have surpassed the 150 mark.
“The goal for any wrestler is 100 wins in my mind,” Derry coach Mike Weinell said. “That’s a pretty impressive milestone if you reach 150. There are a lot of state champions who did not reach 150 wins.”
DeLuca has a chance to move into third place on Derry’s all-time wins list. He could surpass Travis Shaffer (147-22), Stone Kepple (137-40), Jimmy Gulibon (136-4) and Shawn Broadway (136-50) this season.
He already passed Mike May (126-10), Blaise Mucci (125-17) and Tom Tatone (118-30) this year and Dante DeCario (101-46) in 2017-18.
Several of his victories have come in tournaments this season, as he captured the Westmoreland County Coaches Association tournament title and finished second at the Powerade tournament.
DeLuca isn’t the only WPIAL wrestler who could surpass the 150-win mark this season. Others include McGuffey seniors Christian Clutter (139-25) and Jett Pattison (124-36), Kiski Area seniors Darren Miller (142-22) and Cam Connor (139-30) and Beth-Center senior Dom Fundy (123-16).
“There are more opportunities to pick up wins,” Weinell said. “You can go to more tournaments and if you’re lucky enough to get into the postseason team tournament, you get even more.
“Right now, we’re trying to get Ty (Cymmerman) to the 100-win milestone. If things go as planned, Dom should reach 150. To reach the 150 wins, you have the stay healthy. I know Jim and Mike missed out on more wins because of injuries.”
For DeLuca, his focus remains on winning a state title. He was the PIAA runner-up in 2018.
He would like nothing more than to finish his high school career with a win.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.
Tags: Derry Area