Shaler coach D’Agostino gets chance to spread Greco-Roman message
By: Josh Rizzo
Thursday, January 10, 2019 | 7:57 PM
Drew D’Agostino doesn’t have a long, drawn-out explanation for why Greco-Roman is his favorite style of wrestling.
It was always a perfect marriage for D’Agostino: He was good at it, and everything about it made sense.
“It’s probably the least popular of all the styles, but I enjoy it,” said D’Agostino, who coaches the Shaler wrestling team. “It’s one of the most simple forms.”
Finding a way to spark interest in the discipline always has been an interest of D’Agostino’s. Recently being named Greco-Roman Development Coach by the Pennsylvania Amateur Wrestling Federation Executive Board of Directors provides a perfect platform.
D’Agostino’s objective will be to help grow Greco-Roman in Pennsylvania.
“We’re trying to get organized,” D’Agostino said. “We want to get more kids to participate at the youth level. Pennsylvania mostly emphasizes freestyle.”
During high school, D’Agostino, who grew up in Pearl River, N.Y., found a lot of success in Greco-Roman.
When D’Agostino was going through the youth system, they only were allowed to represent the state in one discipline. As a sophomore, D’Agostino made the team in Greco.
He worked out at the Olympic training center in 1984 and became an East Coast Champion.
In his senior season, D’Agostino reached the national finals. He also wrestled in Europe in 1986.
“For me personally, it was something I was good at,” said D’Agostino, who wrestled collegiately at Slippery Rock. “I did it a lot in high school.”
Even for wrestlers who don’t stick with Greco-Roman, D’Agostino believes there are benefits. Hayden Hidlay, a redshirt sophomore at North Carolina State, reached the NCAA finals at 157 pounds before bowing to Penn State alum and Kittanning product Jason Nolf in the finals.
D’Agostino said Hidlay, who went to Mifflin County, had competed in Greco.
“It translates to freestyle,” D’Agostino said. “Greco gives you the ability to have a big move in your back pocket. To be able to throw somebody and pin them or throw somebody and get extra points.”
D’Agostino, who took several years away after having kids, is excited to be involved with Greco again. He coached a team in New York in the early 1990s.
“I got back into it for Fargo for the last six or seven years,” D’Agostino said. “I’ve been involved with Pennsylvania USA wrestling for a long time.”
Josh Rizzo is a freelance writer.
Tags: Shaler Area