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Shaler wrestler D'Amico sets sights on gold

| Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

Quotes surround Ron D'Amico's goals on a list that hangs around his bed. The favorite of the 220-pound senior wrestler from Shaler is “Somebody has to be on top, why not me?”

During the last three months, D'Amico has spent much time answering that question.

Most recently, D'Amico didn't concede a point and rolled to his first Section 3 title Saturday at Fox Chapel.

He has two major goals remaining: WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA titles.

“I have a bunch of goals I want to accomplish,” D'Amico said. “I wanted to win the Allegheny County title, and I did that. I wanted to win every tournament. Goal for section was to win section. Goal for WPIALs is to win WPIAL title.”

D'Amico likely will be the top seed and have an opportunity to chase the district crown this weekend at Penn Hills. Many of his teammates will have the same opportunity.

Eight of the 10 Titans who competed at sections qualified for WPIALs. Ryan Sullivan (106 pounds) and Jake Pollak (152) also won section titles.

Dylan Winters (120) finished second; Ian Scarberry (126), Garrett Reinsfelder (132) and Eric Warren (138) took third; and Jon Frazier (160) qualified as a fourth-place finisher.

“It was cool for us,” D'Amico said. “It's a great feeling. I'm surrounded by really awesome kids and other guys. They help me, and I help them.”

D'Amico is 35-1 this season, with his lone loss coming to North Allegheny's Jake Woodley. Woodley is an Oklahoma recruit and defending PIAA champion at 182 pounds.

At sections, D'Amico continued his success with two first-period pins and a 5-0 win over Butler's Saavon Mosby in the finals.

“I stayed on my attacks and doing what I've been doing all season, pushing the pace a little bit on offense,” D'Amico said. “That's where I've found success all season, when I was pushing the pace on offense.”

By speeding things up, D'Amico has followed the course to crossing the goals off his list.

If he needs a reminder, he can look up after he wakes up.

“I keep it right above my bed, and I read it everyday,” D'Amico said.

Josh Rizzo is a freelance writer.

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