Kinetic PT Athlete of the Week: Ryan Vulakh (Pope John Paul II)

Photos by Bill Rudick (MediaNewsGroup)

Athlete: Ryan Vulakh

School: Pope John Paul II

Sport: Wrestling

The week that was: Vulakh, a senior at PJP, capped a perfect season by earning the gold medal and Outstanding Wrestler Award at the PIAA Class AA championships at Hershey’s Giant Center over the weekend.

In Saturday’s 152-pound championship final, Ryan recorded a technical fall (20-5, 5:10) over Freedom Area’s Trent Schulthess to culminate a 35-0 season that included first-place finishes in the prestigious Beast of the East, Powerade-Canon McMillan and Escape the Rock tournaments and a 10-0 tour de force through the postseason where all his wins were either pins or technical falls.

“This tournament, he just steamrolled everyone,” PJP head coach Tom Hontz said on papreplive.com. “It has to be the greatest season ever by a wrestler I coached.”

As the former head coach of the vaunted wrestling program at Upper Perkiomen, Hontz has seen his share of great seasons. But none that quite measured up to the 2018-19 campaign posted by Vulakh, who reached the title bout by tech-falling Sharon’s Sully Allen in 3:34 of Friday’s semifinal.

The gold was the third state-level career medal for Vulakh, who earned a third last year at 145 in Class AA as a junior at PJP after finishing eighth at 132 in Class AAA during his freshman season at North Penn. Ryan, who was forced to sit out his sophomore year after transferring to PJP, finished with a career record of 107-12.