Penn Hills notebook: 4-time WPIAL champion wrestler dies in car crash

Sunday, June 11, 2023 | 11:01 AM

The Penn Hills wrestling community lost one of its greatest champions due to a car accident June 3. John Dasta was a four-time WPIAL champion and a PIAA champion. He finished with a career record of 135-6-1.

Dasta won at least 30 matches in all four seasons with Penn Hills.

During the state tournament, Dasta finished fifth, third and fourth, respectively, before breaking through during his senior year. During his final season, Dasta ended up meeting North Allegheny’s Rich Catalano in the 138-pound final. Dasta won the match 7-1 to grab his only state crown.

Dasta wrestled in college at Clarion. He won the Eastern Wrestling League championship in 1991 and qualified for the NCAA Division I wrestling championships. He also qualified for the 1992 NCAA championships.

Spearman wins award

Chyno Spearman, who plays on the baseball team and is also involved with the Penn Hills boys fitness team, recently was awarded the Pittsburgh Change Maker Award at the Penn Hills School District junior class award presentation.

Superman was honored for his work with the Pittsburgh Hardball Academy, which has a Multiplying Good Pittsburgh Students in Action team that focuses on working with mental health awareness for student-athletes.

Hardy ready to break through

Penn Hills graduate Daequan Hardy is projected to start as a nickel defensive back for Penn State this fall. The redshirt senior for the Nittany Lions has had an interesting college career. Hardy didn’t sign until late during his senior season when Penn Hills made a run to the PIAA Class 5A championship.

Hardy defended two passes for Penn State and intercepted a pass last season. During the 2021 season, Hardy recorded six pass defenses and intercepted two passes.

Penn Hills will have two athletes on the Nittany Lions’ team this year, as wide receiver Dante Cephas transferred from Kent State to Penn State.


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