By: Alex Steen, Editor
The 2016-17 season could be a turning point for the Lock Haven program. With three talented transfers, Chance Marsteller, Thomas Haines and Patrick Duggan, coming home to Pennsylvania and the return of 2015 Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) runner-up Ronnie Perry, after a redshirt year, the Bald Eagles look to be a program on the rise.
Head Coach Scott Moore is entering his fourth season in charge of the Bald Eagles. Lock Haven has had just one All-American in his first three seasons in charge, but that was Lock Haven’s first AA since 2007. 2016 seniors, and NCAA qualifiers, Dan Neff and Phil Sprenkle leave holes in the line-up, but there is a lot to be optimistic about around the program. Besides Marsteller, Haines and Perry, promising young wrestlers Joe Ghione (141), Corey Hazel (184), Tristan Sponseller (184) and Kyle Shoop (149) will be looking to have an impact on the starting line-up. There will also be 11 true freshmen joining the program, highlighted by two-time PIAA state champion Tyson Klump (125) and four-time PIAA place-winner Tyshawn White (125).
Lock Haven released their 2016-17 schedule last week. It features four tournaments to be hosted at home in Thomas Fieldhouse. The traditional Mat Town Open and Lock Haven Classic are there, of course, as will be the PSAC Championships and, a new addition, the Mat Town Open II on January 29th. The Bald Eagles will also be attending the Clarion Open, Journeyman Collegiate Classic, Cavalier Duals, Franklin & Marshall Open, Virginia Duals and the Edinboro Open in the regular season. Highlighting the dual schedule are dates with Michigan State, Penn and Cornell as well as EWL clashes with Rider, Bloomsburg and Edinboro. The EWL Championship will be held at Bloomsburg this year.
This will likely not be Lock Haven’s greatest season. In fact, it may not even be a particularly good one if Haines’ struggles continue and the younger wrestlers don’t show much improvement. However, it could be the start of something big. The next two to three years could see Lock Haven continue to build on what appears to be a solid foundation. If they can have some success with what they have and use that to continue making headway on the recruiting trail, they could have something going in Lock Haven, PA.