South Park senior wrestler Bulsak caps ‘fun’ weekend with win for Pa. All-Stars
Only two things could stop South Park’s Greg Bulsak in the first period of his 182-pound bout Saturday night at Pitt’s Fitzgerald Field House, the first bout in a meet between the USA All-Stars and Pennsylvania All-Stars in the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic.
They were, in order, a bloody nose and the buzzer to signal the end of the period.
Bulsak put Jackson County Central (Minn.) High School’s Keegan Moore on his back three times in the first period to build a 9-0 lead and held on late, winning 13-8 to give Team Pennsylvania its first three points in what became a 25-20 loss to Team USA.
“Everyone’s telling me in our first match here to set the tone, so I did what I had to do out there,” said Bulsak, who signed autographs for young spectators for several minutes after his win. “I’ve had a lot of fun the last couple days. Especially getting this win made it a lot better.”
The South Park senior was one of three WPIAL wrestlers to win Saturday night, along with Latrobe’s Luke Pletcher and South Fayette’s Mike Carr.
Pletcher, a three-time state champion, won against an out-of-state opponent, just not the one he expected coming into the meet. His scheduled opponent, Chad Red Jr., a four-time Indiana state champion, failed to make weight at 132 pounds. That meant New Haven (Ind.) wrestler Owen Doster, who already had wrestled in the WPIAL vs. Indiana meet earlier in the afternoon, wrestled again. Pletcher won by technical fall, 23-8.
“I did my part, and he didn’t do his. I did what I could, and that’s about it,” Pletcher said of Red. “It’s fun. It’s a good event. When you’re little, you want to be here and come out and be able to wrestle and put up points, like I did.”
For Carr, all it took was a second-period point to earn a win at 145 pounds over four-time Wisconsin state champion Hunter Marko, who entered the meet 150-4. That, and one of the toughest third-period rides of his high school career.
“You know, Pennsylvania’s good on top, so I’m going to ride this guy out, that’s my goal,” Carr said. “I thought I was going to get a takedown at the end of the first, but he was strong. He had good hips, but I found a way to win.”
Also wrestling for Team Pennsylvania from the WPIAL were Armstrong’s Jacob Robb (220), Southmoreland’s Jacob Beistel (285), North Hills’ Gage Curry (113), Derry’s George Phillippi (138), South Park’s Jake Wentzel (160) and Belle Vernon’s Austin Bell (170).
In the first half of the Wrestling Classic on Saturday afternoon, nine wrestlers on the WPIAL All-Star Team won to defeat the Indiana All-Star Team, 27-18.
In the final two bouts, Peters Township’s Mike McAleavey held on for a 2-1 decision, and Norwin’s Hayden Rice forced an early second-period takedown of Columbus (Ind.) East’s Sean Galligar and also won 2-1.
“In the second period, his arm was hanging, and I knew I could just get it done,” Rice said. “It’s a heavyweight technique, score and then hold on.”
Latrobe’s Ethan McCoy (120) was named the WPIAL All-Star Team’s Outstanding Wrestler with a 7-4 decision over Penn (Ind.)’s Drew Hildenbrandt. Mifflin County’s Hayden Hidlay earned the same distinction for Team Pennsylvania with an overtime win over New Prague (Minn.)’s Griffin Parriott.