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The good news for Lehigh University?s wrestling team is that the incoming freshman class includes two-time PIAA champion Mason Beckman (No. 2 @ 125) of Reynolds High School, who went undefeated his last two years of high school.

More good news is the enrollment of Benton?s Eric Hess, another two-time PIAA champion who was expected to enter Lehigh last year, but who deferred enrollment in order to battle Hodgkin?s Disease.

Beckman projects as a 125-pounder, which would fill an immediate need for the Mountain Hawks, where 125 was manned by starting senior Mitch Berger.

Even though the recruiting class includes nine quality additions, there is sad news. NCAA 174-pound qualifier Austin Meys, who was initially diagnosed with a spinal condition, is battling Guillian-Barre Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to mistakenly attack parts of the nervous system. His status for the 2011-12 season depends on his recovery.

Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro also revealed that 133-pound Frank Cagnina will not be returning for next season because of academic issues. Cagnina also qualified for the NCAA championships after forfeiting his final bout of the league championships (EIWA) for violation of a team rule.

A 2011-12 lineup that was expected to have nine returning starters may now have just seven.

?We filled a lot of needs with this recruiting class,? Santoro said. ?The goal this year was not only to get talent, but to get good people, kids who will be doing the right things not only on the mat, but off the mat. When you?re talented, a lot of things are kind of given to you. You get special treatment. When you get to college and get pressed, that?s when people get to see your true character.?

?We?re excited about this group,? Santoro said. ?It?s a good, young, talented group. They wrestle hard. We?re excited about Mason Beckman coming in, John Bolich (No. 9 @ 189) [Upper Moreland], Nate Brown (No. 3 @ 171) [PIAA 171-pound champion from Lewisburg], Chris Dinnien [Germantown Academy] and some other guys. Eric Hess, who projects at 157, maybe 165 after a year or two, has been doing great. He wrestled his first tournament at University Nationals and went 5-2 and beat some good kids.?

For Complete Article by Gary R. Blockus, The Morning Call