All eyes are on Pittsburgh this week as the 2019 NCAA National Tournament takes over PPG Paints Arena. This is an area enriched with wrestling tradition and success on various levels. So what makes wrestling so good in Western Pennsylvania? Well, take a look at it from a historical perspective.

Since 1946 there have been 162 All-Americans in NCAA Division I Wrestling who come from Pennsylvania’s District 7, commonly referred to as the WPIAL (Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League). Keep in mind, Pennsylvania is split into 12 different Districts, and the WPIAL is just 1 of those 12. 

Of those 162 NCAA All-Americans from the WPIAL, 35 of them were National Champions.

Last year the WPIAL saw seven former wrestlers place in the top eight at the NCAA National Tournament – three of them Champions.

The last time seven wrestlers from the WPIAL were on the medal stand was in back-to-back seasons during 1998 and 1999. 

Think back to all the names on the list – Cary Kolat, Greg Jones, Kurt Angle, Ed Peery, Teague Moore, and Tony Gizoni. It goes on and on. Add in the fresh faces of Jason Nolf, Vincenzo Joseph, and Spencer Lee.

2019 is on pace to match those numbers – an even break the record.

So which programs in Western Pennsylvania have the largest number of All-Americans? For a WPIAL fan the answer may seem easy – Canon-McMillan. The Big Macs have seen 18 total All-Americans in wrestling since 1946. The North Allegheny Tigers are second with 15 total All-Americans, third on the list is Waynesburg with 12, and fourth are the Hillers of Trinity with 11. Shaler, thanks in large part to Ed Peery and Troy Letters have 9 All-Americans. The sixth school on the list is Franklin Regional who, in just the last seven years, have earned eight All-Americans. Four of which come from 2016 NCAA Champion Nico Megaludis.

What’s even more impressive is the fact that in 72 years, between 1946 and 2018, there were only twelve years where a WPIAL wrestler did not earn NCAA All-American honors. Put another way, 50 out of the 72 years, the WPIAL had at least one All-American.

Take a look at the list below! Send any corrections to jeff.upson@papowerwrestling.com

