The level of talent within the Fitzgrald Fieldhouse in Pittsburgh, PA on Sunday night was as impressive as it gets. Fans in attendance certainly got their money worth as the Nation's top wrestlers clashed with the Keystone State's elite. When the dust settled it was Team USA who outlasted Team PA with a (25-16) win that was closer than the scoreboard suggested.
In the first bout at 126 lbs. #1 ranked wrestler in the Nation by Intermat Stevan Micic of Hanover Central, Indiana got the ball rolling with a (13-4) major decision over PIAA State Champion Zeke Moisey (Bethlehem Catholic). Micic proved to be superior on his feet racking up takedown after takedown. For his efforts Micic was awarded the Outstanding Wrestler Award for Team USA. Next up at 152 lbs. #1 ranked wrestler in the Nation by both Intermat and Flo Wrestling Bryce Brill of Mt. Carmel, Indiana took out 2014 PIAA State Champion TC Warner (Cumberland Valley) with a (5-1) decision. Brill was able to secure a takedown that proved to be the momentum he needed to come out on top. With Team USA up 7-0 on Team PA, 2x PIAA State Champion Ethan Lizak (Parkland) got Pennsylvania on the board with a (2-1) decision over 4x Delaware State Champion Brent Fleetwood of Smyrna. It was the first time Lizak was able to defeat Fleetwood in several attempts. The two met in the Escape the Rock finals twice in the last three seasons. In 2013 at 113 lbs. Fleetwood won (3-1) and in 2012 Fleetwood downed Lizak in the 106 lbs. finals (7-2). This time around Lizak held on for a (2-1) win riding out Fleetwood in the third period.
At 132 lbs. 4x PIAA State Medalist and 2014 PIAA State Champion Ian Brown (Hanover) held his own against the #3 ranked wrestler in the Nation by both Intermat and Flo Wrestling Josh Alber of Dakota, Illinois. Despite a valiant effort Brown fell (3-2) to Alber and Team USA extended their lead to 10-3. Next-up was the highly anticipated Texan Bo Nickel who made his PA debut at the Dapper Dan. Nickel, the #2 ranked wrestler in the Nation by both Intermat and Flo Wrestling, will be attending Penn State next season after picking up three Texas State Championships for Allen High School. 4x undefeated PIAA State Champion Chance Marsteller, the #1 ranked wrestler in the Nation at 170 lbs. by both Intermat and Flo Wrestling, could not compete in the Dapper Dan due to a back injury. Making the drop from 182 lbs. to 170 lbs. was undefeated PIAA State Champion Stephen Loiseau (Lancaster Catholic) who came out swinging. Loiseau scored the bout's opening takedown within the first 5 seconds but a strong third period by Nickel lifted the future Nittany Lion to a (14-9) win over Loiseau.
3x undefeated National Prep Champion Kyle Snyder (Good Council, MD) faced Coatsville Area's senior Mike Boykin. Snyder took his senior season of competition off and trained at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. CO for the last year. Despite going against a touted wrestler in Snyder, 2014 undefeated PIAA State Champion Mike Boykin went after it as the first period ended scoreless. Snyder then got warmed up and was able to connect on his signature high crotch to pull ahead (10-3) in an exciting bout despite the margin. Late replacement Joel Dixon (Edmond North, Oklahoma) filled in at 182 lbs. when #1 ranked Johnny Sebastian (Bergen Catholic, New Jersey) had to withdraw due to an injury. Dixon made the most of the opportunity and took undefeated PIAA State Champion Zach Zavastky (Greater Latrobe) into overtime. Zavatsky continued to be aggressive on his feet and secured the victory with a takedown in OT. Team USA now held a 16-6 lead over Team PA.
In one of the evenings most entertaining bouts the #1 ranked wrestler in the Nation by both Intermat and Flo Wrestling, Ryan Blees of Bismark, ND, took on 2x PIAA State Champion Garrett Peppelman (Central Dauphin). The two got into a tangled scramble that lasted most of the second period. Down (3-1) going into the third period Peppelman escaped to bring the within one-point as time ticked away. Peppelman showed his determination as he got a hold of Blees' leg, sucked it in, finished the takedown and secured a come from behind victory as time ran out. Team PA pulled to a 16-9 deficit with just five bouts remaining. Moving up to 195 lbs. Georgia 4x State Champion and 2013 POWERade Champion Chip Ness (Buford, Goergia) enjoyed his return trip to PA as he defeated Bermudian Springs PIAA State Champion Tristan Sponsellor (12-9). Ness showed off his quickness and flexibility, scoring on a slick ankle pick and funky reversals. Sponsellor was able to keep up with Ness, however, and remained in the match until the end.
