Kiski Area sophomore Roscosky makes ‘big’ adjustment to varsity competition
By: Doug Gulasy
Tuesday, January 8, 2019 | 5:09 PM
Brayden Roscosky couldn’t recall the name of the opponent who provided him with a “welcome to high school wrestling moment,” but he knew the important details.
“I remember thinking, this guy is big,” the Kiski Area sophomore said — with plenty of emphasis on that last word — about Souderton’s Bruno Stolfi, his opponent in the 195-pound semifinals of the season-opening Eastern Area Invitational Wrestling Tournament early last month.
Stolfi came big, but Roscosky also made him fall hard, pinning the Souderton senior in a dominant performance to reach the finals. And while Roscosky ultimately came one win shy of the tournament championship, he made an early statement that he continues to broadcast today.
Roscosky, a junior high champion last season, is excelling in his first season at the varsity level. He followed his second-place finish at Eastern Area with a fourth-place medal at the Powerade Tournament and last weekend earned his first individual title when he beat Hempfield’s Justin Cramer in the finals of the Westmoreland County Coaches Association tournament.
“(There are) a lot bigger guys (who) all just seem super strong compared to last year,” Roscosky said. “Last year, there were only really a couple guys here or there that could really match my strength, but this year, it’s a whole different story. Trying to adjust to it’s been hard. I didn’t adjust too well, but I’m getting there and working hard. It’s a process.”
Given his spot in Kiski Area’s lineup, Roscosky faces plenty of wrestlers his size but not many his age. The upper weights in general feature more upperclassmen, juniors and seniors with three or four seasons of high school experience under their belts.
On top of that, Kiski Area wrestles a difficult schedule, so Roscosky’s current 19-4 record has come against some high-quality competition.
“He’s learning how to wrestle with his strength,” Kiski Area coach Chris Heater said. “He’s learning how to wrestle against the strength. And he’s learning how to utilize his technique against some strong guys.”
Roscosky might have contributed to Kiski Area last season were it not for an important factor: a lack of space in the lineup. With seniors Logan Pollick and Danny Starr filling the starting spots at 182 and 195 pounds, respectively, it left little avenue for Roscosky to wrestle full-time for the Cavaliers.
“When he went to camp with us in the summer and showed a lot of promise, showed a lot of good things he was doing and showed some things he needed to improve on, we talked to him about trying to work on those things,” Heater said. “… Everybody was on the same page as far as him staying down one more year and then coming in and going after it this year.
“So far, it’s all playing out the right way. But none of this happens without his hard work.”
Roscosky used his extra junior high year to work on his strength and his technique. He also won a WPIAL and state championship at 187 pounds. He overcame a late 3-0 deficit against Apollo-Ridge’s Logan Harmon in the state final, getting a reversal and back points in the final seconds of the third period.
“I would say it’s one of the craziest wins I’ve ever had,” Roscosky said. “I was just thinking, what can I do to come back here, and I just pulled something off. It was pretty crazy. I was excited after it, too.”
After feeling some early trepidation about going against older, stronger wrestlers, Roscosky is gaining confidence with each success.
“Wrestling anybody better than you, you really just learn,” Roscosky said. “You watch your match. You learn from it. You build on that, and you keep building yourself up.”
He’s showing the ability to learn, too. Hempfield’s Cramer beat Roscosky at the Powerade tournament, but Roscosky returned the favor in the county final.
Kiski Area expects to figure into the running for the WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA team titles, so Roscosky likely will get many more chances to wrestle in big matches against big opponents the rest of the season.
“I’ve really noticed the intense environment: Everybody’s there to compete and try to win,” he said. “It’s honestly crazy going from last year to this year. It’s really serious. I want to really try to keep up.”
Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Doug at email@example.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.
Tags: Kiski Area