Has Section III ever produced a better scholastic wrestler than West Genesee’s Dan Hunt?
That is a subject for debate, in part caused by the fact Hunt did not wrestle collegiately. Instead Dan chose a career path that led him to the HVAC industry – continuing his education related to mechanical design and construction management where he continues working to this day.
He set standards, however, at the high school level that have stood the test of time — so much so that Syracuse.com selected him Section III’s No. 1 matman over the past 50 years!
And looking back over a half-century of area high school wrestling, that certainly includes no shortage of outstanding athletes in every weight class.
But Hunt was the very first to do what was — at the time — something unheard of. He made a mark statewide as a freshman in 1971, winning sectional honors in the 112-lb. class and finishing runner-up in the states.
The next year, wow! Moving up to 119 pounds, Dan won the 1972 New York State championship. He successfully defended his crown in ’73 and made it a NYS title trifecta in ’74.
Dan was the first — and only one -- in the one-division era to win three New York State wrestling championships.
He set the bar very high for sectional and state wrestlers for years to come.
His accomplishments were such that Wrestling USA Magazine selected Dan to the 1974 High School All-America team. Dan was also named among “The Elite” top 14 NYS high school wrestlers of all time by national publication - Amateur Wrestling News in 2018.
What more needs to be said about such greatness on the mat.
Well, how about this record over his last three seasons: 86-0-1 … Or the fact he won over 100 varsity matches … And don’t forget he was also a fine lacrosse player for the Wildcats.
Quiet and unassuming, Dan Hunt did his talking on the mat. And what was said can still be heard loud and clear.
Neither time nor the fact such an incredible record of excellence was solely at the high school level does nothing to diminish his accomplishments.
Inducted into Section III’s Hall of Fame in 2007, Dan Hunt now becomes a member of the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame, Class of 2019.