Roberts to wrestle in Dapper Dan Classic
Nick Roberts of North Star wrestles at the PIAA championships in Hershey. (AP photo)
After winning his third PIAA Class AA title Saturday in Hershey, North Star’s Nick Roberts has accepted an invitation to compete in the 38th Annual Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic on Sunday, March 25, at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Field House.
The Classic — known as “The Rose Bowl of Wrestling” — is considered the most prestigious high school all-star wrestling meet in the United States.
It pits the best prep seniors in the country against the top seniors from Pennsylvania in a dual-meet format.
The USA vs. Pennsylvania showdown will begin at 6 p.m. There is a preliminary match between WPIAL’s best senior wrestlers and an all-star team from Maryland that precedes the main event at 4 p.m.
While North Star coach Pat Berzonski confirmed Roberts’ roster spot on Sunday, the complete Pennsylvania all-star team has yet to be officially announced.
Roberts’ opponent at 120 pounds will be George DiCamillo, a two-time Ohio state champion from Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland. DiCamillo is also a three-time champ at the prestigious Iron Man Tournament and owns a career record of 152-7, including zero losses as a junior and senior.
Both wrestlers have accepted scholarship offers to NCAA Division I schools — Roberts at Ohio State in the Big Ten and DiCamillo at Virginia in the ACC.
Typically, the PIAA Class AAA champion gets selected to the Dapper Dan Classic over the Double-A winner if both wrestlers are seniors. However, Roberts got the nod this year over Brashear senior Godwin Nyama, Saturday’s AAA champion at 120 pounds.
“Nick absolutely has earned and deserves to right to a part of this marquee event,” Berzonski said. “He has shown that he’s capable of competing in the toughest venues, near and far, and I believe that he’ll experience similar success in Pittsburgh.
“He may be the most tenacious competitor I’ve ever come across. He thrives when challenges are presented. We don’t take DiCamillo lightly, but I’ve learned to be extremely confident in Nick. He’s a special athlete. We’re looking forward to it.”
Brothers David and Michael Warnick from Meyersdale are the only other Somerset County wrestlers to be selected to wrestle for Team Pennsylvania in the Dapper Dan Classic. And both were victorious.
David defeated Michael Peterson of Carrington, North Dakota, 1-0, at 105 pounds in 1988.
Michael beat Dan Smith of Coventry, Rhode Island, 9-8, at 125 pounds in 1989.
North Star’s Mark Miller was selected as a Western Pa. all-star and participated in the preliminary match in 1990. Miller won his bout, 3-2, over John Wentz of Palatine, Illinois.
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