Virginia Tech a perfect fit for Latrobe grappler Zavatsky
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Latrobe High School wrestler Zack Zavatsky isn't looking to simply take the easy or convenient route.
So that's why when it came to deciding where he will wrestle in college, the rising senior chose Virginia Tech over schools like Virginia, Lehigh and local powerhouse Pitt.
“People from my school and around the area just go to Pittsburgh, and it's like the easy way,” Zavatsky said. “I just wanted to kind of venture out and go to a different place.”
Coming off their first ever ACC Championship, Zavatsky said he feels the Hokies are a wrestling program on the rise and just felt it was the right fit for him after visiting the campus twice unofficially.
“I just see them as having a strong program the last couple years and some strong individuals,” he said. “You can definitely see the progress over the years. They've been climbing up the hill.
“Ever since going there the first time, just getting the tour around and talking to coach (Tony) Robie and (Kevin) Dresser, they were down to earth people and just seemed like the place I wanted to go.”
He will be joined there by fellow WPIAL wrestler and Canon-McMillan standout Solomon Chisko, a friend of Zavatsky's from club wrestling who will certainly help ease the transition to living away from home.
“That kind of helped a little bit knowing that I'm not the only one going out there from around this area.”
“Virginia Tech is getting a great wrestler and an even better person,” Latrobe wrestling coach Tad Harbert said. “I'm happy for him. He's such a hard worker and it paid off for him.”
When it came down to making a decision, Zavatsky said despite the departure of longtime Pitt wrestling coach Rande Stottlemyer, he still really likes the Panthers and their current coaching staff but just felt better about being in Blacksburg, Va. with the Hokies.
“I like Pitt, I've trained at Pitt sometimes during the season. … I like it down there, it's just I want to get out and try to explore different places,” he said.
Entering his senior season with a 124-18 career record, including going 42-2 last season, Zavatsky has already claimed back-to-back WPIAL titles at 160 pounds.
But after finishing third in the PIAA championships last season, Zavatsky — who plans to wrestle around 180 pounds next season — has his sights set on a state title to conclude his illustrious high school career.
“Obviously, I want to be a state champion at the end,” he said. “It's what I've been training my whole high school career for.”
Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.