LeValley keystone of Bison program - Sports | Centre Daily Times
Readers of a certain age would remember an armed forces recruiting poster with Uncle Sam pointing and saying, “I want you!”
If Bucknell’s wrestling program had such a poster, we’d likely see 149-pounder Kevin LeValley on it. LeValley is the shining light in the program that was resurrected from the Title IX ashes a half dozen years ago by alumnus Bill Graham, who kicked in several million to bring back wrestling and also elevate the women’s crew team to varsity status. And the sparkling field hockey field at Bucknell is named after him.
LeValley, from a small high school in eastern Colorado, said he was attracted to Bucknell because he wanted to make an impact.
“It’s a combination of the great recruiting of coach (Dan) Wirnsberger and coach (David) Hoffman. I wanted to make an impact on a new team,” he said. “I’ve always got a great education there. It offers small class instruction that really suits my learning style really well. I really came to Bucknell thinking I would be able to accomplish my goals of being a national champion with the training partners and the coaching staff there.”
LeValley is well on his way toward his goal. He was an All-American last season (seventh at 149) and has been ranked in the top 5 for most of this season. His wins included a National Wrestling Coaches Association all-star meet win over Torsten Gillespie of Edinboro. And LeValley became Bucknell’s only Midlands champion when he won in Evanston over the holidays.
He is 18-0 for the season and has defeated six ranked wrestlers. He was a member of the U.S. University World Team which competed in Torino, Italy last summer. His 111 wins ties him with Bucknell assistant David Marble.
But LeValley knows his route to gold in Philadelphia won’t be easy as North Carolina State’s Darrion Caldwell, the 149-pound champion from 2009, has recently returned to action. The Bison is familiar with Caldwell.
“I trained with Caldwell a little bit out at the Olympic Training Center a couple of summers ago,” LeValley said. “Other than that, I’ve never wrestled him in a competitive match. I like to take one opponent at a time and if I do come into a situation where I’ll be wrestling Caldwell, I’ll be prepared