CLARION – Area wrestlers, coaches and contributors were inducted into the District 9 Wrestling Hall of Fame Saturday night at Clarion University during the District 9 Individual Wrestling Championships.
The area inductees were Terry Dietrick and Curt Olson from Ridgway along with Francis Iorfido of Johnsonburg and Ben Keebler of St. Marys.
Terry Dietrick was inducted as a contributor. He graduated from Ridgway Area High School in 1972 and started his radio career at WKBI in 1976 and helped get wrestling matches on the air in 1986. He personally covered dual meets in Ridgway, Johnsonburg and St Marys as well as Districts, Regionals and State tournaments. Terry prepared for his broadcasts by researching the wrestler’s rankings and head to head competitions so he could provide his listeners with more than just the play by play. He added his own special flair with the post- competition interviews with the coaches and wrestlers. During his last six years of life, he battled cancer and served as the American Cancer Society chairman. He started the District 9 Senior All-Star match as a fundraiser and to also increase the awareness of prostate cancer.
Curt Olson graduated from Ridgway Area High School in 1979. With the wrestlers, he was 90-21 with 71 falls. He competed at the 185-pound weight class and heavyweight. Curt was a 3-time district champion from 1977-1979, a 2-time regional champion and a 2-time state finalist in 1978-1979. Curt was a 1979 USWF Greco Junior National Champion and freestyle runner-up, and a 1980 AAU Junior World Greco and Freestyle National Champion. He then represented the USA and placed fourth at the 1980 Greco Junior World Games. He was an 1981, 1982, 1983 Greco Senior World Championship USA Team Alternate. He attended Clarion University where he lettered in both football and wrestling. As a Golden Eagle wrestler he amassed a record of 77-20 and was a 3-time NCAA Division I national qualifier.
As a football player he was a starting offensive tackle on the 1980 PSAC State Championship team. As a contributor Curt has dedicated over 23 years as an assistant wrestling coach to the youth of the Ridgway area.
Francis Iorfido graduated in 2002 from Johnsonburg Area High School. He was 131-15 for the Rams. Competing at the 135, 140 and 145 weight classes, he was a 3-time district champion from 2000-2002, named Outstanding Wrestler in 2001, a 3-time regional champion, a fourth-place finisher at states in 2000 and a 2-time state finalist in 2001 and 2002, winning the state championship in 2001. Francis attended the University of Pittsburgh where he competed for the Panthers from 2003-2007 and amassed a record of 49-23. He served as team captain and was named to the 2004 Academic All-American Team. He was named to the 2004, 2005 and 2006 EWL All-Academic Team. During his collegiate years of competition Francis placed in the top three at many prestigious tournaments including the Wilkes Open, Beast of the East, Michigan State Open, and Mat Town Invitational. Francis currently resides in the Johnsonburg area.
Ben Keebler was a 1992 graduate of St. Marys Area High School. He was 101-20 with the Dutch and was a 2-time district champion in 1991 and 1992. He was a regional champion in 1992 and was named outstanding wrestler. He won the state title in 1991 and took fifth in 1992. In 1993 Ben attended The United States Military Academy. From 1994-97 he attended Lock Haven University where he compiled a record of 30-18. Ben currently resides in the Weedville area.
Other inductees include Bruce Morgan from Cameron County, Jeremy Reitz from Brookville, Scott Rendos from Brockway and Nate Sipes from Curwensville.