Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic: Easton's Oliver, unbeaten at 130, gets early invitation
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Jordan Oliver was hoping to receive an invitation to wrestle in the Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic. He just wasn't expecting it until after the season.
In a rare move, the Classic Committee decided to invite the Easton senior two months ahead of schedule because of his resume.
"I watched the Classic on video several times and thought it would be a great way to end my scholastic career," said Oliver. "But I never expected to be chosen during the season. It even caught my assistant coach Jamaar Billman by surprise. He wrestled in the Classic [in 1997] but didn't get picked until after the state tournament."
Oliver, a three-time PIAA finalist and two-time champion, will wrestle for the Pennsylvania All-Star Team in the feature match against the United States in the 34th Annual Classic March 15 at Fitzgerald Field House. He enters this weekend's Northeast regional as the top seed at 130 pounds with a 32-0 record.
Oliver fell one win short of a PIAA Class AAA title as a 103-pound freshman, then posted a 48-0 record as a sophomore and was named the outstanding wrestler after claiming the 103-pound title.
Last year, he added a second PIAA gold medal while competing at 119. He had a 45-1 record, with his only loss coming to Nico Triggas, who is now a true freshman starting at Ohio State University.
Oliver, who has a 167-5 career record, plans to attend Oklahoma State University.
His opponent in the Classic is Tyler Graff, a three-time Colorado state champion from Loveland High School. Graff, a University of Wisconsin recruit, entered the season with a 127-1 record.
Two others on the United States team are Chris Spangler and Tyrell Fortune.
Spangler is a 171-pound Illinois state champion from Neuqua Valley who entered the season with a 111-12 record. Fortune is a 215-pound Oregon state champion from Lakeridge High School. Neither has made a college choice yet.
The United States All-Star Team will face Pennsylvania's All-Star Team at 7:30 p.m. A team of WPIAL All-Stars will face a Wisconsin All-Star Team in the preliminary match at 5:30 p.m.
UPMC Health Plan, in coordination with UPMC Center for Sports Medicine, presents this event, produced 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.
For more information about the Wrestling Classic or to order tickets, visit the Web site at www.wrestlingclassic.com. Send mail orders to: Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic, P.O. Box 198, Glenshaw, PA 15116-0198. Mail orders must be received no later than March 12.
First Published February 27, 2008 12:00 am