Beavers Sign Five Wrestlers

Nov. 16, 2000

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State signed state wrestling champions from Oregon, Washington and California to letters of intent during the early signing period that ended Wednesday. All five wrestlers signed by the Beavers have earned at least one state title.

Chris Lopez (Azusa, Calif./Northview HS), Brett Phillips (Turner, Ore./Cascade HS), Daniel Pitsch (Spanaway, Wash./Spanaway HS), Mike Unger (Turner, Ore./Cascade HS) and Anthony Weber (Newberg, Ore./Newberg HS) will all wrestle their final high school seasons this winter and join the OSU program next fall.

'I don't think anybody in the country would be disappointed with this group,' OSU head coach Joe Wells said. 'It's a very good class in terms of quality, balance and projectibility. These are some great students and great athletes, they've all competed on the national level. I feel confident in this group. They will come in as proven competitors and they're going to get better.'

Lopez, who is likely to wrestle at 174 or 184 pounds at OSU, is a returning California state champion and is ranked third in the country at his weight entering this season. He is also a two-time Junior Nationals All-American.

'He's very explosive, he's a good technician, he's good on his feet, he's very smooth and he's very talented,' Wells said of Lopez. 'He's a hard worker. He doesn't give guys a lot of space. He's got pretty good finesse, and he knows where he is all the time.'

Phillips is the son of former Beaver wrestler Tom Phillips (1971-74), who was a two-time All-American at 118 pounds. Brett Phillips, who figures to wrestle at 125 for OSU, won the state title last season, placed second as a sophomore and is a three-time district champion.

'He's a good competitor, and he's got a great heritage,' Wells said of Phillips. 'We're very excited about him becoming a Beaver. He's a smart, driven competitor. He's small for the weight, and it will take time for him to grow into the weight class. But once he grows into it, he's going to be a factor.'

Pitsch will probably wrestle at 174 or 184 pounds at Oregon State. He won the Washington state title last year after placing fifth as a sophomore, and he was a two-time All-American in freestyle and Greco-Roman at last summer's Junior Nationals.

'He's very aggressive on the mat and he's a very good scholastic-style wrestler,' Wells said of Pitsch.'He'll try to tech fall or pin the guy every time. He takes guys from their feet to their back. He's long, he's got a lot of leverage and he's a good competitor.'

Unger has already won a pair of state titles entering his final high school season. He will wrestle at 133 or 141 pounds at OSU.

'He's got the fire,' Wells said of Unger. 'He's very competitive. He figures out a way to win a match, he never gives up or quits on himself. He's just a great competitor. He's in great shape and he's out there to break his opponent. He puts the heat on him all the time that he's out there.'

Weber placed second in the state last year and third as a sophomore, and he's won a state freestyle title. He'll wrestle at 165 or 174 pounds for OSU, where his older brother Isaac is the Beavers' starting 184-pounder.

'He's tough, he's very aggressive, and he's got a great style for college wrestling,' Wells said of Weber. 'He goes after it and he's tough on top. He's kind of quiet, but he's got a great sense of humor, and he's a great worker and an outstanding student ... he's grown a lot and he's had to adjust to some big growth spurts from year to year. Those little guys who grow up like that are great wrestlers.'

OSU opens its season this Saturday, with most of the Beavers' starters going to the Omaha Open while the rest of the squad competes in the Southern Oregon Open in Ashland. Oregon State's first dual meet will be at Gill Coliseum on Nov. 25, when the Beavers meet Stanford at 1 p.m.

OREGON STATE WRESTLING SIGNEES - FALL, 2000

Chris Lopez, 174/184 pounds, Azusa, Calif. (Northview HS)

Brett Phillips, 125 pounds, Turner, Ore. (Cascade HS)

Daniel Pitsch, 174/184 pounds, Spanaway, Wash. (Spanaway HS)

Mike Unger, 133/141 pounds, Turner, Ore. (Cascade HS)

Anthony Weber, 165/174 pounds, Newberg, Ore. (Newberg HS)

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