A rare trio headlines WPIAL stars in Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic
March 15, 2014 11:29 PM
Ken Wunderley/Tri-State Sports & News Service
Franklin Regional's Tyler Smith, left, will wrestle for the Pennsylvania all-stars today in the Dapper Dan Classic.
By Ken Wunderley / Tri-State Sports & News Service
It's unusual to have a PIAA champion on the WPIAL All-Star Team at the Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic, because they are usually chosen for the Pennsylvania squad.
It's even more of a rarity to have two or three state champs on the WPIAL squad.
The 40th annual Classic is an exception to that unwritten rule, as the WPIAL team features three PIAA champions: Burrell's Steven Edwards, Avella's Jake Temple and Franklin Regional's Tyler Smith.
Edwards (142-37) won the PIAA Class AA title at 152 pounds last weekend at Hershey, but the Class AAA champion was chosen for the Pennsylvania squad. Cumberland Valley's T.C. Warner, a three-time finalist and one-time champ, had a better resume.
■ What: WPIAL vs. Oklahoma, 4 p.m.; Pennsylvania vs. USA, 6 p.m.
■ Where: Fitzgerald Field House, Pitt campus.
■ Tickets: Available at the door. $10 for general admission and $15 for reserved. Gates open at 3 p.m.
■ History: This is the 40th Classic. ... USA has defeated Pennsylvania three of the past four years. ... Twenty former wrestlers in the Dapper Dan have gone on to wrestle in the Olympics.
"I attended The Classic the last two years as a fan," said Edwards, a Pitt-Johnstown recruit. "It was a lot of fun. Wrestling in The Classic is a great opportunity for me. Burrell has somebody wrestle in The Classic almost every year. I'm thrilled to be added to that list."
Edwards is the 17th Burrell wrestler to be chosen for the WPIAL team. He will face Dakota Head (126-24), a two-time Oklahoma champion from Tuttle.
Temple (146-17) won a PIAA Class AA title at 220 pounds over the weekend. He will face Andrew Dixon (140-15), a two-time Oklahoma champ from Edmond North. Temple, a two-time WPIAL champ, was hoping to be picked for the Pennsylvania team, but is still pleased to be on the WPIAL squad.
"I wanted to face Kyle Snyder," said Temple, referring to an unbeaten wrestler from Maryland who is the 220-pounder for the United States All-Stars. "My dream came true at Hershey. Wrestling in The Classic is icing on the cake."
Smith (158-21) won a PIAA Class AAA title in 2013, but fell short this year, finishing third in the 132-pound weight class. Smith, a four-time WPIAL runner-up and Bucknell recruit, will face Bixby's Justin Fletcher (122-44).
The WPIAL All-Stars also feature a PIAA runner-up and two bronze medalists.
Central Catholic's Kyle Coniker (89-22) advanced to the PIAA Class AAA finals at 170 pounds, but had the challenging task of facing Kennard-Dale's Chance Marteller, who claimed his fourth state title. Coniker, a WPIAL champ, will face Stillwater's Chandler Rogers (178-6), a four-time Oklahoma champion.
The PIAA bronze medalists are North Hills' Jonathan Avon and Kiski Area's Shane Kuhn. Avon (123-31) placed second in the WPIAL and third in the PIAA at 170 pounds while Kuhn (146-20) placed first in the WPIAL and third in the PIAA at 285 pounds the past two years in Class AAA.
Cole Macek (137-26) is the first Montour wrestler to be picked for The Classic. Macek, a WPIAL Class AAA champion and PIAA sixth-place finisher, will face Derek White (127-10), a two-time Oklahoma champ from Edmond North, in the 195-pound bout.
The other six members of the WPIAL team are Canon-McMillan's Brendan Price, Belle Vernon's Brendan Hasson, North Allegheny's Dom Forys, Peters Township's Tyler Buckiso, South Fayette's Grant Fetchet and Valley's Terrell Fields.
Price (112-24) placed third in the WPIAL in 2013 and fourth this year. Hasson (121-43) was a WPIAL Class AAA runner-up at 120 pounds and seventh-place finisher at the PIAA championships. Forys (163-22) is a three-time PIAA Class AAA qualifier and two-time place-winner, who fell one win short of a fourth PIAA berth. Buckiso (133-27) is a two-time PIAA Class AAA qualifier who finished sixth in the state at 132 pounds, but has moved up to 138 for The Classic.
Fetchet (141-42) is a two-time PIAA Class AA qualifier who placed fourth in the state at 152. He has moved down to 145. Fetchet also was a standout on South Fayette's WPIAL and PIAA championship football teams. Fields (135-42), is a three-time WPIAL Class AA finalist and one-time champ at 182 pounds. WPIAL team members hav a combined career record of 1,717-375. The Oklahoma All-Stars have a combined record of 1,564-271.
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