The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

November 13, 2012

Penn State wrestling seeking three-peat

STATE COLLEGE — Penn State wrestling coach Cael Sanderson doesn’t like the word “dynasty,” even if the Nittany Lions are going for a third straight national championship.

The fourth-year coach isn’t much for looking back.

“We’ll take it one year at a time. We’re very blessed with the team that we have this year, and we just want to get the most of this team and these guys, help them get the most out of their careers,” he said.

Penn State opens the season Nov. 16 when Lehigh visits Rec Hall.

“There’s a lot of competition. I think it’s probably more competitive this year than it was last year,” said Sanderson, who signed a five-year extension in the offseason.

This year’s team includes five returning All-Americans – two defending champions, two NCAA runners-up from a year ago and a third-place finisher at the NCAA tournament last March.

“We have a strong team, obviously, but there are a lot of programs that have strong teams. A lot of things happen in the offseason and every team is a little bit different. We’ll see where we are,” Sanderson said.

The headliner of a talented group is 165-pounder David Taylor. The junior won an NCAA title last season, a year after losing in the NCAA finals as a freshman. He won the Hodge Trophy for 2011-12, emblematic of college wrestling’s most outstanding wrestler.

Fellow defending champion Ed Ruth might be every bit as talented, if not more, than Taylor. Ruth moved up to 184 pounds this season after winning at 174 last year.

Ruth was more willing than his coach to entertain the notion of a Happy Valley dynasty.

“A dynasty? Man, that’s a powerful word. A dynasty? Eh, I kind of feel like we’re really building something. We’re still at the foundation of it,” he said.

“I don’t want to say that this dynasty ends with just the guys who are here right now. I feel like even the guys we have still coming in, I feel like it’s just going to continue on with these guys. For as long as we can, I just want to keep it.”

With each of the talented core group of five wrestlers ranked either first or second at his weight, and the team ranked first in at least one poll, there’s a good chance of keeping hold of the championship trophy.

Senior 197-pounder Quentin Wright is a three-time All-American. He was runner-up at 184 pounds a year ago and won the title the year before.

Sophomore 125-pounder Nico Megaludis made a storybook run to the NCAA finals as a freshman before losing a tight 4-1 decision.

And sophomore 157-pounder Dylan Alton placed a strong third last year.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Pirates cut down by Reds’ Cueto

    April 23, 2014

  • Penguins 0422 Blown leads are troubling trend in series

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sunnehanna makes changes to tourney week

    April 22, 2014

  • Penguins 0421 Penguins finish hot to grab 2-1 series lead

    Brandon Sutter, Lee Stempniak and Jussi Jokinen scored in a span of 2:13 of the third period to revive the Penguins from yet another two-goal deficit in a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0421 Pirates walk off against Reds to halt home skid

    Ike Davis became the first player to hit grand slams for different teams in the same April, and Neil Walker had a winning run single with two outs in the ninth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates twice overcame deficits to beat the Reds 6-5 Monday night.
    Pittsburgh trailed 2-0 before Davis’ fourth-inning homer off Mike Leake.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sitting Bulls bring home national sled hockey title

    The Johnstown Sitting Bulls disabled sled hockey team recently won a national championship.
    The team, comprised of disabled athletes from Cambria, Somerset, Indiana, Bedford and Blair counties, finished first in the Youth B Division at the USA Hockey National Disabled Hockey Festival held April 11-13 in Marlborough, Mass.

    April 21, 2014

  • Local Sports Briefs

    April 21, 2014

  • APTOPIX Boston Marathon.jpg Marathon men’s winner has names of victims on bib

    The winner of the Boston Marathon men’s race had the names of last year’s victims written in marker on the corners of his race bib.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates Brawl 0420 Brewers top Pirates in game highlighted by dustup

    Ryan Braun homered in the ninth inning to tie it, then Khris Davis hit a home run in the 14th that put Milwaukee ahead for good.
    Yet those were hardly the big blows that attracted all the attention Sunday in the Brewers’ 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Football team ends boycott of embattled coach

    Minnesota State University-Mankato’s football team has ended its boycott of reinstated head coach Todd Hoffner, who successfully fought child pornography charges and other misconduct accusations that removed him from the job for 20 months.
    Hoffner said he assured the players, who refused to take the practice field Wednesday, that interim coach Aaron Keen, who led the team in Hoffner’s absence, will continue in a major role with the team.

    April 20, 2014