South Fayette's Carr seeks to follow brothers' footsteps at WPIAL Class AA wrestling championships
South Fayette's Carr clan has placed itself firmly among the ranks of recent powerhouse wrestling families in WPIAL Class AA.
Nick Carr, a 2011 South Fayette graduate, won WPIAL titles for the Lions as a junior and senior and also claimed PIAA gold as a junior.
Younger brother Seth Carr, a 2013 grad, reached the WPIAL and PIAA finals as a senior.
And younger brother Mike Carr, currently a sophomore, intends to add an unprecedented achievement to the family legacy — remaining unbeaten on the way to a WPIAL championship.
Through the first day of the WPIAL Class AA individual championships, the sophomore 132-pounder is right on track. Seeded No. 1, Carr (35-0) received a first-round bye and won his quarterfinal match 15-2 on Friday at Chartiers Valley High School. Likely with his brothers in his corner Saturday, he'll meet Burrell senior J.R. Andrejcik, who lost to Carr twice earlier this season, in the semifinals, which begin at 11:30 a.m.
“Being around them, they set the pace high,” said Carr, who placed third in the WPIAL at 120 last season. “You don't want to let them down. They've been training me hard, so I'm going to go out there and do what they did.”
The perfect record is not something Carr discusses with his teammates or his brothers — Nick had one loss both times he took first in the WPIAL. There's enough pressure on him already.
“Seeing all the intense stuff (Nick) did, it put a lot of pressure on me to go out and do that,” Carr said. “Last year, it put a lot of pressure on me, but this year, I learned that the key way to get there is to relax, have fun and be confident.”
Another family made its presence known with authority Friday, as South Park cousins Dallas and Greg Bulsak each advanced to the semifinals. Freshman 106-pounder Dallas Bulsak (22-4), a No. 2 seed, won by technical fall in his only match of the night. And sophomore 152-pounder Greg Bulsak (31-2), a No. 4 seed, pinned both of his opponents.
The elder Bulsak, whose father is a brother of Dallas' father, won a WPIAL title at 126 last season. He believes Dallas, who meets Southmoreland sophomore Cole Lambie in the semifinals, is well on his way to a title, though he goes about his business differently.
“We kind of have different styles,” said Greg Bulsak, who will wrestle No. 1 seed Steve Edwards of Burrell in the semifinals. “(Dallas') style is more straightforward aggressive. I'm more about waiting, and I'm more of a wrestler on the mat. He's more comfortable in neutral.”
Greg Bulsak is one of eight returning champions poised to place atop the podium again. Kittanning senior 145-pounder Jason Nolf, a Penn State recruit, can become the 23rd wrestler in WPIAL history to win four championships with two more victories. South Fayette junior 160-pounder J.J. Walker can claim his third title. Burgettstown junior 113-pounder Austin McDermitt, Derry sophomore 120-pounder George Phillippi, Valley senior 126-pounder Patrick Dewitt, Avella senior 220-pounder Jake Temple and Burrell junior 285-pounder Al Beattie all are still in the hunt for title No. 2.
Carr, Nolf, Dewitt, Temple and Jefferson-Morgan senior 126-pounder John Demaske are the only unbeaten wrestlers left in WPIAL Class AA.