By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
HERSHEY - Athens senior David Galasso may not have ended his high school career with a win, but he did stand on the podium as a fourth-place finisher in the 170-pound bracket of the PIAA Class AA wrestling championships here Saturday afternoon at the Giant Center.
Galasso trailed Penn Cambria senior Derek Brown 3-0 midway through the second period, when he attempted an upper-body throw, but Brown countered and used one of his own for the fall at 2:02.
"We try to preach to him that he doesn't have to do anything special, what he has is enough," said Athens assistant coach Jay White.
"He went upper-body with (Brown), and (Brown) is a little bit stronger than he is," noted White. "He should have stuck with his stuff, but he thought he needed to go big after giving up the takedown.
"He went into desperation mode a little too quickly," added White. "He knows better than that, but he had a great weekend."
Often lost in the shadow of recent Athens grads Brian Courtney, Kaidon Winters, Nate Bradley, A.J. Burkhart, and Chris Horton, who are all members of the 100-win club, and state qualifiers, Galasso did something none of them (aside from Courtney) accomplished - finished fourth at States.
"He needed four wins to get his 100th career win, and he got those four wins," said White. "And, he finished fourth in the State.
"When was the last time we had someone finished that high in the State, other than Brian (Courtney)," noted White. "All the studs we had come through, they finished fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth .... fourth is pretty impressive."
White said he's happy for and proud of Galasso.
"He's had a tumultuous career at Athens. As a freshman, he was good but there was no place in the line-up for him, so he ate like a pig so he could go up two weight classes.
"As a sophomore he was wrestling really well, but broke his hand right before Sectionals and didn't get a chance to wrestle in the postseason," said White.
"Last year, he made it here, but didn't get a medal," added White. "As a senior, he really wanted a medal, and he got it. I think it's awesome."
Galasso finishes his senior year with a 38-7 mark, and a 100-41 career record.
IN PHOTOS: Athens senior David Galasso. ... PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.
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