Shaler’s Sullivan chasing more titles during senior wrestling season
Entering his final year of high school wrestling, Ryan Sullivan is expected to set a collision course to adding more WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA titles to his resume.
The senior wrestler, who is a expected to compete at 120 and 126 pounds for Shaler this season, knows this will be a challenge.
Sullivan, who finished with a 42-1 record last season, eked out a 4-3 win over West Chester Henderson’s Killian Delaney to earn the PIAA 113-pound title last year. Climbing the mountain again this year will require similar grit.
“He works hard and has goals he wants to achieve still,” Titans coach Drew D’Agostino said of the Pitt recruit. “He wants to advance on to college wrestling. He is still working hard to getting his second state championship, which is harder than getting the first. He knows he has a target on his back, and he’s trying to outwork guys trying to get to his level.”
Behind him, the Titans have an experienced group attempting to reach the WPIAL team postseason for the fifth straight season.
Shaler will be tested right away in section, opening up with perennial heavyweight North Allegheny Dec. 12 at home.
The Titans will compete in the Powerade tournament, as well as the MyHouse X-Calibur event at Wilkes University.
“I don’t coach kids to win in December; I coach kids to win in February and March,” D’Agostino said. “We are in some tough tournaments at the beginning of the year. I want to see them get better as the year progresses.”
In addition to Sullivan, Jake Pollak (160 pounds) and Ian Scarbery (138) are inching closer to the 100-win plateau.
Jeffrey Bonnette and Adam Williard provide depth at heavyweight for Shaler. Hunter Petschar (120) and Joey Kremer (195/220) are expected to help make contributions.
The Titans qualified for the playoffs as the fifth-place team out of Section 3 before falling to Upper St. Clair in the preliminary round of the playoffs. Shaler is in subsection 3B with Fox Chapel, Hampton, Indiana, North Allegheny and North Hills.
The Talbots lost in the section finals to Seneca Valley last season.
“Having a full team helps,” D’Agostino said. “I think the top team coming back is Hampton. North Allegheny in young, but they have good wrestlers. I think we’ll be competitive.”
Josh Rizzo is a freelance writer.