Trib East wrestling all-stars
Wrestler of the Year
Cassidy beat LoPiccolo, 3-2, on the way to winning a state championship. He also won his second consecutive Southwest Regional championship and finished his senior year 34-1, earning his place as Tribune-Review East Wrestler of the Year.
“Everybody was talking about LoPiccolo,” Plum wrestling coach Chuck Froelich said. “Matt wanted to wrestle him. He wanted that challenge.”
Early in his career, Cassidy had heard comparisons to his uncle, Steve Cassidy, who won a 140-pound state championship for Plum in 1990. It was Steve Cassidy that got Matt involved in the sport at an early age.
Matt Cassidy became only the second Plum wrestler to win 100 career matches, finishing second to Bill Closson in victories with a record of 109-23. Cassidy went to states three times, finishing fourth at 171 pounds as a junior.
Cassidy devoted more of this past off-season to wrestling than he had in the past, competing in summer tournaments instead of playing baseball.
He went 3-2 at the U.S Junior National Freestyle Championships at Fargo, N.D.
Cassidy’s only loss this season came was an overtime defeat to Central Catholic’s Nic San Doval in the 189-pound finals at the Allegheny County tournament, when Cassidy was penalized for an illegal move.
Cassidy avenged that loss in the finals of the Montour Tournament three weeks later. Cassidy said he has no college scholarship offers yet, but he has already taken a visit to Pitt and will go to Lehigh and the University of Virginia next month. He may also visit North Carolina and Northwestern, but he has nothing set up yet with those two.
Cassidy is a three-sport star at Plum. He was the top running back and a star defensive back for the football team this past fall and is an all-section outfielder for the Mustangs’ baseball team.
“He’s just an all-around great athlete, first of all,” Froehlich said. “He’s great on his feet. He didn’t give up a take-down or a reversal all year. He makes people wrestle his match.”