2014 PIAA State Champion Dalton Macri (Canon-McMillan) pumped up the crowd with an impressive shut-out romping of Kentucky's Nathan Boston. Macri was on fire overwhelming Boston on his feet and dominating from the top position. Boston entered as the #1 ranked wrestler in the Nation by Flo Wrestling and #2 by Intermat. After it was all said and done Macri racked up a (9-0) major decision victory that earned him the Outstanding Wrestler Award for Team PA.
The consensus #1 vs. #2 in the Nation at 285 lbs. by both Intermat and Flo Wrestling took center stage as 4x PIAA State Champion Thomas Haines took on #1 Nick Nevills of Clovis, California. The short back story on this match is as follows: Thomas Haines originally gave a verbal commitment to Penn State; the verbal commitment was removed; Nick Nevills signs with the Nittany Lions (you can read more here if interested). Haines later signs with Ohio State where he will join Kyle Snyder. The heavyweight battle was rather un-heavyweight like as both wrestlers were quick and unafraid to push the action. The rankings held up as Nevills defeated Haines (5-3) in his first defeat since falling to Kyle Snyder in the 2012 POWERade Finals.
At 138 lbs. the #1 ranked wrestler in the Nation by both Intermat and Flo Wrestling Joey McKenna (Blair Academy) faced off with 2x PIAA State Champion Solomon Chishko (Canon-McMillan). The two were closely matched but McKenna scored the bout's only takedown to pull ahead (3-1). Chishko pushed the action throughout the third period but was unable to break through McKenna's defense. With only one match remaining in the dual Team USA was in full control (25-13). In the final meeting of the evening two of the Nation's top 145 lbs. wrestlers took to the mat as 3x PIAA State Champion Jason Nolf looked for revenge against 4x Oregon State Champion Tyler Berger. In the 2013 Flo Nationals finals at 132 lbs. Berger defeated Nolf (2-0). This time around it was all Jason Nolf who rolled to a (6-3) decision over Berger.
USA 25 Pennsylvania 16
|126 - OW Stevan Micic Indiana mdec Zeke Moisey Bethlehem Catholic 13-4
152 - Bryce Brill Illinois dec TC Warner Cumberland Valley 5-1
113 - Ethan Lizak Parkland dec Brent Fleetwood, Delaware 2-1
132 - Josh Alber Illinois dec Ian Brown Hanover 3-2
170 - Bo Nickal Texas dec Stephen Loiseau Lancaster Catholic 14-9
220 - Kyle Snyder Maryland dec Michael Boykin Coatsville 10-2
182 - Zack Zavatsky Latrobe dec Joel Dixon Oklahoma 3-1 sv
160 - Garrett Peppelman Central Dauphin dec Ryan Blees North Dakota 4-3
195 - Chip Ness Georgia dec Tristan Sponseller Bermudian Springs 12-9
120 - OW Dalton Macri Canon-McMillan mdec Nathan Boston Kentucky 9-0
285 - * Nick Nevills California dec Thomas Haines Solanco 5-3
138 - Joe McKenna New Jersey dec Solomon Chishko Canon-McMillan 3-1
145 - Jason Nolf Kittanning dec Tyler Berger Oregon 6-3
In the preliminary dual an impressive Oklahoma Team pounced the WPIAL All-Stars (37-10). Individual results are found below and more information on each wrestler can be found here.
Oklahoma 37 WPIAL 10
|113 - Brendan Price Canon-McMillan dec Braden Bennett Locust Grove 11-5
120 - Jacob Findley Collinsville dec Brendan Hasson Belle Vernon 4-2
126 - Cub Yeager Locust Grove dec Dom Forys North Allegheny 8-7
132 - OW Tyler Smith Franklin Regional mdec Justin Fletcher Bixby 12-2
138 - Will Steltzlen Collinsville dec Tyler Buckiso Peters Township 4-1
145 - Jonce Blaylock Berryhill dec Grant Fetchet South Fayette 2-1
152 - OW Dakota Head Tuttle pin Steven Edwards Burrell 2:56
160 - Jacobe Smith Muskogee dec Jonathon Avon North Hills 10-3
170 - Chandler Rogers Stillwater pin Kyle Coniker Pittsburgh Central Catholic 1:17
182 - Lance Dixon Edmond dec Terrell Fields Valley 5-4
195 - Derek White Edmond mdec Cole Macek Montour 16-6
220 - Andrew Dixon Edmond dec Jake Temple Avella 1-0 tb
285 - Shane Kuhn Kiski Area dec Trey Loveall Locust Grove 6-2