After winning two of the last three Dapper Dan Classics, Team USA put the kibosh on any delusions of a Team Pennsylvania victory, winning both early and often.
The Dapper Dan features a team of senior All-Stars gleaned nationally vs. a Pennsylvanian adversary. Held annually since 1975, the All-Time record coming into the 38th dual had the U.S. in the lead 19-17-1.
On a beautiful spring afternoon in the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Fieldhouse, USA reps built up a 21-0 lead with five decisions and a fall. It wasn’t until the seventh bout of the dual that PA was able to get on the scoreboard.
USA won both the close ones, and, the not so close ones. Of the six bouts that were tied in the third period, Team USA won five of them.
The U.S. also racked up some impressive bonus point victories as 182lber, Jordan Rogers (Mead, WA) and Jason Tsirtsis (Crown Point, IN) posted a fall and a major, respectively.
Overall, the national team blasted PA 10 bouts to 3 in a 34-9 win.
Here we’ll take you match-by-match to recap all the action from another terrific event featuring the nation’s top young wrestlers.
TOM #2 – Zane Richards, Carbondale, IL Illinois
HM – Mackenzie McGuire, Upper St. Clair, PA Kent State
Match Notes: Good action early as McGuire nearly scored on a duck before Richards countered on a low ankle attack but went out of bounds.
Richards was in on several shots off of elbow passes but got tied up into stalemates. A nice wrap arm by Richards started a scramble in which McGuire nearly had two plus back points at the first period buzzer, but no points were awarded.
In the second, Richards converted an underhook to a near-side single for the decisive points.
McGuire shot a high crotch that turned into another scramble situation where he nearly had two, ending up in a merkle position. But Zane fought it off.
Final Score: Richards, 3-1
Team Score: USA 3, PA 0
TOM #4 – Brian Realbuto, Sommers, NY Cornell
TOM #15 – Cody Copeland, Greenville, PA Lock Haven
Match Notes: Realbuto used a nice snatch single early, and after good work in a scramble converted for the takedown. Later in the first, Realbuto countered a Copeland shrug attempt to end the period 4-1.
Copeland tried to get to ride legs but Realbuto defended them well. He reversed and rode out the second to end the scoring.
Copeland chose down in the third and couldn’t get out.
Final Score: Realbuto, 6-1
Team Score: USA 6, PA 0
TOM #2 – Kyle Crutchmer, Tulsa Union, OK Oklahoma State
TOM #12 – Elliot Riddick, Bethlehem Catholic, PA Lehigh
Match Notes: Riddick put his length and speed on display will Crutchmer countered with his stocky power. A Riddick ankle pick off the opening whistle ensued in scoring opportunities for both. Riddick was close on the edge, but Crutchmer countered into a low shot before they went out of bounds. Elliot got in on a head inside to the left a couple times, but Crutchmer stuffed them.
The second period was quiet with few legitimate attacks. A Riddick E1 was about it.
Crutchmer tied it 1-1 in the third and the cat and mouse game continued, with Riddick trying to create space and Crutchmer maintaining position in the center. Riddick had a wrap-arm in the waning moments of regulation but couldn’t secure the far ankle.
It was Crutchmer with a good opportunity in overtime as he shot a beautiful straight single and had a standing leg. But Elliot was able to bounce his way to the edge and split.
In the rideouts, Crutchmer exploded off the whistle to get out early, then rode Riddick out for the win.
Final Score: Crutchmer, 2-1 RO
Team Score: USA 9, PA 0
TOM #2 – Doug Vollaro, Oviedo, FL Lehigh
TOM #12 – Averee Robinson, Susquehanna, PA Temple (FB)
Match Notes: Regulation offered little action as the two were tentative and merely exchanged escapes. In OT, it was Robinson who pushed the pace, looking to score off an underhook and driving the much bigger Vollaro out of bounds twice. He remained aggressive on the restart, but Vollaro locked up an over-under throw and tripped Robinson to his back for a 2 and 2.
Final Score: Vollaro, 5-1 OT
Team Score: USA 12, PA 0
TOM #3 – Jordan Rogers, Mead, WA Oklahoma State
TOM #6 – Wes Phipps, Grove City, PA Penn State Match Notes: Rogers came out aggressive and had Phipps off balance, scoring from front head first, and then another takedown after stuffing a Phipps HI-C attempt. With a power half, Rogers tacked on two nearfall for 6-1 lead at the end of one period.
After a Phipps escape, Rogers scored on a low ankle shot for his third takedown. Phipps scored a reversal when Rogers got a little high riding legs, and the second period ended 8-4.
Rogers chose neutral in the third, and when Phipps shot a single, stepped over him for the fall.
