North Xtra: North Hills junior has wrestling in his blood

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It's no surprise to hear that North Hills junior Gage Curry comes from a wrestling family.

After all, a lot of high school wrestlers have a father or uncle who competed while attending high school -- but Curry's case is a little different.

"My mom and dad wrestled when they attended Northgate High School," said Curry, referring to his parents, Derrick and Linetta. "So I've been wrestling since I was 3 or 4 years old."

The Curry family now lives in Ross Township and Gage has become one of the best lightweights in the WPIAL.

"I always ask Gage who is the best wrestler in the family," North Hills coach Jose Martinez joked. "And I always tell him that 'mom' is the best of the three.

"In all my years in the sport of wrestling, as both a competitor and a coach, I've never heard of a wrestler who had both parents compete in high school. And they went to the same high school."

Curry broke into North Hills' starting lineup as a 106-pound freshman and posted a 38-5 record. He won a Class AAA Section 3 title, placed second in the WPIAL, then placed fourth in the PIAA.

Curry lost to Greater Latrobe's Luke Pletcher in the WPIAL title match. Pletcher went on to win the first of two PIAA titles, while Curry finished fourth after a surprising first-round loss.

"I won four matches in the consolation bracket [to get to the third-place consolation final]," Curry said. "That's what happens when you lose in the first round."

Curry posted an almost identical record and postseason results in his sophomore season.

He defended his Section 3 title at 106 pounds, then advanced to the WPIAL title match for the second consecutive year, but suffered the same fate when he lost to Franklin Regional's Devin Brown, who went on to win his second PIAA title.

"It's disappointing to get that far and come up one win short of the title," said Curry, who finished the season with a 38-4 record.

Curry's second appearance in the PIAA tournament had a similar theme to the first, as he lost in the first round. Curry had the difficult task of facing Solanco's Connor Sheehan, who had placed second in the state the previous season. Curry won three matches in the consolation bracket, then faced Sheehan again, and lost again. He eventually placed sixth.

"Gage lost to some very good wrestlers," Martinez said. "He just didn't wrestle up to his potential."

Shortly after the season ended, Curry participated at FloNationals, a national tournament held at IUP.

"I placed sixth at 106," Curry said. "I lost in the semis and in my next two matches."

Curry has also participated in a couple freestyle tournaments, but opted not to participate in the national championships, which begin Saturday in Fargo, N.D.

"I've been running and lifting almost every day since the high school season ended," Curry said. "I've also been working out at Rob Waller's All-American Wrestling Club and the Pitt Wrestling Club. I've been working very hard."

Curry's next major competition will be at the Super 32 Tournament, which will take place Nov. 1-2 at Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C.

"I've been to the Super 32 twice before," Curry said. "I placed second last year and didn't place my first year."

Curry will most likely be moving up to the 120-pound weight class for the upcoming season.

"I would like to wrestle at 125 pounds in college, so I'm trying to get a little bigger," Curry said.

With 76 career wins, Curry is on track to break the school record for career victories. The record is held by his former teammate Tyler Walker, a 2013 graduate who finished with a 136-31 career record. Walker is one of 12 North Hills wrestlers who belong to the WPIAL's Century Club (100 career victories).

Curry is hoping to become No. 13 this season.

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