Year Name Weight Place College High School
1948 George Lewis 125.5 Champion Waynesburg Farrell
1949 Elias George 145 Fourth Place Oklahoma State Canonsburg
1950 Tony Gizoni 121 Champion Waynesburg Washington
1951 Tony Gizoni 123 Champion Waynesburg Washington
1952 Ed Maltoney HWT Third Place Waynesburg Burgettstown
1953 Charles Uram 147 Fourth Place Pittsburgh Carnegie
1954 Joe Solomon 167 Champion Pittsburgh Canonsburg
1954 Bill Kozy 130 Fourth Place Pittsburgh Carnegie
1955 Lewis Guidi 123 Runner-up West Virginia Jefferson
1955 Ed Peery 123 Champion Pittsburgh Shaler
1955 Ed DeWitt 157 Third Place Pittsburgh Washington
1956 Bill Hulings 115 Runner-up Pittsburgh Canonsburg
1956 Vic DeFelice 130 Third Place Pittsburgh Canonsburg
1956 Ron Schirf 191 Third Place Pittsburgh Latrobe
1956 Ed Peery 123 Champion Pittsburgh Shaler
1956 Ed DeWitt 167 Champion Pittsburgh Washington
1957 Bill Hulings 115 Runner-up Pittsburgh Canonsburg
1957 Vic DeFelice 130 Fourth Place Pittsburgh Canonsburg
1957 Ron Schirf 191 Champion Pittsburgh Latrobe
1957 Ed Peery 123 Champion Pittsburgh Shaler
1957 Tom Alberts 167 Champion Pittsburgh Waynesburg
1958 Nick Petronka 147 Fourth Place Indiana Washington
1959 Dick Wilson 115 Runner-up Toledo Trinity
1959 Tom Alberts 167 Runner-up Pittsburgh Waynesburg
1960 Bob Marshall 157 Third Place Purdue Burgettstown
1960 Paul Eckley 191 Third Place Waynesburg Munhall
1960 Dick Wilson 115 Runner-up Toledo Trinity
1961 Bob Marshall 157 Third Place Purdue Burgettstown
1961 Richard Martin 123 Third Place Pittsburgh Latrobe
1961 Dick Wilson 115 Runner-up Toledo Trinity
1962 Richard Martin 123 Fourth Place Pittsburgh Latrobe
1962 Darryl Kelvington 147 Fourth Place Pittsburgh Trinity
1963 Arthur “Bucky” Maughan 115 Champion Minn. State Moorhead Canon-McMillan
1963 Veryl Long 147 Third Place Iowa State Trinity
1964 Bob Kopnisky 157 Fifth Place Maryland Shaler
1964 Veryl Long 147 Fourth Place Iowa State Trinity
1965 Jay Windfelder 115 Fifth Place Penn State Mount Lebanon
1965 Rick Kelvington 123 Fifth Place Minn. State Moorhead Trinity
1965 Veryl Long 147 Champion Iowa State Trinity
1969 Ralph Cindrich HWT Fourth Place Pittsburgh Avella
1970 Bob Kuhn 158 Sixth Place Pittsburgh Baldwin
1970 Ron Junko 134 Sixth Place Toledo Trinity
1970 Emil Deliere 190 Sixth Place Princeton Canon-McMillan
1972 Emil Deliere 190 Runner-up Princeton Canon-McMillan
1974 George Bryant 118 Fifth Place Pittsburgh Washington
1975 Alan Housner 142 Sixth Place Purdue Mount Lebanon
1976 Neil Brendel 190 Fourth Place Yale McKeesport
1977 Tim Mousetis 142 Sixth Place Kentucky Washington
1978 Mike DeAugustino 118 Sixth Place Penn State North Allegheny
1979 Bill DePaoli 118 Fourth Place Cal State PA Chartiers-Houston
1984 Jeff Kelic 167 Fifth Place Pittsburgh Mount Lebanon
1985 Dave Crisanti 118 Eighth Place Princeton Churchill
1985 Ken Haselrig 150 Sixth Place Clarion Penn Hills
1986 Kyle Nellis 134 Eighth Place Pittsburgh Shaler
1987 Steve Peperak 177 Seventh Place Maryland Connellsville
1987 Ken Hackman 190 Eighth Place Cal State PA Derry
1987 Ken Haselrig 158 Runner-up Clarion Penn Hills
1989 Gary Horner 190 Sixth Place Clarion Chartiers Valley
1989 Doug Wyland 118 Runner-up North Carolina North Allegheny
1990 Kurt Angle HWT Champion Clarion Mount Lebanon
1990 Doug Wyland 118 Fourth Place North Carolina North Allegheny
1991 Sylvester Terkay HWT Third Place N.C. State Canon-McMillan
1991 Perry Miller HWT Eighth Place Pittsburgh Greensburg Salem
1991 Kurt Angle HWT Runner-up Clarion Mount Lebanon
1991 Matt White 177 Eighth Place Penn State North Allegheny
1991 Bob Truby 126 Fifth Place Penn State Trinity
1992 Sylvester Terkay HWT Runner-up N.C. State Canon-McMillan
1992 Kurt Angle HWT Champion Clarion Mount Lebanon
1992 Matt White 177 Eighth Place Penn State North Allegheny
1992 Bob Truby 134 Fourth Place Penn State Trinity
1993 Sylvester Terkay HWT Champion N.C. State Canon-McMillan
1993 Cary Kolat 134 Runner-up Penn State Jefferson-Morgan
1993 Ray Brinzer 177 Third Place Iowa North Allegheny
1993 Steve Cassidy 150 Seventh Place Lehigh Plum
1994 Cary Kolat 134 Third Place Penn State Jefferson-Morgan
1994 Rich Catalano 167 Fourth Place Pittsburgh North Allegheny
1995 John Withrow 158 Seventh Place Pittsburgh Elizabeth-Forward
1995 Jason Robison 190 Seventh Place Edinboro Hampton
1995 Ray Brinzer 177 Third Place Iowa North Allegheny
1995 Steve Cassidy 150 Sixth Place Lehigh Plum
1996 Cary Kolat 134 Champion Lock Haven Jefferson-Morgan
1997 John Withrow 167 Eighth Place Pittsburgh Elizabeth-Forward
