Westmoreland athletes of the week: Derry’s Dom DeLuca, Penn-Trafford’s Paige Kalik

By: Andrew John
Tuesday, February 26, 2019 | 4:55 PM

Dom DeLuca

School: Derry

Sport: Wrestling

Class: Senior

Claim to fame: DeLuca (36-1), a Mercyhurst football commit, defeated Chestnut Ridge junior Duane Knisely, 3-2, to capture the PIAA Class AA 220-pound Southwest Regional title at IUP on Feb. 23. DeLuca placed second in the regional in 2017 and ’18. He will compete at the PIAA championships March 7-9 in Hershey.

“I thought I did pretty good. But I still have a lot to work on to get ready for states,” DeLuca said.

What made you commit to Mercyhurst for football?

I love everything about football. I went up there for an official and loved it. The coaches were great, and I thought it could be my home for the next four years. I will major in either education or intelligence.

What aspects of wrestling can you apply to football?

When you are attacking or taking someone down, the footwork goes hand and hand for both. I’ve done both my whole life.

What does it mean to capture a regional title in your final year?

It means a lot. My sophomore year I got second so to get a title during my senior year means a lot. I hope it sets me up for states next week.

What’s your mindset heading into states?

First, I need to recover to get my body healthy. Now, it’s more a mental thing, sharpen my tools and do the little things. There is nothing more you can improve on right now. It’s all about getting ready with the things you know you can do.

Who’s your favorite athlete?

TJ Watt because he plays outside linebacker. He’s a humble person and a hard worker. I like how he plays, he’s young and I think he has a bright future.

Paige Kalik

School: Penn-Trafford

Sport: Diving

Class: Senior

Claim to fame: Kalik, an Akron commit, captured her second WPIAL Class AAA diving championship Saturday after finishing with a score of 493.65 to edge North Allegheny’s Maya Ennis (433.15). Kalik will compete in the PIAA championships March 13-14 at Bucknell.

“It was pretty crazy to defend my title,” Kalik said.

What made you commit to Akron?

I really like the campus when I toured it. The coaches are great, and the girls were nice when I met them. I felt like I was at home. I will major in biochemistry.

What does it mean to win back-to-back WPIAL titles?

It was pretty special since it was my senior year. I wanted to go out with a big statement. I was the first girl to win back-to-back in awhile so that’s pretty special.

What’s your mindset heading into states?

I’m pretty excited. It’s my last one. I’m a little more calm with this one since I’ve been there before. I’m looking to have a good end to my high school diving career.

How can you improve on your sixth-place finish at states?

I’m looking to stay clam and relaxed through the whole meet. Last year, I had a couple dives that I didn’t do well. I just need to stay relaxed, and I will do better.

When you graduate, what do you want to be remembered for?

The impact I’ve had on the team as a teammate. I was one of the captains this year. I want to be remembered for the way I helped people rather than the way I performed.

— Andrew John

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