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Holy Spirit wrestler Mac Mancuso picks West Virginia

And the winner of the Mac Mancuso sweepstakes: West Virginia.

 

Mancuso, a Holy Spirit High School senior, verbally committed to wrestle for the Mountaineers and coach Craig Turnbull this week.

 

Rutgers, North Carolina, Penn State, Maryland and Ohio State were among the schools in the recruiting competition for Mancuso.

 

One of the top wrestlers in the state, Mancuso said he will make his decision official on on Nov. 12, otherwise known as Signing Day.

 

For Mancuso, the recruiting period was a hectic one with coaches from all around the country calling and visiting.

 

“I wanted to make the decision before wrestling season so I don’t even have to worry about it during the season,” Mancuso said. “Now I really don’t have to do that anymore. It’s a lot of relief.”

A big reason for the decision was West Virginia assistant coach Greg Jones, a three-time NCAA champion.

 

Jones won titles at 174 and 184 pounds, which are the weights Mancuso likely will wrestle at in college.

 

“The only thing I can do is get better wrestling him,” Mancuso said. “He’s probably the best practice partner you can possible have.”

 

The West Virginia Wrestling Pavilion is a new facility with four mats, an aerobic room, offices, locker rooms and a study center with a players lounge.

 

The Mountaineers, who went 8-5 last season, are ranked No. 25 in the nation in a USA Today-affiliated preseason poll.

 

Competing in the Eastern Wrestling League, West Virginia has averaged seven NCAA qualifiers per year over the last nine seasons.

 

“It’s outrageous,” said Tim Mancuso, Mac’s father, who was formerly the coach at Holy Spirit and now coaches at Atlantic City High School. “I’m very proud of Mac. He did a great job.”

 

The elder Mancuso’s favorite part of the West Virginia program is Turnbull and his 30 years of experience at the school.

 

“As a parent, I really liked that,” he said.

 

Now Mac can focus on his senior year.

 

Mancuso missed the end of his junior year after suffering a partially torn meniscus in his right knee.

 

After winning the 189-pound state championship as a sophomore, Mancuso was forced to watch as Bound Brook freshman Andrew Campolattano won the state title at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City last March.

 

Mancuso’s goals for this year are simple.

 

“Win Beast (of the East), win every match and win states,” he said. “It’s very, very simple. I’m hungry. I watched some other guy standing on my podium. Its like I just got out of jail and I’m free. I’m ready.”

 

Mancuso carries a 93-8 career record into his senior year.

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