The Pitt wrestling program recently landed a trio of outstanding local wrestlers recently. Hempfield High School’s Luke Kemerer, Reynolds High School’s Cole Matthews and Seneca Valley High School’s Louis Newell have verbally committed to the Pitt wrestling program.
Newell was the first to commit and he brings an impressive resume to Pitt. He has a career record of 115-19 with three state medals including 2nd place as a sophomore and junior.
Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with Newell about his recent commitment.
When were you first approached by Coach Gavin and staff? Elaborate about your recruiting process?
First, before they’re hired, I was taking to (Pitt assistants) Headlee, Peters and Kocher and them but after that went to junior day where I met Head Coach Keith Gavin and staff and just kind of stayed with them ever since.
What did you like about Coach Gavin and the new staff?
I like that they said they were going to try to dominate the WPIAL try to get the best kids in the WPIAL and I think that’s a really good plan I really liked it. It seems to be working so far. I’ll just hopped on because I really like their ideas.
Elaborate a bit about the recruiting process. What was said to you during your interactions with the new staff?
They said they needed a lot of lower weights and I said I could fill that role. They said I could go (to Pitt), get better and be NCAA champion. I definitely liked that. The coaches are super easy to talk to. I really like them.
The transition from high school to college is never easy. Is there anything specifically you’re working on to improve as a wrestler?
I’m really just wrestling. I just keep wrestling. Once I get to college, like the partners that are going to be at Pitt are going to be perfect for helping that transition be easier. They’re making it easier because the partners there are going to be great.
The WPIAL is well known as a hotbed for high school wrestling. Do you feel the local competition has taken you to a different level on the mat?
I feel like across the state (WPIAL wrestlers) are just more battle tested. That’s why we do so well in the state tournament. I just feel like we’re always way more ready than other parts of the state. The partners at Young Guns have been a huge help as well. Everyone there is really good and everyone there is tough.
What weight class are you targeting for your senior year?
This year I am going to wrestle 126 pounds.
How well do you know Luke Kemerer and Cole Mathews?
I know Luke Kemerer pretty well because he is on my Young Guns team. Cole Matthews, I know of him but I don’t really know him personally. Only one I personally know is Luke (Kermerer).
You, Kemerer and Matthews will be the foundation for the Pitt wrestling program. Do you feel like you need to assume a leadership role for the program? Will help recruit other wrestlers?
Yes. I feel like all the guys they’re bringing in, we’ll build the foundation for the program. The staff can build off of that. So I feel like it’s going to be a very, very strong upcoming class. I can’t wait to get to Pitt and get started.
Harry G. Psaros can be found on Twitter at @PittGuru