The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


March 12, 2013

H.S. wrestling: Milton's Solomon prepares for one more challenge at 39th Dapper Dan Classic


Solomon had hoped to get a shot a Berge, a two-time Minnesota state champion who is head to Iowa. Berge cost Solomon a chance at a second national title at Fargo with a 1-0, 0-1, 0-1 freestyle victory. Solomon went on to a third place finish.

Instead, he'll get Mattiace, a two-time national prep champ who is headed to Penn. Solomon and Mattiace seemed headed for a finals meeting at the Beast of the East, but Saucon Valley's Ray O'Donnell, who beat Lewisburg's Brandon Smith in the Class AA 220-pound final at Hershey last weekend, upset Mattiace in the semis. Solomon beat O'Donnell in the final and again at Bethlehem, shooing O'Donnell up a weight class.

Solomon is familiar with Mattiace having worked out in the Blair wrestling room several times. Mattiace ended his career at Blair with a 160-16 record. Solomon surpassed Bobby Crawford's all-time win mark at Milton and finished with a 142-14 record.

"To be on this stage is going to be awesome," Solomon said. "The Dapper Dan is such a prestigious event and the fact that it's where I will be going to college is just great."

Also ranked No. 1 in the country, Retherford might be facing his toughest competition since he won a world championship last summer. He'll face Anthony Ashnault, a four-time New Jersey state champion who ended his career with an unblemished 170-0 record.

Forced to sit out his junior year after his transfer to Benton, Retherford posted a 130-3 record.

Selinsgrove's Spencer Myers, now at Maryland, was the last area wrestler to participate in the Dapper Dan. Myers beat Trevor Rupp of Idaho, 3-1, in 2010.

A team of Virgina stars will face the group of WPIAL standouts at 4 p.m. with the USA-Pennsylvania match to follow.

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