After disappointing team season, Shaler wrestlers point to individual goals
Coach Drew D’Agostino is looking forward to getting the Shaler wrestling team ready for the individual championships in February.
Beset by injuries, the Titans saw their four-year streak of reaching the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs end when they finished 0-5 in Section 3B.
“We have some good individuals,” D’Agostino said. “We had a couple holes and injuries play a part in missing some kids for duals. It’s tough to makeup points when you are missing a bunch of kids.”
Despite the early end for the team, D’Agostino sees potential for Shaler during the individual part of the postseason. Ryan Sullivan, a 120-pound senior, collected four technical falls and a pin on the way to a championship at the recent Allegheny County tournament.
The Titans placed 18th with 74 points.
“We don’t have the horses we’ve had in the past five or six years,” D’Agostino said. “Ryan wasn’t tested, and Ian (Scraberry) lost 4-3 in the semifinals. Ryan wasn’t tested all that much.”
Sullivan, who committed to wrestle at Pitt and recently eclipsed the 100-win plateau, is the defending WPIAL and PIAA champion at 113 pounds.
Getting back to the podium will be another serious challenge for Sullivan, who won several close matches at Hershey last season to become the program’s first state champion in 11 years.
D’Agostino doesn’t foresee the challenge being too much for Sullivan. He was a PIAA runner-up as a sophomore and a two-time Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling State champion.
“It’s WPIAL wrestling. That’s part of the game,” D’Agostino said. “No one is going to lay down because he’s the champ. He has to earn it and work hard to prove it every day. We embrace challenges.”
Scarberry (138 pounds) also finished third at counties, advancing to the semifinals before losing to Pine-Richland’s Nate Lukez, 4-3.
D’Agostino expects Joe Kremer (195) and Jeff Bonnette (285) to have strong performances at sections. The top five finishers in each weight class advance to the WPIAL Class AAA championships, slated for March 2-3 at Canon-McMillan.
“I think Ian Scarberry should have a good run. He’s been wrestling well as of late,” D’Agostino said. “Jeff Bonnette has a chance to be in the section finals. Joey Kremer has picked it up a bit and has a chance to place top five in the section.”
Josh Rizzo is a freelance writer.