Blair Academy coach Ross Gitomer (below), former Ironman placer (2003, 2004) and now in his second year as coach of the defending Ironman team champions, is planning to lead the Buccaneer’s to their 17th team title. The nation’s #1 ranked team has appeared in 26 of the 27 tournaments since 1994.

“It was special to wrestle at the Ironman and have success. I remember doing well and our team doing well. There were some very tight team races those years with Great Bridge and Brandon. At the same time, I always remember the tournament exposing holes in our wrestling–both as a team and as individuals. Given that it was at the beginning of the season, it gave us (athletes) technical goals for the remainder of the season,” said Gitomer

“As a coach, Ironman is great because it challenges you to be prepared early,” said Gitomer. “Being ready to score in all positions always is something we work on a lot, and to have success at Ironman, those things need to happen. Ironman is a very fun tournament and has lots of excitement every year. As coaches, we try to let the kids do their thing come tournament time, and we try to highlight opportunities for them to gain momentum throughout the tournament. I’m excited to see the kids compete and work in the tournament. This tournament in my mind is all about working hard, and that’s what makes the tournament special.”

GitomerProjected Lineup

106-Tyler Dekraker Fr./Benji Koch Fr.
113-Tyler Dekraker Fr./Ryan Meier Fr.
120-Leo Deluca Soph. 4th
126-Marc-Anthony McGowan Sr. 1st
132-Matt Lopes Jr. /Billy Dekraker So.
138-Marr Lopes Jr./Billy Dekraker So.
144-Logan Rozynski. Jr.
150-Will Henckel So.
157-Paul Ognissanti Jr. 5th
165-Lorenzo Norman Sr. 2nd
175-Peter Snyder Fr.
190-Liam Kilrain Sr. /Roman Martinez Sr.
215-Josh Anthony Jr.
285-Carter Neves Jr.

Along with two-time Ironman Champion Marc-Anthony McGown, the Bucs return three other placers: Sophomore Leo Deluca (4th), Junior Paul Ognissanti (5th) and Senior Lorenzo Norman (2nd). McGown will attempt to become a rare three-time Ironman Champion, a feat accomplished by only 14 wrestlers in Ironman history. The cancellation of the 2020 tournament may have prevented him from becoming the third four-time Champion.