Trio of Thomas Jefferson juniors rises to top of rankings ahead of postseason tournaments

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Sunday, January 21, 2024 | 11:01 AM


Three of the top wrestlers in the WPIAL — Maddox Shaw, Bode Marlow and Shepard Turk — attend Thomas Jefferson.

All three are juniors who were ranked No. 1 in WPIAL Class 2A in their respective weight divisions by Trib HSSN.

Shaw closed out the month of December with a 16-3 record (8 falls) at 139 pounds that boosted his career mark to 101-12.

“With how tough Beast of the East and Powerade were this year, Maddox has the ability to build of some early season losses as he begins to focus in on the second half the season,” TJ coach Michael Ladick said. “He has been working hard with our new assistant, James ‘Snapper’ Fleming, on his feet, continues to improve on top, and is finding new ways to score of the bottom.”

Shaw posted 41-6 and 44-3 marks the past two seasons, finished as a section champion both seasons, won one WPIAL title and placed second in 2022, was a PIAA runner-up once and third-place finisher in 2022.

Known for his animated personality, Shaw placed third at 139 at the Powerade Tournament held Dec. 29-30 at Canon-McMillan. The TJ grappler blanked Colin Kacena of Lake Highland Prep (Fla.), 3-0, to take third.

“Maddox is hilarious,” Ladick said. “He is not one to become engrossed in the tournament until it is about three weight classes away from his matches.

“He knows when to switch into competition mode but once that is over, he is back to baseline.”

Shaw joined an elite group of TJ grapplers who attained 100 wins in their careers: Brian Finnerty (2022) with 121, Michael Goslicky (2003) with 117, Brendan Finnerty (2020) with 115, Michael Zacur (2021) with 111, Kale Buckiso (2021) with 110, Alex Weber (2019) with 108, Braden Flinn (2015) with 106, Patrick Graham (2006) with 105, Dom Devine (2016) with 104 and Mark Generalovich (2006) with 103.

Shaw (145) also won the 145-pound title at the Mid-Winter Mayhem event Jan. 13 at IUP, padding his career record to 108-12 with 64 falls. He was 23-3 on the year with nine wins in a row and in 14 of his last 15 matches.

Marlow (160) stood at 20-6 this season after compiling 35-11 (17 falls) and 38-9 (25 falls) marks in his first two years with the Jaguars. As a sophomore, he was a section runner-up and placed third in the region.

Among his 93 career wins were 49 falls and nine technical falls.

“My season is going pretty good,” Marlow said. “It’s having its ups and downs as of right now, but it’s all motivation and things to learn from.

“One of my goals would be to win a state championship.”

Turk, meanwhile, is making a name for himself at 285 pounds.

Turk was 18-6 with 13 falls in mid-January. As a sophomore, he was a section runner-up and sixth-place finisher in the WPIAL. Turk registered a 26-14 record last year with 21 falls.

“Bode and Shep have bought into the adjustments we’ve made this season and continue to find opportunities to grow,” Ladick said. “Shep does a lot of work on the minor details with my dad, Robert Ladick, and is highly committed to lifting and staying strong while looking for ways to advance his skill set.

“Bode is starting to find the value in making minor adjustments and is taking a lot from some of the losses he’s had in the first half of the season and moving forward.”

Shaw, Marlow and Turk were ranked No. 1 in their respective weight classes in the WPIAL Class 3A individual wrestling rankings for the week of Dec. 25.

Another up-and-coming competitor for the Jaguars is freshman Zach Rehak who was 12-6 with four falls at 107. Senior Brady Fitz also had 12 wins with six falls at 172.

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