There’s an old saying that things occur in threes. This week, three of the five wrestlers from the Philadelphia area who will be competing in the Pennsylvania State Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, started their wrestling careers in Port Richmond’s Rizzo PAL Center.
Joe Galasso, who attends Father Judge High School, a 2013 State Champion – the first ever from Philadelphia, will be at the event along with Idris White from Father Judge and Greg Konieczny from La Salle College High School. This will be White’s and Konieczny’s first trip to the State Championships. The three-day tournament starts on Thursday and ends on Saturday, March 8th.
PAL Wrestling Coach, Ed Schneider, who is a National PAL Hall of Famer, has coached all three of these talented individuals. According to Schneider, the three powerhouses from PAL were not immediately successful in their wrestling careers, but it was years of practice, dedication and commitment to the wrestling lifestyle that now allow them to achieve at such a high level.
Coach Schneider said Galasso, who lives in Port Richmond, has been wrestling at PAL since he was 9 years old and is now attempting to get his third medal from the State. “When he was about 12,” said Schneider, “he really advanced to the national level in youth sports. His Dad and Mom began taking him to tournaments all over the place.” Schneider commented that Galasso, now 18, still visits PAL to train and to help with the younger wrestlers .
White, a 17 year old schoolmate of Galasso’s who grew up in Philadelphia’s Frankford neighborhood kicked off his wrestling career at PAL in 2006. “Idris really developed as a 7th and 8th grader. He and his brother Anthony are both great wrestlers,” Schneider shared.
Knoieczny, who is a Junior at La Salle High School, wrestled at PAL for many years. “Greg has been wrestling at PAL since he was five years old. His brothers are currently wrestling at PAL,” added Schneider.
Rizzo PAL Director P/O Ernie Rehr, Coach Schneider and fellow coaches Jim Mangan, Brandon Black, Chris Chambers and Lender Vega are all extremely proud of these three accomplished wrestlers. “In the years they were at PAL, each and every one of them was dedicated, put the time into the sport and eventually learned to do all the little things correctly, which now allows them to achieve at high levels,” said Schneider.
PAL congratulates Galasso, White and Konieczny on their achievements and wishes them luck in the upcoming Championships.
To find out more about the PAL Wrestling Program, visit the PAL Wrestling Club Facebook Page.