Caleb Kolb has spent his high school career in the shadow of his father John Kolb, a four-time Super Bowl champion with the Steelers.
But this year the younger Kolb stepped out of the shadow of his famous father. One week ago, this Grove City High School senior claimed the PIAA Class AA title at 171 pounds. Last night, Kolb capped his high school career with an impressive victory in the Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic at University of Pittsburgh's Fitzgerald Field House.
Kolb, a two-time PIAA place-winner who posted a 122-27 career record at Grove City, recorded an 8-3 win in the 171-pound bout against Alec Ortiz, a four-time Oregon state champion from Newberg. Ortiz, a Minnesota recruit, posted a 115-0 record during his career.
"I've always been known as the son of former Pittsburgh Steeler John Kolb," said Kolb, who has accepted a scholarship to Nebraska. "I've always been in his shadow. It's nice to finally make a name for myself."
Kolb's victory, which tied the match at 18-18, sparked a rally in which the Pennsylvania All-Stars team won five of the final six bouts to record a 30-21 victory against the U.S. team. It's the first victory for the Pennsylvania since 2000.
"I've always wanted to see the classic, but something was always going on that weekend," Kolb said. "It was great to finally have a chance to experience it."
Kolb was one of eight wrestlers who posted victories for Pennsylvania. Three of the WPIAL's six entries posted victories -- Shane Young, Anthony Zanetta and Jake Kemerer.
Young, a three-time PIAA Class AAA champion from Penn-Trafford going to West Virginia, recorded an 8-3 victory in the 119-pound bout against Tyler Cox, a four-time Wyoming state champion from Campbell County.
Zanetta, a two-time PIAA Class AA champion from Keystone Oaks, won the 112-pound bout by default when Robert Dyar, a four-time Alabama champion from Vestavia Hills, sustained an arm injury early in the second period.
Kemerer, a two-time PIAA Class AAA champion from Hempfield, capped the Pennsylvania team's victory with a 5-2 decision in the 160-pound bout against Dallas Bailey, a four-time Oklahoma champion from Catoosa.
Also posting victories for Pennsylvania were: Northwestern Lehigh's Evan Yenolevich, Cumberland Valley's Joey Napoli, Saucon Valley's Brandon Palik and Line Mountain's Joe Fausey.
Yenolevich, a three-time PIAA Class AA finalist and one-time champion, opened the match with a 7-6 win at 125 pounds against Ryan Mango, a three-time Missouri champion from Whitfield High School.
Napoli, a two-time PIAA Class AAA finalist and one-time champion, posted a 7-0 win in the 145-pound bout against Kendrick Sanders, a three-time Florida champion from South Dade High School.
Palik, a PIAA Class AA champion, pinned Orlando Scales, a two-time Ohio champion from Elder High School, in the 215-pound bout.