East Xtra: Latrobe senior weighing options

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Zack Zavatsky has an important decision to make, but he needs a little more time to weigh his options.

Zavatsky recently completed his junior year at Latrobe High School and is one of the most highly regarded wrestlers in the WPIAL.

"Choosing a college is a big decision, so I want to make sure I make the right decision," said Zavatsky, a three-year PIAA Class AAA qualifier and two-time place-winner. "My goal is to make my choice by the end of the summer."

Zavatsky, who has a 124-18 career record, has made six visits.

"Virginia Tech, Virginia, Pitt and Lehigh are my top four," Zavatsky said. "I also visited Maryland and Penn State."

Last week, Virginia's assistant coach Jordan Leen came to Latrobe to help with a two-day camp. Zavatsky also visited Pitt last week and met with new coach Jason Peters.

"I'm going back to Virginia Tech this weekend for another camp, so I'll get another look at the campus," Zavatsky said. "My plan is to major in engineering, but I'm not sure which field of engineering. All six schools have a good engineering program."

Zavatsky is a two-time WPIAL champion who placed eighth in the PIAA as a sophomore and third last year. He lost in the PIAA semifinals to Chance Marsteller, a three-time PIAA champion from Kennard-Dale High School.

"I was hoping Marsteller would stay in the 170-pound weight class," said Zavatsky, who competed at 160 all three years at Latrobe.

"My days at 160 are over. I will be at 170 or 182 next for my senior year. I'll just have to wait and see how much I've grown."

Latrobe coach Tad Harbert believes Zavatsky will be competing at 174 or 184 in college.

"I'm very proud of what Zack has been able to accomplish," Harbert said. "And I feel he can be just as successful in college. The school that gets Zack will have somebody who can help their program for years to come."

Zavatsky has been very busy since the high school season ended.

"I did take two weeks off after the PIAA tournament, but then I got right back to work," Zavatsky said.

Zavatsky has been training with the Young Guns Wrestling Club. He's also taken a few trips with the Young Guns for tournaments.

"I went to Flonationals and placed third at 170 pounds," said Zavatsky, referring to a national tournament that was held at IUP shortly after the high school season ended.

His next trip was to Virginia Beach for the NHSCA National Duals.

"I wrestled for Young Guns, switching between the 182- and 195-pound weight classes," Zavatsky said. "Our team had a 9-1 record and we won the team title. My only loss was to Brett Harner (a PIAA runner-up from Norristown)."

Zavatsky also joined the Young Guns at a freestyle tournament held in the Lehigh Valley.

"We won the team title and beat a team from Blair Academy in the championship match," said Zavatsky, referring to the most dominant high school program in the country. We beat them real bad and I beat Addison Knepshield in my bout."

And he's not done traveling yet. Zavatsky is one of five Latrobe wrestlers who will be wrestling for the Young Guns at the Disney Duals, which are being held June 27-July 2 in Orlando, Fla.

"This will be my second trip to the Disney Duals," Zavatsky said. "Our team is really good. I don't see us losing."

Zavatsky will be joined at the Disney Duals by Latrobe teammates Luke Pletcher, Jake Shaffer, Dylan Davis and Tyler Mears.

"It's a great trip, because we also get to spend time at Disney," Zavatsky said. "I'm really looking forward to the trip."



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