Head coach Keith Gavin received some pretty good news on Sunday afternoon.
The No. 6 overall wrestler in Pennsylvania’s Class of 2022, and No. 9 nationally at 195 pounds, Mac Stout, announced his intentions to attend Pitt.
Stout is now the third member of Pitt’s 2022 recruiting class, joining Connellsville’s Jared Keslar and Hempfield’s Briar Priest, all three among the best of the current crop in the WPIAL, with Stout hailing from Marc Allemang-coached Mt. Lebanon.
“I chose Pitt because it was impossible for me to pass up the opportunity to wrestle for a top program, while having my hometown five miles away. This built in support system is important for me to achieve my goals. It felt home,” stated Stout. He added, “my goal is to make a name for myself and become a National Champion.”
Mac is following a talented duo of brothers and his father to Division I wrestling. His dad Bryan was a four-time All-American at Clarion, wrestling at 197 and heavyweight. His oldest brother Kellan was a state champ for the Blue Devils before attending Penn State and Pitt in college, where he was an NCAA qualifier at 197. His other brother Luke was also a PIAA gold medalist for Lebo, and will likely be Princeton’s starting 197-pounder this year, which could make for an interesting matchup if Pitt and Princeton ever wrestle or meet in a tournament.
When asked who would win in such a scenario, Mac responded, “whoever is wrestling for Pitt.”
Through his first three high school seasons, Mac is 91-16 with 12 major decisions, 13 technical falls, and 39 falls. As a sophomore, he made the state finals at 170 pounds, upending returning champ Trey Kibe in the semifinals, with an exciting reversal in overtime. Unfortunately he did not get to compete at states his junior year, after an injury at Powerade caused him to miss the remainder of the season.
Stout will likely join his three relations by competing in the 197-pound weight class. He will slot in perfectly after the current occupant in Pitt’s lineup Nino Bonaccorsi graduates. Although he’s been dominant thus far in high school, Mac did note he needs to improve his mat wrestling before transitioning to college.
OFF THE MAT
It’s been a good summer so far for the Panthers. After a historic performance at NCAAs, with an 11th place team finish and two finalists (Jake Wentzel and Bonaccorsi), both Wentzel and 184-pound starter Gregg Harvey announced they will be taking advantage of their extra year of eligibility to come back next season, solidifying Pitt’s lineup at two crucial weight classes. Secondly, after receiving commitments from Keslar and Priest, Pitt got a late addition to its 2021 class with Bishop McCort’s Cooper Warshel, a two-time PIAA medalist, declaring his commitment.
In some off-the-mat news, Wentzel was announced as the ACC Scholar Athlete of the Year. Additionally, Micky Phillippi, Harvey, and Bonaccorsi joined him on the All-ACC Academic Team. Gavin was also named the ACC Co-Coach of the Year, sharing that honor with North Carolina State’s Pat Popolizio.
Another important development this off-season was Pittsburgh RTC resident athletes Luke Pletcher and Demetrius Thomas having good showings at some prestigious freestyle tournaments, including the Last Chance Qualifier for the Olympic trials, and the Senior Nationals (equivalent to the US Open). Pletcher placed eighth, and Thomas third at the Last Chance. Then Pletcher posted a fourth place finish at Senior Nationals; Thomas DNP. Notably, Pitt alum Shelton Mack won Senior Nationals at 61kg, which will earn him a high seed at the World Team Trials later this summer.
Lastly, Pitt got two transfers, including one at 157 pounds, a big hole in the lineup. Gage Curry (125) from American University and Elijah Cleary (157) from Ohio State will don the Pitt singlet next year. Going the other direction, Colby Whitehill transferred out of Pitt to Lock Haven, and Louis Newell will depart for Kent State.