Shaler wrestling keeps chugging, eyes section title

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Sunday, December 3, 2017 | 4:48 PM


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Few people within the Shaler wrestling program took a break during the offseason. Junior wrestler Ryan Sullivan, who finished runner-up in the WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA 106-pound weight division last season, participated in a number of tournaments, including the prestigious Super 32 Tournament.

Titans coach Drew D'Agostino became an assistant on the football team and worked on convincing more people to come out for wrestling.

The program's work comes with one goal: another section crown.

The Titans, who lost to North Allegheny, 45-27, in the section finals last season, have reached the Section 3-AAA finals the last two seasons. Shaler then fell to Greensburg Salem, 40-33, in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs.

“It's been a lot of hard work,” D'Agostino said.

“It's a level of expectation. We've had some success in the last few years, and when the kids step on the mat, they expect to do well.”

The Titans have plenty of athletes returning.

Winters (126), Ian Scarberry (132), Garrett Reinsfelder (138), Jake Pollak (152) and Sullivan won 30 or more matches last season.

Shaler will also receive assistance from transfer Ellis Popiolkowski (138/145).

“It's pretty cool to see guys get on the mat and try it,” Sullivan said. “Not many people are tough enough to wrestle. It's good to have people step up and fill the weights.”

D'Agostino's recruiting efforts were successful to give Shaler depth. The Titans were able to add wrestlers at 195, 220 and two at heavyweight.

“It's pretty cool to see guys get on the mat and try it,” Sullivan said. “Not many people are tough enough to wrestle. It's good to have people step up and fill the weights.”

Sullivan, who went 39-4 last season, became Shaler's first state medalist, along with the now-graduated Ron D'Amico, since 2007. He's been focusing on wrestling with his club and trying to stay tough on the mat.

At the Super 32, Sullivan went 3-2.

“It was a good experience,” Sullivan said. “It wasn't my best performance, but I got to wrestle some nationally-ranked guys, so that was cool. It was a good learning experience.”

With all the experience Shaler has coming back, Sullivan is expecting another strong year.

“I think we'll have a solid team this year,” Sullivan said. “I want to win sections, and once we get into the playoff bracket anything can happen.”

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