Final Score: Rogers fall, 4:44
Team Score: USA 18, PA 0
TOM #5 – Gage Harrah, Crystal Lake Central, IL Drexel
TOM #8 – Perry Hills, Pittsburgh CC, PA Maryland (FB)
Match Notes: The first score was earned by Harrah when Hills tried to come heavy on the head. Harrah ducked under to rear standing and got the two. He got a little out of position on top and Hills legged over for the reversal, ending the first knotted at 2.
There were no serious shot attempts in the second, and after Harrah turned a switch into an escape in the third, we were tied at 3 with a minute to go.
Hills was in deep on a head outside single and in a crackdown position when Harrah countered for the winning score late in the bout.
Final Score: Harrah, 5-3
Team Score: USA 21, PA 0
TOM #3 – Josh Marchok, Schaumburg, IL Stanford
TOM #5 – John Rizzo, Richland, PA Unsigned
Match Notes: Both guys got after it in the opening period with shot attempts. Rizzo used an elbow pass do get in on a single. Marchok looked to have it fought off a few times, but Rizzo stuck with it and had a standing leg. He dove in for the opposite ankle and secured the two right at the end of the period. It was the first takedown of the dual for PA.
An early second period escape gave him a 3-0 lead.
Marchok escaped to start the third, and tried to work an underhook, moving forward and forcing a stall call, but couldn’t get anything going off it. Another stall call with :17 made it 3-2 and that was it, giving PA their first win.
Final Score: Rizzo, 3-2
Team Score: USA 21, PA 3
TOM #2 – John Meeks, Des Moines, IA Iowa State
TOM #8 – Steve Spearman, Erie McDowell, PA Unsigned
Match Notes: Spearman had the first committed attack with a double on the edge but Meeks elevated a leg through it and rolled both out of bounds.
After a scoreless first, Meeks escaped to start the second. There were bouts of little action, but Meeks nearly capitalized when Spearman got off balance on a single attempt.
Meeks allowed the escape to start the third. Spearman took a couple double shots, but Meeks did a good job of staying under the arms, nearly throwing Spearman with an underhook on one occasion.
The neutral portion of overtime was uneventful and sent it to rideouts. Each got an escape with little resistance, and Meeks chose down for the ultimate tie-breaker.
Meeks got right to his feet off the whistle but Spearman had a nice mat return before sucking him back into a half and crab ride. Meeks reached down and grabbed a foot and was able to create hip separation and got the escape and the win.
Final Score: Meeks, 3-2 UTB
Team Score: USA 24, PA 3
TOM #1 – Jason Tsirtsis, Crown Point, IN Northwestern
TOM #20 – Zack Beitz, Juniata, PA Penn State
Match Notes: Tsirtsis had little trouble getting in on shots as he converted two straight singles to the right for takedowns and a 4-1 lead after 1.
An escape and a sick boot scoot by Tsirtsis made it 7-1, before he tacked on another straight single to end the second period, 9-1.
Two more takedowns in the third gave him the major.
Final Score: Tsirtsis, 13-4
Team Score: USA 28, PA 3
TOM #3 – Zach Brunson, Churchill, OR Illinois
TOM #5 – Brian Brill, Central Mountain, PA Lehigh
Match Notes: Brunson came out of the gates nearly scoring on a shrug, but Brill fought it off and shot a textbook Hi-C. Brunson tried to fight it off and Brill came to a bearhug and got the 2, before riding out the entire first period.
Brunson tried to ride legs to start the second, but Brill caught an ankle and reversed. After a Brunson escape, Brill split the middle for another score to lead 6-1 heading to the third.
Brunson scored from front head off a Brill shot to cut it to 7-3 with the ensuing escape, and scored another late takedown in the waning moments.
Final Score: Brill, 7-5
Team Score: USA 28, PA 6
TOM #1 – Jarred Brooks, Warsaw, IN Indiana Tech
TOM #8 – Billy Rappo, Council Rock South, PA Unsigned
Match Notes: Brooks opened up the scoring with a slick boot scoot, but Rappo earned a quick escape and immediately hit shrug. The first ended 3-all.
Escapes were traded and we were tied at 4 early in the third. Brooks scored on a superduck and tacked on a takedown on a last ditch shot by Rappo.
Final Score: 8-5
Team Score: USA 31, PA 6
TOM #1 – George DiCamillo, St. Ignatius Virginia
TOM #2 – Nicky Roberts, North Star, PA Ohio State
Match Notes: Halfway through the first, DiCam went underhook to far ankle for the first score of the bout. Roberts then scored from front head and the first ended three apiece.
DiCamillo earned a quick escape. With about a minute to go in the period, DiCam converted on a wrap-arm to the left to lead 6-3 heading to the third.
After a Roberts’ escape, DiCamillo pulled away with takedowns on a head-inside and from front head.
