Shaw, Weber cap special careers with Thomas Jefferson wrestling

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Saturday, March 16, 2019 | 10:13 PM


It sounds like a distinguished law firm: Shaw, Weber & Co.

Max Shaw and Alex Weber certainly have enjoyed distinguished seasons and careers with the Thomas Jefferson wrestling program.

The two senior matmen advanced to the PIAA Class AAA tournament in Hershey off their performances at the recent WPIAL championships.

Shaw became the first TJ wrestler in more than 25 years to win a WPIAL title when he secured first place at 195 pounds. He was ranked No. 1 in his Class AAA weight class all season by Trib HSSN.

“Winning the WPIAL title has always been a goal of mine,” said Shaw, who also was a standout on the TJ football team. “I’m glad I could finish my WPIAL wrestling career on top. It’s a great feeling.”

Prior to Shaw, the last WPIAL wrestling champion at TJ was Mark Eckley, at 145, in 1992.

Shaw ended up in third place at this year’s PIAA tournament.

Weber, meanwhile, finished as the WPIAL runner-up in the 152-pound weight class. He was ranked No. 2.

“I’m pretty happy with my performance at the WPIAL tournament,” Weber said. “It’s a hump I was finally able to get over as a senior, which is pretty exciting.”

Weber owns the second-most wins for a career in program history with 108, behind only 112-pounder Mike Goslicky’s 117-win total carved out 17 years ago. A WPIAL runner-up in 2003, Goslicky placed sixth at the state tournament.

“Max and Alex are the faces of the Thomas Jefferson wrestling program,” coach Michael Ladick said, “and hopefully their success will translate into the underclassmen seeing and understanding their paths in an attempt to create their own journey toward Hershey.”

Seeded No. 1, Shaw pinned Bethel Park’s Luke Montgomery in 2:27 in the championship bout to cap his WPIAL season with a perfect 33-0 record.

Weber, seeded second, competed against defending champion Cam Connor of Kiski Area in the final round, where he lost a 9-1 decision to wrap up his WPIAL season at 38-3.

“Both wrestled tough, smart tournaments,” Ladick said. “Alex has done nothing but grind for the past four years. There is no one more deserving of being a WPIAL finalist and PIAA qualifier as he is.

“Max has had high expectations for himself all year.”

Both Shaw and Weber will continue their wrestling careers in college. Shaw has committed to North Carolina; Weber has signed with Pitt-Johnstown.

“Alex and Max had great showings at the WPIAL tournament,” assistant coach Bob Ladick said. “They prepared very well, were extremely focused and executed when they had to do so. Getting to Hershey was their goal since the start of the season.

“Their styles are a little different. Alex is a grinder. He always wants the first takedown, and then is extremely physical and tough on top. Max is fast and explosive on his feet. He’s always scoring as many points as he can.”

Shaw’s overall record this season stands at 38-1. Weber’s is 38-5, and his career record is 108-30.

Eight other Jaguars qualified for the 2019 WPIAL tournament. They are sophomores Ben Eckenrod (113), Kale Buckiso (120) and Mikey Zacur (126); senior Ridge Vlha (132), sophomore Brian Finnerty (138), junior Brendan Finnerty (145); and seniors Andy Kalup (170) and Dom Serapiglia (285)

Brendan Finnerty racked up a 33-10 record. Zacur (28-12), Buckiso (26-10) and Vlha (25-14) all eclipsed the 20-win plateau.

Shaw, Weber and Eckenrod were section champions; Zacur was a runner-up. Eckenrod was unable to compete at WPIALs because of an injury.

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