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Central Mountain’s Perry commits to wrestle at Penn State

MILL HALL — Much of central Pennsylvania was glued to their televisions watching as Penn State claimed their second straight NCAA national championship, powered behind five national champions last weekend. Renovo’s own Dalton Perry was just days removed from winning a state championship as the Central Mountain freshman — along with his friend Luke Simcox and some family members — was in Detroit, taking in the pageantry and excitement of what Penn State wrestling was accomplishing.

Perry’s own success along with the excitement of seeing the Nittany Lion grapplers prove that they were the best in the land solidified the young man’s intentions for his future. Perry committed to Penn State to wrestle and, if all goes as planned, will be on campus in 2026.

It’s not common for a ninth grader to commit to collegiate athletics and worth noting that he officially can’t be recruited until June, 2023. By Perry committing he is basically letting all other colleges know there is no sense in requesting official visits or to spend time recruiting. His mind is made up on being a Nittany Lion.

Perry explained he was 6 years old watching David Taylor compete for Penn State when he knew what he wanted to do. Taylor has been a coach of Perry’s in recent years four days a week when Perry trains at M2, a training regime in Pleasant Gap, in addition to his Central Mountain training.

“Under David I’ve learned the Penn State style of wrestling and values, it’s what I want do, it’s what I’ve wanted since I was six so it makes no sense to consider other programs” Perry said.

Perry is the son of DJ and Carrie of Shintown as they admit much of this is unchartered waters for all of them, but their gifted son is leading the way.

“It’s all he’s ever talked about, Penn State wrestling, wrestling under David Taylor is a dream come true and coming off of a state championship and committing to Penn State is all just part of making his dream a reality” explained DJ. “After his state championship, it was just the perfect time to do it”.

“The characteristics of Penn State wrestling have been passed down from David, it’s only made his commitment for wrestling there that much stronger” DJ continued. “We like everything about it and its closer for us so we love it, but this was absolutely all Dalton’s decision for sure”.

When asked if DJ or Carrie have ever seen anyone this dedicated to anything, DJ laughed.

“No way, absolutely not. His commitment is insane,” DJ said, admitting that there have been times that they have asked Dalton to skip a practice to go and do something different and he always politely declines.

Dalton becomes animated talking about the wrestling atmosphere at Penn State and says there is nothing like it, having been there countless times to root on the Nittany Lions. By comparison, he has only seen the football team play once.

If you had talked to him when he was just 6 years old and he told you that he wanted to be a Penn State wrestler, it’s fair to say it would have been considered a long shot. Suddenly, now that Dalton is a high school freshman and state champion, when he says that his dream is to now become a national champion while in a Penn State singlet.

And this dream doesn’t seem so farfetched.

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