Throughout the 2017-18 high school sports season, we will name a weekly Sentinel Athlete of the Week every Monday night highlighting the on-field performances of some of the area’s best high school competitors.
This week’s athlete is Northern wrestler Paul Feite. After a semifinal loss on Saturday’s final day of the PIAA Class 3A Individual Wrestling Championships, the 138-pounder turned the loss into a battle for third. Kiski Area’s Noah Levett defeated Feite in an emotional 4-2 UTB match, but the senior walked away with his first state medal.
In all, Feite wrestled 16 periods in three bouts on Saturday and in his final match he was recognized with a standing ovation from the Giant Center as he walked away from the mat.
Q: To turn around a disappointing semifinal loss on Saturday into a fourth-place medal, how did that one feel?
A: It was okay. My goal was to finish Top 3 in the state and to be that close and come up short truly sucks.
Q: You earned a standing ovation from almost the entire Giant Center after your last match. You left the mat pretty quickly with your head down, but did you notice what was happening?
A: I actually did not notice it at all. [Cedar Cliff’s] JJ wilson told me later after the match what happened. I’m grateful and thankful for all the fans I have had over the past years cheering for me and to get to a place like the Giant Center and just that environment to stand for me is really special looking back on it now, but in the moment all I could think about is what can I do now until Flo to improve my craft.
Q: As a senior this year, what do you take away from your final season as a wrestler at Northern?
A: Senior year went so fast, but it was truly great! I loved wrestling alongside all of my teammates that I’ve grown with over the years, and especially the past two years being able to wrestle with my brother. I loved learning from all the coaches we have had over the last four years off and on the mat. I’m really going to miss it.
Q: Are there moments from your high school career that you’ll remember forever?
A: I will never forget Jake Koser’s preliminary match this past weekend. I will always remember that and just training with all the guys in the room from freshman to senior year. Micah and I have grown a great bond over the four years of wrestling as partners and it has brought us really close together. I would not be where I am today without him. Also, an assistant coach we had, Alex Brown, really helped me grow into the wrestler and man I am today. He no longer is with the program, but we stay in contact.
Q: Any teammates that you’ll miss the most? Any that have stuck with you through your career?
A: Jake Koser and Mitch Wagner have been with me since day one and it’s nice to come up with a couple other guys through your career. They have been there for the ups and the downs and I’m truly grateful for them and will always miss wrestling alongside those two.
Q: What’s next for you? Are you looking at colleges and are you planning to wrestle?
A: Looking to wrestle in college. I just yet to figure out where.
Q: Do you have any hobbies outside of wrestling?
A: I like to travel — my dream would be to go out west for school. I love hunting and fishing when I’m not wrestling.
Q: Who inspires you the most in life?
A: I really look up to my uncle, Joe Kope. He was one of my first wrestling coaches and is always there for me when I ever needed him and teacher/family friend Marc Anderson is at every match he can make, screaming his head off probably losing his voice, but inspires me every day and always reminds me to be myself and always to put God first in my life.
Finally my Father, Paul Feite II, has done everything and anything to help me get where I am. Whatever my dreams were, he was there to support me and give me the best advice he could and he always did. I just want to thank them if I could, for everything you have done for me Dad. Love you.