Byron Daubert – Forest Hills

Forest Hills senior Byron Daubert (center) is flanked by Jessica Daubert (left) and Russell Daubert as he makes his decision to continue his wrestling career at Pitt-Johnstown during a ceremony on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at Forest Hills High School.

SIDMAN – Forest Hills High School standout wrestler Byron Daubert found a solid fit to continue his academic and athletic careers.

The Rangers three-time state qualifier won’t have to travel very far, either.

Daubert signed a National Letter of Intent to wrestle at nearby Pitt-Johnstown under hall of fame coach Pat Pecora. Daubert will major in engineering at a school with a national reputation in that field.

“I’ve been going to their matches for a couple years now and I’ve always seen myself wrestling there,” Daubert said on Wednesday at the Forest Hills library. 

“Through school I’ve known they have a really good engineering program. I’m really interested in that (major).

“So, putting two and two together, wrestling and engineering, I thought it would be perfect for me.”

Daubert wrestled at 126 pounds as a senior at Forest Hills. He placed third in District 6 and fifth in regional competition, earning his third trip to the PIAA Championship in Hershey.

In District 6, Daubert placed fourth as a freshman, third as a sophomore, and won gold as a junior, when he also was named outstanding wrestler in the tournament.

He finished sixth in the region as a freshman, fourth as a junior and fifth this year.

“I’ve been coaching Byron the last four years because he moved up as a freshman,” Forest Hills coach Jake Strayer said. “We joke around and call him ‘Coach’ because he’s like the old man on the team who knows what needs to be done. 

“If I need to contact the team, I usually call Byron. We’re going to miss him a lot. It’s good to have a leader like that on the team.”

Daubert is projected as a potential 133-pounder at the college level. Pitt-Johnstown competes in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference at the NCAA Division II level.

“I’ve been going out there since I was little and Coach Pecora is an awesome guy, an awesome coach,” Strayer said. “I think (Daubert) will fit in really good.

“He’s really smart in school so that will help him. All-around, school, wrestling, as a person, he will fit in perfectly there.”

The lure of one of the top wrestling programs in Division II, one of the most renown wrestling coaches at any level, and a highly-rated engineering program made Daubert’s decision to stay near home a logical choice.

“It’s huge to think I have one of the best wrestling programs and one of the best engineering programs in my backyard,” said Byron, the son of Russell and Jessica Daubert of New Germany. “I love Coach Pecora’s tradition and the culture he creates at UPJ. It’s so cool to think I’m going to be part of that program.”

Mike Mastovich is a sports reporter and columnist for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5083. Follow him on Twitter @Masty81.