Clark Gulycz makes Central Catholic history

Central Catholic’s Clark Julich won the PIAA Class 2A boys title, becoming the first boy in program history to win state gold. (Rob Lombardo/Special to The Morning Call)

SHIPPENSBURG — Clark Julich came to Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove course on Saturday with the intention of hitting a 60-foot putt on a PIAA Class 2A shot.

The Catholic Central senior earned it, but he made good on his year-long promise to head coach Dave Ackerman and pitching coach Angelo Lucci.

Julich cleared 58 feet, 3.75 inches to win the first boys state title in Central Catholic history. The St. Francis (Pa.) commit took the lead on his first throw and never trailed.

“I was thinking about walking [to the medal stand] “I kind of rewrote the history of the school,” he said. “I’m the first boys state champion. Seeing Coach Ackerman and Coach Lucci cry, I owe them the world. This is for them.”

Frances Kunz (2004 Class 2A girls 1,600 meters) was Central Catholic’s only previous state champion.

After finishing second at last year’s state meet, Julich told Ackerman and Lucchi that he would come back to win the gold medal.

He took charge from the start with a 55-9 shot that would have won the meet. He later threw 56-2.25 and 56-9.25 in his second series before closing with his best throw to cap his stellar career.

Julich’s familiarity with the Shippensburg University circuit aided his consistent performance throughout Saturday’s competition.

“Just knowing what the hole looks like, I’ve seen a lot of kids get dirty this year,” he said. The experience definitely helped me.”

Julich spent the 2024 regular season adding to his school’s record, which was previously held by Lucci. She led 59-6. Although he didn’t go that distance, the Vikings won gold medals in the EPC, District 11, and PIAA.

There was pressure that comes with being the No. 1 seed every week, but he said he handled it better this year than he did in 2023.

“Last year, I remember my heart jumping out of my chest the whole week leading up to USA,” Julich said. “This year, I’ve been kind of calmer, taking it one day at a time.

“then [Friday night]I was like a kid at Christmas. I could not sleep. I was tossing and turning. I woke up before I set my alarm. But I got here, got into the circle, and all your nerves were gone. All you have to do is focus on giving it your all first.

Palmerton’s Logan Anthony (45-2.75) finished 17th in the event.

Morning Call reporter Tom Housenick can be reached at 610-820-6651 or ousenick@mcall.com

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