Nice article on LU Wrestling from a local paper....
Lehigh University wrestling: Lehigh visits Pitt and Penn State this weekend - The Morning Call
It's the kind of early season wrestling schedule that makes most fans shudder as if they were feeling a cold December wind. Lehigh University, fresh off a 45-0 spanking of Drexel, goes on the road to take on No. 14 Pitt at 7 p.m. on Friday night and No. 6 Penn State at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
"What you're going to find out about this team is that it loves to compete," said Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro, the Bethlehem native who eschewed the family tradition of attending Lehigh and wrestling for the program to wrestle at Pitt. "We didn't give our team an easy schedule because they want to compete with the best. That's why we train. That's why we compete."
The Mountain Hawks, ranked No. 15 in the country, have three freshmen in the lineup, plus three ranked wrestlers, including Zach Rey, the top-ranked 285-pounder in the country. Rey will be severely tested this weekend. He faces No. 11 Ryan Tomei at Pitt, with whom he has split matches, and No. 9 Cameron Wade of Penn State, who beat Rey in freestyle this summer.
"There are going to be some fun matches," Santoro predicted of the weekend's matches. "With Pitt, there are going to be a lot of one- or two-point matches, so it's going to come down to what team is battling at the end, which team can build momentum. We're favored in some bouts; they're favored in some bouts. We're going to have to be mentally tough against Pitt going in, and then less than 48 hours later, we wrestle at Penn State."
While many consider Santoro's return to become head coach at Lehigh a return home because of his family legacy, returning to his alma mater in Pittsburgh is another homecoming. He won two NCAA championships in his final two seasons at Pitt, and his former coach, Rande Stottlemyer, is still coaching the Panthers. Santoro holds school records for most career wins (167), pins (43), pins in a season (18), wins in a season (49), among others.
"There are a lot of really good people in Pittsburgh," Santoro said. "I really found myself as a wrestler there. Rande is still there and it's always good to see him. I'm excited to go back. My college roommate will be at the match and I'll see a lot of people I went to school with."
The gravity of the match is not lost on a homecoming, however. The Panthers have five returning All-Americans in the lineup, with a sixth, Matt Wilps, taking a redshirt year. Tyler Nauman is ranked No. 3 at 141 and will face Lehigh freshman Frank Dutton. Pitt's Anthony Zanetta is No. 14 at 125 and will take on Lehigh senior Mitch Berger. Zac Thomusselt, No. 12 at 197, will take on Lehigh junior Joe Kennedy, who is ranked in one poll but not in another. In addition to Rey and Kennedy, Lehigh features ranked wrestlers in Brandon Hatchett (No. 11 at 165) and Robert Hamlin (No. 14 at 184).
"We're actually focusing on Pitt right now because that's the first match and they're ranked ahead of us," Santoro said.
Penn State has improved its national profile and recruiting exponentially under the leadership of second-year head coach Cael Sanderson, the only wrestler to ever go undefeated throughout his college career while winning four NCAA Division I championships. The Penn State match is scary all around. In addition to the Rey-Wade matchup at heavyweight, Lehigh's Hamlin will take on Quentin Wright, the No. 3 184-pounder in the country.
"Wright is pretty funky," Santoro said. "He can throw. He's an All-American for a reason, but that said, I think Robert is an All-American candidate. This is a match he needs to have. These are the guys he's training for. He knows that."
Lehigh has won the last two meetings with Penn State. Troy Letters, who won an NCAA championship for Lehigh, is an assistant coach for the Nittany Lions.