Pennsylvania's 2016 Top Redshirt Freshmen

In 2016 the NCAA will welcome a strong class of redshirt freshmen hailing from the Keystone State. Headlining that list are Jason Nolf, Dalton Macri, and Chance Marsteller. All three look to begin their college careers after spending the last year learning and adjusting to the grind of college wrestling. High school success and dominance does not always translate into college. Keep an eye on the following 10 wrestlers from Pennsylvania who are poised to have break-out seasons in 2016.


#1 Jason Nolfj.nolf

Penn State (Kittaning)

157 lbs.

As a true freshman 3x PIAA State Champion Jason Nolf turned heads at the Southern Scuffle when he advanced into the Championship finals a 157 lbs. Along the way Jason defeated future NCAA Runner-up Brian Realbuto (Cornell). In the finals Nolf fell to NCAA All-American James Green (Nebraska) is a (7-4) match. Overall Jason Nolf racked up a (15-1) record wrestling unattached for Penn State. The Nittany Lion has high hopes for his first season starting at 157 lbs. and should end with All-American honors come March 2016. Recently Nolf defeated Nick Brascetta of Virginia Tech who entered the match ranked #3 in the Nation by Flo Wrestling.


#2 Dalton Macrid.macri

Cornell (Canon-McMillan)

125 lbs.

Competing at 125 lbs. for the Finger Lakes WC as a true freshman Dalton pick up Championship titles at both the Lock Haven Mat-Town Open and Binghamton Open. The 2014 PIAA State Champion also placed Fourth at the Clarion Open and second at the Millersville Open where he competed up a weight at 133 lbs. With All-American Nashon Garrett moving up to 133 lbs for the Big Red this season Macri will fill in nicely for head coach Rob Koll at 125 lbs. The high scoring take down machine will challenge for a finish on the podium at the NCAA Championships after a solid true freshman performance last season. Macri notched an unattached record for FLWC of (20-4) including a win over NCAA All-American Darian Cruz (Lehigh/Bethlehem Catholic).


#3 Chance Marstellerc.marsteler

Oklahoma State (Kennard Dale)

157 lbs.

The undefeated 4x PIAA State Champion and National wrestler star Chance Marsteller will officially begin his collegiate career on the mat. The Oklahoma State Cowboy has a ton of pressure on his shoulders competing at 157 lbs. this season for head coach John Smith. During his true freshman season Marsteller amassed a record of (14-4) wrestling unattached competing at both 157 lbs. and 165 lbs. His most notable result came at the Southern Scuffle where he placed fourth at 165 lbs. There Chance took down two ranked wrestlers at the time defeating All-American Dylan Palacio (Cornell) in a tight (11-10) bout and pinned Mikey England of Missouri. As a redshirt freshman Chance will compete at 157 lbs. for the Cowboys despite his natural weight-class likely being 165 lbs. Occupying that weight is 2x NCAA Champion Alex Dieringer who has helped Chance adjust to College Wrestling. His senior year of high school Marsteller competed at 170 lbs. but if his weight management is under control expect him to live up to hype. Competing in his first ever dual meet for Oklahoma State at the Grapple on the Gridiron Chance showed guts when he defeated Iowa senior Edwin Cooper Jr. (14-11) in a match he nearly was disqualified from for stalling. Clearly Marsteller’s cut to 157 lbs. is causing some conditioning issues but he showed promise especially when fully charged.


#4 Solomon ChishkoScreen Shot 2015-11-19 at 6.46.02 PM

Virginia Tech (Canon-McMillan)

141 lbs.

2x PIAA State Champion Solomon Chishko is poised for a break-out redshirt freshman season after going (26-7) wrestling unattached as a true freshman. Chishko compete at both 141 lbs. and 149 lbs. last season winning the Edinboro Open and placing in four other Open Tournaments. The former Canon-McMillan hammer made headlines early in his Virginia Tech career when, in his first collegiate start, he defeated returning NCAA All-American and 4x PIAA State Champion Jimmy Gulibon (Derry Area/Penn State) by a narrow (3-1) decision. Gulibon entered the dual meet ranked #1 in the Nation by Flo Wrestling. Obviously the talent is there for Chishko and his talented teammates will assist in helping him progress over the season. If able to stay healthy Solomon will be in the hunt for not only a NCAA Tournament birth but also an All-American finish.


#5 Brock Zacherlb.zacherl

Clarion (Brookville Area)

141 lbs.

