Burrell's DesLauriers eager to get back on the mat
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Dakota DesLauriers appreciates that the PIAA permits a 2-pound growth allowance for wrestlers around the holidays. But the Burrell senior standout won't need one this year.
DesLauriers has yet to compete this season due to a bout with mononucleosis — an illness that caused him to lose 10 pounds.
“It kind of worked out that way, I guess, so it's not all that bad,” he said.
The 182-pounder missed the Bucs' section opener at Kittanning, as well as the Cumberland Valley Tournament and Franklin Regional Duals. He hasn't competed since October at the national Super 32 Tournament, where he placed seventh.
“I couldn't wait to get cleared,” DesLauriers said.
Assuming he does more than take the mat for a ceremonial arm-raising for a forfeit win, DesLauriers is expected to make his season debut Wednesday night at home against Summit Academy.
Burrell coach Bud Sines thinks DesLauriers will have about as much rust as a stainless-steel steak knife — with all the sharpness.
“He had his first practice Friday,” said Sines, who hopes to guide Burrell to its seventh straight WPIAL Class AA team championship. “You can't even tell he's been out.”
Even better news for DesLauriers: he won't miss the Powerade Tournament Dec. 28-29 at Canon-McMillan. The prestigious holiday event is the unofficial kick-start to showcasing some of the state's top individual wrestlers.
“It's great to know I can compete (at Powerade); it would be a major letdown to miss that,” DesLauriers said. “There's always room for improvement. I might be a little behind on conditioning, but all wrestlers will tell you it doesn't take long to get back into a groove.”
DesLauriers, a four-year starter who has won back-to-back WPIAL titles at 171 and 182, went 45-1 last season and took second in the PIAA.
He is 116-14 in his career, which has been slowed by injuries.
A knee injury limited him as a sophomore, although he rallied to go 47-6 and take third at states.
“I got hurt around the Valley match and was out six to eight weeks; that took a major chunk of my season,” DesLauriers said. “That made me miss Powerade.”
Last year, DesLauriers injured his elbow at the national freestyle tournament in Fargo, N.D., and that forced him to miss the Ironman Tournament.
“He was told he might need surgery, but he figured just go without it, and he came back to win Powerade,” Sines said. “There are almost no flaws in his game. When he wrestles the best kids in the country, it's like a coin flip.”
Without DesLauriers, and other starters Damon Greenwald and Derek Beattie, Burrell eked out a 35-33 win over upstart Kittanning, which began the season ranked No. 3 in Class AA by Trib Total Media. Burrell started No. 2.
“We tried to move everybody up, but (Kittanning) followed us,” Sines said. “With Dakota back, it allows us to do more.”
DesLauriers signed with Mercyhurst just before the season, but he promises not to ease up.
“My main goal is to win a state title,” he said. “And going undefeated all season.
“With most seniors, you feel you're at the top of the food chain. But there are always people working hard to beat you. You have to stay on top of your game.”
Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-224-2696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Highmark CEO keeps eyes ahead
- Norvelt homesteader skilled at repairs, golf
- CDC backlog means W.Pa, likely won’t get respiratory virus diagnoses quickly
- The truth about the VA: Rank dereliction of duty
- FDA revises food safety rules due out next year
- Martin’s homer rescues Pirates in 4-2 victory over Brewers
- Sears to close store at Century III Mall in West Mifflin
- Inside the glass: Johnston’s opening practice grueling
- Steelers notebook: Ravens DL fined for hit on Roethlisberger
- Saber pride booming in Ford City’s final year
- City’s plan for Strip flummoxes vendors