Student Athlete of the Week: Senior wrestler Paul Dunn


The (Lewistown) Sentinel

Mifflin County’s Noah Stewart, left, works to get around on Paul Dunn of Bethel Park in a 160-pound quarterfinal match Friday, March 6 in the PIAA Class AAA Wrestling Championships at Hershey.

Russell Finelsen, Staff Writer, Assistant Editor, Sports Editor

Paul Dunn has earned himself the honor of being one of the most decorated wrestlers in Bethel Park’s history.

Dunn started his high school career in the 2011-2012 school year. As soon as he started, though, he was already jumping into the record books.

In his freshman year, Dunn got off to a fast start. With his 27 wins in the 132-pound weight class, Dunn was eighth on BP’s all-time list of the most wins as a freshman.

Even though Dunn only got 26 wins his sophomore year in the 138-pound weight class, his rise to fame began to grow.  The first stepping stone: winning the 132-pound weight class section championship.  He also made it to the semifinals in WPIALs and finished in the top 6.

However, he was even better in his junior year. At the 152-pound weight class, Dunn finally eclipsed the 30-win mark with 38 wins. Among those wins was an 8th place finish at the prestigious PowerAde Tournament. At the individual WPIAL tournament, Dunn placed third, earning him a ticket to Hershey. In the PIAA tournament, he also placed third. Additionally, he earned another spot in the record books with his number of pins. He pinned 21 opponents, which is fourth all-time in school history.

By far, though, Dunn saved the best for his senior season. He got 42 wins, which is the third most in a single season of any wrestler in BP’s history. In addition,  he also improved his PowerAde Tournament finish. Here, he placed fifth in the 160-pound weight class. He also got his second section championship, the fifth wrestler in BP’s history to do so. Moreover, Dunn placed third in the PIAAs. Furthermore, he got the distinct honor of being chosen to wrestle in the Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic for the WPIAL team. This is extra special, as only three other wrestlers in BP’s history have been selected for this tournament.

However, Dunn’s biggest claim to fame is his win total. He amassed 133 wins, which places him third for the most wins ever as a BPHS wrestler and only two wins behind Adam Lazenga, who graduated in 2010. In addition, Dunn is one of 13 wrestlers to get at least 100 wins in their career.

Expect Dunn to excel even after he leaves Bethel Park. He is sure to do well in college as a member of the Lehigh University wrestling team.