Scranton’s William Evanitsky wrestles Bald Eagle Area’s Gage McClenahan in a 145-pound fourth-round consolation match at the 2017 PIAA Class 3A wrestling championships in Hershey on March 11. (
Christopher Dolan / Staff Photographer)

Scranton wrestler Willy Evanitsky captured the 152-pound weight class title at the prestigious Escape the Rock tournament, defeating two PIAA state placewinners, and then followed that with a title at the New Oxford Open.

Here is more from Evanitsky’s interview:

Other sports you play: I play basketball as a hobby and I used to play baseball. Now, I’m wrestling all year round.

Three people you’d like to have dinner with: Jacob Burgette, Mark Leggin and David Taylor.

When did you start wrestling? I started in sixth grade.

Willie Evanitsky, with his championship belt from the Escape the Rock Tournament.
Christopher Dolan / Staff Photographer

Do you watch a lot of wrestling? I watch the top kids in our area, I watch their matches and take bits and pieces and turn it into my own style. If I’m sitting in my room I’ll be watching FloWrestling, or riding in the car on my way to a tournament, I’ll be watching wrestling. My whole life works around wrestling. Even if I’m not wrestling, I’ll be at my little brother’s tournament. Just watching the sport made me a lot better.

Football teams will script a number of plays entering a game, but does wrestling allow you to go out there and try to set up a specific move? It’s more like what they give me, I’ll take. I’m more of a counter wrestler. If someone takes a bad shot on me, I’m always capitalizing on their mistakes.

What’s the one food you miss during wrestling season? To be honest, I just eat. That’s one thing I love to do. I eat all the time. I don’t really cut weight. Right now, I just eat what I like.

The Escape the Rock Tournament has a top-notch field, and you beat a pair of state placewinners to earn that belt: I’m never really satisfied with my matches. I’d like to tech (fall) and pin everybody. I guess I did alright, but I would like to open up the scores more on those better kids. It’s not fun wrestling a kid who is not too great and tech falling him. You don’t really get joy out of that. But if you dominate someone at your level, I feel a lot better. I like to score as many points as I can.

You also won Saturday at the New Oxford Open. What do these wins tell you? It shows me that some of the good kids can’t hang with me. I want to wrestle the best kids. That’s why I want to stay at 152. (Nazareth’s) Sammy Sasso is one of the best kids in the country, and I want to see if I can compete with that.

What plans do you have after high school? I would like to go to a Division I school for business. I’m looking for the best school to set up my future.

Is wrestling, like, the family business? We all go to Mat Assassins and work out together. Sometimes I’ll wrestle my little brother. I think that’s how we got good. Sometimes after practice, I’d go wrestle my older brother, and I think I’m doing the same thing with my little brother.

Willie Evanitsky, Scranton wrestling AOW for Monday, Jan. 22, 2018.
Christopher Dolan / Staff Photographer

Scranton’s William Evanitsky wrestles Bald Eagle Area’s Gage McClenahan in a 145-pound fourth round consolation match at the PIAA 3A state wrestling championship at the Giant Center in Hershey on Saturday, March 11, 2017.
Christopher Dolan / Staff Photographer

You keep busy with your out-of-season schedule. What does that entail? I travel to Virginia Duals, Super 32, all the nationally ranked tournaments, and I’ll practice in Avoca at Mat Assassins.