Enzo Morlacci 1st in Kiski Area history to win Powerade

Tuesday, February 2, 2021 | 6:03 PM

The Kiski Area wrestling program has a storied history of success, but Enzo Morlacci accomplished something for the first time in program history this weekend.

With two decisions, a pin, a technical fall, and a major decision, Morlacci became the first Kiski Area wrestler in program history to win a Powerade title.

“It’s an awesome thing. It’s fun, it’s exciting and you get a lot of respect from everyone and it’s just so cool,” Morlacci said. “It’s cool to know that everyone who came through Kiski and how good the program has always been, and I was the first one to do it is a pretty cool feeling.”

Morlacci started the tournament by pinning Hickory’s Ty Holland in 56 seconds and then followed it up with a 17-0 technical fall victory over Central Mountain’s Damien Galentine. In his quarterfinal win, Morlacci earned a 6-3 decision victory over Seneca Valley’s Antonio Amelio with two takedowns and two escapes.

He punched his ticket to the championship with a 14-4 major decision over Canon-McMillan’s Gabe Stafford. In the weight class final, Morlacci took advantage of a second-period takedown and a third-period escape to take home a Powerade title and a 3-1 decision over Norwin’s Chase Kranitz.

“I really believe that he is wrestling the best that I have ever seen him wrestle,” Kiski Area coach Chris Heater said. “This is kind of who he has been, but he’s never just completely opened up and let it go. He gets in big matches and kind of tightens up a bit. But that’s all gone right now. He’s really good on his feet, offensively and defensively, he’s very good on the mat in both positions, and I wasn’t surprised.”

Throughout this season, Morlacci has been working on the mental aspect of his abilities and having the self-confidence to go out and perform. He said he has been working on it since summer, when he competed in the Super 32 tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and the Elite Eight, which was a dual tournament that stacked some of the best wrestlers in the country against each other.

“I’ve just been constantly trying to get better, and I’ve been taking big steps lately and I think it’s all mental,” Morlacci said. “Everything I’ve been doing, I have all the tools, I just need to mentally prepare and do everything right.”

Morlacci has a record of 10-0. Even though he had only wrestled in four matches heading into the Powerade, he had confidence he was about to do something special.

“He told me a week ago that he was going to win it,” Heater said. “My response was, ‘Show me.’ ”

Said Morlacci: “The whole weekend I was just prepared. I was mentally prepared to go in and win that tournament. I knew I was winning the tournament when I walked in the building. I knew I was winning the tournament the night before. I just had that mentality that it didn’t matter who was there, I was winning the tournament.”

Morlacci had a little extra motivation: He wasn’t seeded in the top eight wrestlers, adding a chance to prove himself.

“That was definitely a good push. It was really what I needed to go in. I mean, I felt like I had no respect going into the tournament, and I just needed to show what I was made of,” Morlacci said. “I think I did that, but I could’ve done it a lot better.”

Pine Richland’s Cole Spencer and Burrell’s AJ Corrado, who are ranked by Trib HSSN as the No. 1 160-pound wrestler in their respective classifications, had to pull out of the tournament at the last minute this past week. So while Morlacci knows what he accomplished was special, he knows there’s work to be done.

“I think I have a lot to prove still, and I think I have to show out for the rest of the year,” Morlacci said. “I don’t have any kind of stop. Even after the year is over, I’m not done. I have World Team Travel, I have Fargo, and I have all that kind of stuff. So, the grind never stops. I was at practice the morning after Powerade. I can’t quit working. I have to continuously get better, and I have to make sure I prove my point this year.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .


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