1997 Jason Robison 190 Sixth Place Edinboro Hampton
1997 Cary Kolat 134 Champion Lock Haven Jefferson-Morgan
1997 Teague Moore 118 Fourth Place Oklahoma State North Allegheny
1997 Bill Closson 285 Eighth Place Lehigh Plum
1997 Jim Straight 177 Seventh Place Edinboro Waynesburg
1998 Mark Angle 134 Fourth Place Clarion Canon-McMillan
1998 John Withrow 177 Third Place Pittsburgh Elizabeth-Forward
1998 Vertus Jones 177 Runner-up West Virginia Greensburg Salem
1998 Jason Robison 190 Runner-up Edinboro Hampton
1998 Jeremy Hunter 118 Fifth Place Penn State McGuffey
1998 Teague Moore 118 Champion Oklahoma State North Allegheny
1998 Bill Closson 285 Fourth Place Lehigh Plum
1999 Jeremy Hunter 118 Runner-up Penn State McGuffey
1999 Teague Moore 118 Third Place Oklahoma State North Allegheny
1999 Mark Angle 141 Third Place Clarion Canon-McMillan
1999 Vertus Jones 184 Third Place West Virginia Greensburg Salem
1999 Jim Harshaw 165 Eighth Place Virginia Seneca Valley
1999 Leo Giel 174 Sixth Place Rider Thomas Jefferson
1999 Josh Koscheck 174 Fourth Place Edinboro Waynesburg
2000 Mark Angle 141 Fourth Place Clarion Canon-McMillan
2000 Vertus Jones 184 Runner-up West Virginia Greensburg Salem
2000 Jeremy Hunter 125 Champion Penn State McGuffey
2000 Mike Ziska 157 Eighth Place Pittsburgh Norwin
2000 Shaun Shapert 157 Seventh Place Edinboro Shaler
2000 Josh Koscheck 174 Runner-up Edinboro Waynesburg
2001 Josh Koscheck 174 Champion Edinboro Waynesburg
2002 Greg Jones 174 Champion West Virginia Greensburg-Salem
2002 Robbie Waller 165 Sixth Place Oklahoma Mount Pleasant
2002 Josh Koscheck 174 Third Place Edinboro Waynesburg
2003 Matt King 165 Fourth Place Edinboro Connellsville
2003 Robbie Waller 174 Champion Oklahoma Mount Pleasant
2003 Troy Letters 165 Runner-up Lehigh Shaler Area
2004 Matt King 165 Third Place Edinboro Connellsville
2004 Greg Jones 184 Champion West Virginia Greensburg-Salem
2004 Troy Letters 165 Champion Lehigh Shaler
2005 Greg Jones 184 Champion West Virginia Greensburg-Salem
2005 Matt Lebe 157 Seventh Place West Virginia Jeannette
2005 Jake Herbert 174 Third Place Northwestern North Allegheny
2005 Troy Letters 165 Third Place Lehigh Shaler
2005 Coleman Scott 125 Eighth Place Oklahoma State Waynesburg
2005 Drew Headlee 133 Eighth Place Pittsburgh Waynesburg
2006 Jake Herbert 174 Runner-up Northwestern North Allegheny
2006 Coleman Scott 125 Fifth Place Oklahoma State Waynesburg
2007 Jake Herbert 184 Champion Northwestern North Allegheny
2007 Coleman Scott 133 Runner-up Oklahoma State Waynesburg
2008 Mark McKnight 125 Fourth Place Penn State Chartiers Valley
2008 Coleman Scott 133 Champion Oklahoma State Waynesburg
2009 Steve Bell 133 Sixth Place Maryland Connellsville
2009 Jarrod King 165 Champion Edinboro Connellsville
2009 Jake Herbert 184 Champion Northwestern North Allegheny
2010 Steve Bell 133 Eighth Place Maryland Connellsville
2010 Jarrod King 165 Third Place Edinboro Connellsville
2012 Matt Wilps 197 Fourth Place Pittsburgh Chartiers Valley
2012 Nico Megaludis 125 Runner-up Penn State Franklin Regional
2012 James Fleming 157 Fifth Place Clarion West Mifflin
2013 Matt Wilps 197 Third Place Pittsburgh Chartiers Valley
2013 Nico Megaludis 125 Runner-up Penn State Franklin Regional
2013 James Fleming 157 Eighth Place Clarion West Mifflin
2014 Lorenzo Thomas 184 Sixth Place Pennsylvania Central Catholic
2014 Tyler Wilps 174 Seventh Place Pittsburgh Chartiers Valley
2014 Nico Megaludis 125 Third Place Penn State Franklin Regional
2015 Tyler Wilps 174 Runner-up Pittsburgh Chartiers Valley
2015 Jimmy Gulibon 133 Fifth Place Penn State Derry
2016 Connor Schram 125 Eighth Place Stanford Canon-McMillan
2016 Solomon Chishko 141 Sixth Place Virginia Tech Canon-McMillan
2016 Nico Megaludis 125 Champion Penn State Franklin Regional
2016 Mike DePalma 149 Fifth Place Kent State Jeannette
2016 Jason Nolf 157 Runner-up Penn State Kittanning
2017 Solomon Chishko 149 Sixth Place Virginia Tech Canon-McMillan
2017 Vincenzo Joseph 165 Champion Penn State Central Catholic
2017 Michael Kemerer 157 Third Place Iowa Franklin Regional
2017 Jason Nolf 157 Champion Penn State Kittanning
2018 Vincenzo Joseph 165 Champion Penn State Central Catholic
2018 Spencer Lee 125 Champion Iowa Franklin Regional
2018 Michael Kemerer 157 Fourth Place Iowa Franklin Regional
2018 Josh Shields 157 Seventh Place Arizona State Franklin Regional
2018 Jason Nolf 157 Champion Penn State Kittanning
2018 Luke Pletcher 133 Fourth Place Ohio State Latrobe
2018 Zach Zavatsky 184 Sixth Place Virginia Tech Latrobe