Dunn leads wrestling team with second individual section championship

Russell Finelsen, Staff Writer, Assistant Editor, Sports Editor

It has been a great year for the BPHS varsity wrestling team. After finishing third in their section, they were able to beat Thomas Jefferson to advance to the preliminary round of the WPIAL team playoffs. Here, they were able to beat Shaler in the first round before bowing down to Latrobe.

In addition, individual wrestler Paul Dunn has had an even bigger season, winning the Allegheny County Tournament in the 160 pound class and getting his 100th win this season. However, this season just got a little sweeter for him.

At the individual section tournament on February 21 at Ringgold High School, Dunn and fellow wrestler Nino Bonaccorsi placed first and won their respective section championships. Jeremy Huwe, Adam and Jason Montgomery, and Chris Pauley placed third in their respective weight classes, and Korey Patterson placed fourth in his class.

Dunn said, “I did well in the tournament because I stuck to my game plan in every match, which is to score in my strong positions and not give up any easy points.”

Dunn also said that his riding ability helped him win. “It was definitely a key factor.”

This is the second section championship for Dunn, which puts him in exquisite company. Dunn joins Mark Bredl, Ted Hoag, Dom Bonaccorsi, and Dylan Mogan as the only wrestlers to win two section championships. Adam Lazenga and Nick Bonaccorsi have three section championships.

Earlier this season, Dunn got his 100th win en route to place 5th at the PowerAde Tournament. He also placed first at the Allegheny County Tournament and helped the team place 6th.

Dunn wanted to make sure that he was not focused on his success at the individual section tournament just yet.  “It feels good to win the section but the real goals are winning a WPIAL and state title,” Dunn said.

All the wrestlers, listed above, which includes Dunn, will compete at the WPIAL individual championship later this week. It will be at Penn Hills High School from Thursday, Feb. 26 to Saturday, Feb. 28. Action starts at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, 6 p.m. on Friday, and 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Dunn said, “I will make sure I am mentally and physically prepared for WPIALs this week to help myself qualify for the state tourney.”

Hopefully, Dunn and the rest of the wrestlers do well at the championships and give themselves another place in the record books.