Final Score: 10-5
Team Score: USA 34, PA 6
TOM #7 – Cory Clark, Southeast Polk, IA Iowa
TOM #1 – Jimmy Gulibon, Derry, PA Penn State
Match Notes: Gulibon timed a nice knee pull to score first, about half a minute in. Gulibon tried to get a turn, but gave up a reversal near the end of the period, tying the bout at 2.
The pace slowed in the second, with just a Gulibon E1. When Clark got out in the third, we were tied at 3. After a Clark shot, Gulibon transitioned from a shrug to a leg attacked for two. He’d stay on top the rest of the way. He stepped over a 2-on-1 tilt for 3NF, and tacked on two more backs late.
Final Score: Gulibon, 10-3
Team Score: USA 34, PA 9
Final Box Score
132 Zane Richards Carbondale Illinois DEC Mackenzie McGuire Upper St. Clair 3-1
152 Brian Realbuto Sommers New York DEC Cody Copeland Greenville 6-1
170 Kyle Crutchmer Tulsa Union Oklahoma DEC Elliot Riddick Bethlehem Catholic 2-1 2OT
285 Doug Vollaro Pine Castle Christian Florida DEC Averee Robinson Susquehanna Township 5-1OT
182 Jordan Rogers Mead Washington FALL Wesley Phipps Grove City 4:44
195 Gage Harrah Crystal Lake Central Illinois DEC Perry Hills Central Catholic 5-3
220 John Rizzo Richland DEC Josh Marchok Schaumburg Illinois 3-2
138 John Meeks Roosevelt Iowa DEC Steve Spearman Erie McDowell 3-2 UTB
145 Jason Tsirtsis Crown Point Indiana MD Zach Beitz Juniata 13-4
160 Brian Brill Central Mountain DEC Zachary Brunson Churchill Oregon 7-5
113 Jarred Brooks Warsaw Indiana DEC Billy Rappo Council Rock South 8-5
120 George DiCamillo St. Ignatius Ohio DEC Nick Roberts North Star 10-5
126 Jimmy Gulibon Derry DEC Cory Clark Southeast Polk Iowa 10-3
– USA, Jordan Rogers
– PA, Jimmy Gulibon
WPIAL vs. Team Maryland
– Team Maryland smashed their way through the WPIAL team, 34-10.
Like TEAM USA, they won 10 of 13 bouts.
– Joining Mark, Rick, and Mike, Billy became the 4th Rappo to compete for the PA team at the Dapper Dan.
There were a number of future college teammates wrestling in the Dapper Dan Classic this year.
– Lehigh: Brian Brill, Elliot Riddick, and Doug Vollaro
– Oklahoma State: Kyle Crutchmer and Jordan Rogers
– Illinois: Zane Richards and Zach Brunson
– Penn State: Jimmy Gulibon, Zach Beitz, Wes Phipps
Historic Highs, Lows
The lopsided score was the:
– lowest team score by either team since PA scored just 6 in 2005
– biggest point differential (25) since PA lost 39-6, also in 2005
– most points scored (34) by a U.S. squad since, you got it, 2005 (39)
Of the 26 wrestlers in the USA and PA line-ups:
– 16 were Fargo All-Americans
– 14 were Fargo Finalists
– 11 are going to Fila JR’s
– 7 were Super32 placers
– 6 were Super32 finalists
It’s Never Too Early
Well, yes it is. It’s wayyy to early. There’s tons of wrestling to be done. This will certainly change, but I can’t resist. Here are the top ranked juniors currently, for the U.S. and PA. Essentially, if Dapper Dan XXXIX were to be wrestled today, this would potentially be the line-up:
113: Darian Cruz, BECA, PA, vs. Doug Miner, Spirit Lake, IA
120: Ryan Diehl, Trinity, PA, vs. Nathan Tomasello, CVCA, OH
126: Connor Schram, Canon-Mac, PA, vs. Joey Dance, Christiansburg, VA
132: Zain Retherford, Benton, PA, vs. Anthony Ashnault, South Plainfield, NJ
138: Austin Mathews, Reynolds, PA, vs. Kevin Norstrem, Brandon, FL
145: Mikey Racciato, Pen Argyl, PA, vs. Ben Whitford, St. Johns, MI
152: Garrett Hammond, Chambersburg, PA vs. Jake Short, Simley, MN
160: Brett Harner, Norristown, PA, vs. Bo Jordan, St. Paris, OH
170: Eric Morris, Wyoming Seminary, PA, vs. Zach Beard, Tuttle, OK
182: Cody Weircioch, Canon-Mac, PA, vs. Domenic Abounader, St. Edward, OH
195: Matt McCutcheon, Kiski Area, PA vs. Broc Berge, Kasson-Mantorville, MN
220: Ryan Solomon, Milton, PA, vs. J’Den Cox, Hickman, MO
HWT: Brooks Black, Dover, PA, vs. Adam Coon, Fowlerville, MI