New Jersey duo heads U.S. Dapper Dan team

DAPPER DAN CLASSIC

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Two Powerade Christmas tournament champions from New Jersey's Blair Academy were chosen to wrestle for the United States team at the 39th Annual Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic, March 17 Pitt's Fitzgerald Field House.

Brooks Black, a three-time National Prep School champion, won consecutive Powerade tournament titles at 285 pounds. He will be joined by teammate Frank Mattiace, a 220-pounder who has won National Prep School and Powerade titles in the past year. Black accepted a scholarship to the University of Illinois. Mattiace is a University of Pennsylvania recruit.

The U.S. team, which was announced Wednesday, also features a two wrestlers from St. Edward High School in Cleveland. Dean Heil, a three-time Ohio state champion and Oklahoma State University recruit, was chosen to compete at 132 pounds. Domenic Abounader, a two-time Ohio champion and University of Michigan recruit, will wrestle at 182.

Abounader is one of two Michigan recruits. The other is Benjamin Whitford, a three-time Michigan state champion from St. Johns High School who will wrestle at 145. Black is one of two Illinois recruits. The other is Isaiah Martinez, a two-time California champion from LeMoore High School, who hits the mat at 160 pounds.

The U.S. team also features Anthony Ashnault, a Rutgers University recruit from South Plainfield High School who has won three New Jersey state titles. Ashnault entered the season with a 130-0 record.

Heil and Whitford are two of eight members of the U.S. squad who have won three state titles.

The Pennsylvania and WPIAL All-Star teams will be chosen after the PIAA tournament.

Looking ahead

• What: 39th Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic, Fitzgerald Field House, Pitt campus.

• When: March 17.

• Schedule: WPIAL All-Stars vs. Virginia All-Stars, 4 p.m.; Pennsylvania All-Stars vs. United States All-Stars, 6 p.m.

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