Name: Luca Augustine
Augustine’s week: The 160-pounder chalked up four victories in helping Waynesburg finish as the PIAA Class AAA team runner-up to Nazareth Saturday at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Augustine began the tournament Thursday with a pin of Ethan Pae of Central Dauphin in 2:44 during the 40-21 victory. He followed that up with a pin in 2:52 of Owen Shetler in a 44-24 victory over Erie Cathedral Prep in the first of two matches Friday.
Next, Augustine won by technical fall, 24-9, over Luke Thomas of Bethlehem Catholic in 4:15. That win helped spark the Raiders to a 33-31 victory over the perennial power.
Finally, Augustine gutted out a 2-1 overtime victory against Conner Herceg in a 38-21 loss to Nazareth in the team finals.
“I rewatched that match many times and Herceg was really good,” said Augustine. “I didn’t get in on many shots. That let me know what I need to work on over the two weeks leading to individuals.”
Augustine is ranked second in most wrestling rankings and has made himself into a top-notch competitor in his three years on varsity.
“A lot of people don’t get to see him at Ironman or Beast of the East, but he gets into a lot of close matches and usually comes out with a win,” said Waynesburg head coach Joe Throckmorton. “Yeah, he’s good. I wish I could clone him.”
Augustine had trouble finding a way into the lineup his first two seasons. As a freshman, he was blocked by Jackson Henson. As a sophomore, he just couldn’t get past Colby Morris in eliminations.
“It really took the pressure off the season because there was nobody in my way,” said Augustine. “That made it so much easier to go out and wrestle.”
The 1:59 kid: If Augustine does nothing else with his wrestling, he will always be known around the school as the 1:59 kid.
“He’s so good on bottom,” said Throckmorton. “We try to get people to do what he does on the bottom to get out. At the Beast of the East, he would get out and we would look over and see there was one second off the two-minute clock. So we started calling it the 1:59. We’d say, ‘Hey we need some 1:59s.’”
Augustine will wrestle in college, choosing to go to Pitt. He will pursue a career in medicine, just like his two sisters, Taylor and Niki.
His older brother, Sam, wrestled in his senior season but was a football player. He went on to Wooster for two seasons before joining the Air Force, where he works as a mechanic.
“He comes from a great family,” said Throckmorton. “He has high goals, like reaching the state championship. And if things break right for him, he could win it.”
Compiled by staff writer Joe Tuscano.