PIAA State Champion Brock Zacherl had a busy off-season following a (34-7) redshirt season record competing unattached for Clarion. The Brookville Area product won the Mat Town Open and Purple Raider Open last season competing at 141 lbs. During the off-season Brock accomplished the highest honor of his career when he won the Junior World Team Trials in Freestyle. Despite winning the World Team Trials Zacherl did not represent Team USA after he fell to Stanford wrestler Joey McKenna in a special wrestle-off. This season Zacherl is (9-1) so far winning the Clarion Open but falling to Northern Illinois freshman Steve Bleise by fall in (0:54). As the season progresses expect to see Zacherl in the National rankings.


#6 Zach ZavatskyScreen Shot 2015-11-19 at 6.46.11 PM

Virginia Tech (Greater Latrobe)

184 lbs.

The second Virginia Tech Hokie is redshirt freshman Zach Zavatsky (Greater Latrobe) who was a 2014 PIAA State Champion his senior season. Zavatsky compiled a (15-1) season record competing unattached at 184 lbs. winning three Open Tournaments. His only defeat on the season was to fellow PIAA State Champion Matt McCutcheon (Kiski Area/Penn State). It would not be the first time Zavatsky fell to McCutheon as the two met in Virginia Tech’s first season dual meet. As a redshirt freshman Zach has potential to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.


#7 Garrett Peppelmang.peppelman

Virginia (Central Dauphin)

165 lbs.

Former 2x PIAA State Champion, and the last of the Peppelman brothers, Garrett Peppelmn begins his varsity career at Virginia. Competing unattached last season Garrett posted a (21-5) season record placing in five Open Tournaments including a Championship title at the Wilkes Open. So far this season Peppelman has a (8-2) record finishing as the Clarion Open runner-up falling to fellow Keystone State wrestler Evan DeLong (Kane Area/Clarion) in the finals. Peppelman may not make an immediate impact on the NCAA but he will be a consistent starter for UVA his freshman season and the future looks bright for him.


#8 Joey Galassoj.galasso

Cornell (Father Judge)

149 lbs.

Former PIAA State Champion Joey Galasso (Father Judge/Cornell) has been through a lot since ending his senior season. As a senior he and Solomon Chishko met in a collision course at 145 lbs. as the two returning PIAA State Champions clashed in the State Finals. Although he fell is a tough bout the 3x PIAA State Medalist and 1x State Champion capped an incredible career. However his toughest battle came after the season when he and several other Father Judge student athletes were stabbed in Philadelphia. Joey suffered a collapsed lung as a result of four stab wounds. The ordeal likely would have sidelined anyone else for an extended period of time or possibly forever but not Joey Galasso. After spending the summer recovering, both physically and mentally, Joe hit the ground running when he arrived in Ithaca, New York. During his freshman year Galasso competed unattached for the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club compiling a (10-1) record. Seeing action at 157 lbs. Galasso won the Shorty Hitchcock Open and grabbed third Edinboro Open. In 2016 Joey is the projected starter for the Big Red at 149 lbs. and it will be interesting to follow his progression.


#9 Ryan Preischr.priesch

Lehigh (Milton Area)

165 lbs.

Lehigh’s redshirt freshman Ryan Preisch is planning on making he most out of his opportunity to compete for the Mountain Hawks. Preisch was a 2x PIAA State Third Place Medalist for Milton Area recording a (135-21) career record. Last season Ryan wrestled unattached at 165 lbs. and compiled a (16-5) season record. He won the Clarion Open and placed second at the East Stroudsburg Open and third at the Nittany Lion Open. Thus far Preisch is (2-1) on the season holding the starting spot at 165 lbs. for head coach Pat Santoro. His only defeat is to senior Austin Wilson (Nebraska) who is ranked #5 in the Nation at 165 lbs. by Flo. For his efforts Ryan earned a #12 ranking in the Nation. If he stays healthy expect Ryan to excel during his freshman season.


#10 Jake Gunningj.gunning

Buffalo (Liberty)

285 lbs.

Arguably the biggest surprise of Pennsylvania’s Class of 2014 is Andrew Gunning  from Liberty. The Buffalo redshirt freshman was a PIAA State Third Place Medalist his senior season but made strides his true freshman season competing unattached. In 2015 Jake recorded a (28-8) season record competing at 285 lbs. Jake was invited to the USA Wrestling World Cup Training Camp after finishing as the Runner-up at the UWW Junior World Team Trials. So far this season Jake is (2-1) at heavyweight with his lone defeat coming at the hands of former PIAA State Medalist Dawson Peck (Chambersburg Area/Maryland). falling (3-0). It was the third time in two years that Jake fell to Dawson Peck.



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