Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic: Jersey pair eager to display their skills
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After watching New Jersey's Blair Academy dominate the Powerade Christmas Tournament the past two years, it's no surprise to see the Buccaneers are represented on the United States All-Stars at the Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic.
Frank Mattiace and Brooks Black will anchor the United States All-Stars at 220 and 285 pounds. Both won titles at the National Prep School Championships, which took place last weekend at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, and the Buccaneers claimed their 33rd consecutive team title.
"Wrestling fans got a chance to see Mattiace and Black at the Powerade Tournament, and both were very impressive," said Frank Vulcano Jr., co-chairman of The Classic selection committee. "They are also ranked very high nationally."
Mattiace (32-1) placed third at the Powerade Tournament in 2011 at 195 pounds, then returned at the same weight in December and claimed the title with a 3-2 rideout of Hampton's Jake Hart in the title match. Mattiace, ranked No. 5 in the country at 195 pounds by Wrestling USA, will move up to the 220-pound weight class for The Classic.
"Frank has won two straight national titles since placing third as a sophomore," Blair Academy coach Charles Danhot said. "He's accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Pennsylvania."
Black (33-0), ranked No. 2 nationally, won back-to-back titles at 285 pounds at the Powerade Tournament. He also claimed his third consecutive National Prep School title last weekend.
"Brooks has won three straight National Prep titles after placing second as a freshman," Danhot said. "He will be wrestling at the University of Illinois next season."
Black said he appreciated his previous visits to Southwestern Pennsylvania.
"I really enjoyed wrestling at the Powerade Tournament," Black said. "And I'm looking forward to The Wrestling Classic. It's a good way to end my high school career."
Black was thrilled to hear that Mattiace would be joining him on the U.S. team.
"It's awesome that Frank was picked, too," Black said. "It's appropriate because we work out together all the time."
Black posted a 145-8 record during his career at Blair Academy. He also won three consecutive titles at the Ironman Tournament and Beast of the East Tournament.
Mattiace was a three-time Beast of the East champ, two-time Ironman Tournament champ and had a 129-16 career record.
"My titles at Ironman and Beast of the East are the highlights of my career," Black said. "They are the two strongest tournaments in the country and I've been fortunate to win both three times."
Black and Mattiace will have to wait until after the PIAA tournament is finished to find out whom they will face in the feature match.
The United States All-Stars will wrestle the Pennsylvania All-Stars in the feature match at 6 p.m. A team of WPIAL All-Stars will face the Virginia All-Stars in the preliminary match at 4 p.m.
The Classic is produced and 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. The reserved seat ticket price is $15 and general admission is $10.
Tickets can be purchased at Wright Automotive Group on Route 19 in Pine, Monroeville Chrysler Jeep, Canon-McMillan High School, or by calling the Dapper Dan Charities at 412-263-3850. For more information about the Wrestling Classic or to order tickets, visit: www.wrestlingclassic.com.
First Published March 1, 2013 12:00 am