Shaler D’Agostino’s coach has the chance to spread a Greco-Roman message
Thursday January 10, 2019 | 7:57 p.m.
Drew D’Agostino doesn’t have a long, drawn-out explanation as to why Greco-Roman wrestling is his preferred style of wrestling.
It was always a perfect marriage for D’Agostino: he was good at it, and it all made sense.
“It’s probably the least popular of all the styles, but I like it,” said D’Agostino, who coaches the Shaler wrestling team. “It’s one of the simplest forms.
Finding a way to generate interest in the discipline has always been an interest of D’Agostino. Being recently appointed Greco-Roman Development Coach by the Pennsylvania Amateur Wrestling Federation Board of Directors provides a perfect platform.
D’Agostino’s goal will be to contribute to Greco-Roman growth in Pennsylvania.
“We are trying to organize ourselves,” D’Agostino said. “We want to get more children to participate at the youth level. Pennsylvania’s primary focus is freestyle.
In high school, D’Agostino, who grew up in Pearl River, NY, found great success in Greco-Roman.
When D’Agostino went through the youth system, they were only allowed to represent the state in one discipline. In the second year, D’Agostino was part of the Greco team.
He worked at the Olympic Training Center in 1984 and became an East Coast Champion.
In his senior season, D’Agostino reached the national final. He also wrestled in Europe in 1986.
“For me personally, it was something I was good at,” said D’Agostino, who wrestled collegially at Slippery Rock. “I did this a lot in high school.”
Even for wrestlers who don’t stick to Greco-Roman, D’Agostino believes there are benefits. Hayden Hidlay, a red-shirted sophomore at North Carolina State, reached the NCAA final at 157 pounds before losing to Penn State alum and Kittanning product Jason Nolf in the final.
D’Agostino said Hidlay, who visited Mifflin County, competed as Greco.
“It translates into freestyle,” D’Agostino said. “Greco gives you the ability to have a big shot in your back pocket. Being able to throw someone and corner them or throw someone and get extra points.
D’Agostino, who took several years after having children, is delighted to get involved with Greco again. He coached a team in New York in the early 1990s.
“I’ve been back for Fargo for the past six or seven years,” D’Agostino said. “I have been involved in wrestling in Pennsylvania, United States for a long time.”
Josh Rizzo is a freelance writer.