Valley's Terrell Fields, right, goes against Burrell's Dakota DesLauriers in a match during the past wrestling season.
By Ken Wunderley Tri-State Sports & News Service
Terrell Fields is a veteran of national competition, while Hunter Fenk will make his debut.
Both area wrestlers have qualified for a trip to North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D., to wrestle in the USA Wrestling National Championships, which begin July 12.
Fields is a three-year starter at Valley High School who recently completed his junior year. He's qualified for his third consecutive trip to Fargo.
"He came within a win of placing his first year," Valley coach Steve Ansani said. "Last year, he became an All-American by placing sixth in the country [at 182 pounds] in Greco-Roman in the Cadet Division."
Fields also entered the freestyle tournament, but was slowed by a knee injury.
"He suffered the knee injury at the Cadet Duals a few weeks earlier," Ansani said. "It's a real grind to wrestle in both tournaments. It's tough to get through both without being a little beaten up."
Fields would like to wrestle both styles this year at Fargo, but decided not to wrestle in the Junior Duals tournament.
"Terrell would have been a double All-American last year if it wasn't for the injury," Ansani said. "His knee was so bad by the time the freestyle tournament started that he couldn't even shoot. This year, he's healthy."
Fields has compiled a 98-40 record since breaking into Valley's starting lineup as a freshman. He's a two-time WPIAL runner-up and two-time PIAA Class AA qualifier who placed sixth in the state at 182 pounds in March.
Fields wrestles for the Bones Wrestling Club, which is run by Ansani. He will be joined at Fargo by Fenk, a fellow club member from Plum High School.
Fenk broke into the Mustangs' starting lineup last season as a junior and posted a 15-14 record at 160 pounds.
"Hunter came within one win of qualifying for the WPIAL tournament after placing sixth in our section," Plum coach Mike Supak said. "He's been working very hard since the high school season ended."
Fenk got a chance to wrestle at a national tournament a month ago.
"Hunter wrestled for the Pennsylvania team at the NWCA Scholastic Duals, which were held at Wabash College in Indiana," Supak said. "They needed somebody to wrestle at 170 and I told them Hunter was available.
"Hunter didn't win many matches during the tournament, but kept it close in every match. His confidence has soared since that trip."
Fenk has qualified in both styles.
"Hunter considered entering in only one style, but he wants to get as much experience as possible," Supak said. "If he can stay relaxed and wrestle his match, Hunter is capable of placing at both tournaments."
Fenk and Fields may be joined at Fargo by fellow Bones Wrestling Club member Pat Dewitt, a three-year starter at Valley who recently completed his junior year.
"Pat fell short of qualifying because of a strong weight class," Ansani said. "We're hoping to get him added to the Pennsylvania team for Fargo. He's been to Fargo before, so that should help his chances of being picked. We'll just have to wait and see if they have room for him."