High School Wrestling: A touch of California in Dapper Dan Classic

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Morgan McIntosh, a standout wrestler from California, had Cornell University at the top of his list before making his five recruiting visits.

That changed when he visited University Park, Pa., and talked to Penn State wrestling coach Cael Sanderson.

"I decided to take all five visits and make a decision before wrestling season began," said McIntosh, a senior from Calvary Chapel High School in Santa Ana, Calif. "I had Cornell at the top of my list, but I just wanted to make sure."

McIntosh, ranked No. 1 in the country at 189 pounds by Amateur Wrestling News, visited Oklahoma, Minnesota, Ohio State, Cornell and Penn State.

"I was very impressed with my visit to Penn State," McIntosh said. "They have some of the best facilities in the country. The wrestling room, the weight room and Rec Hall are all great. I also looked at how quickly the program has improved since Cael Sanderson took over as coach."

His talk with Sanderson sealed the deal.

"Coach Sanderson is considered the best wrestler NCAA history," McIntosh said. "And now he's one of the best coaches in the country."

McIntosh, a three-time California state champion, will conclude his high school career Sunday at the Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic at Pitt's Fitzgerald Fieldhouse. He has been chosen to wrestle for the United States squad at 189 pounds and will take on Pennsylvania's Ryan Hembury (133-25 career record), a PIAA Class AA champion from Muncy High School.

"I had never heard of the Wrestling Classic before [being selected]," McIntosh said. "It sounds like a great time. I'm really looking forward to it."

McIntosh finished the season with a 40-0 record and has a career mark of 175-5, including 128 consecutive wins. His only losses came as a 160-pound freshman.

"I've been told that I will probably redshirt next year," McIntosh said. "That's a good idea. It will allow me time to adjust to college life and the workout schedules."

McIntosh placed fifth in the California state tournament as a freshman. He moved up to 171 for the '09 and captured the first of three state titles.

He competed at 189 for the other two. McIntosh won titles at Flo Nationals and Ironman Tournament in '10, along with a Junior National freestyle title.

The United States All-Stars will face the Pennsylvania All-Stars in the feature match at 6 p.m. A team of WPIAL All-Stars will face the Michigan All-Stars in the preliminary match at 4.

The Classic is sponsored by the Post-Gazette Dapper Dan Charities and local volunteers. Proceeds from the Wrestling Classic support a youth wrestling program for inner-city children through the Dapper Dan Youth Sports Leagues at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania.

Tickets can be purchased at the door.


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