The Lock Haven University wrestling team is looking to improve from last year and is gearing up for the beginning of the season. The first matches of the year will take place at the Clarion Open Tournament this Sunday November 1.
They will be facing four Big 10 Teams this year; they will be at Penn State Friday November 13, Nebraska at the Northeast Duals Sunday November 15, Purdue on Saturday November 21 and will be wrestling Michigan State February 12. Lock Haven will also be hosting three wrestling tournaments this season.
Head Coach Scott Moore will be sending six guys to the Clarion Open on Sunday, they include; Jake Field (125), Bobby Rehm (133), Aaron McKinney (157), Tristan Sponseller (184), Phil Sprenkle (197) and Brad Emerick (285). They will be attached wrestlers for the university, nine other LHU wrestling will be wrestling there unattached.
Dan Neff will be returning as a redshirt-senior and will be leading the Bald Eagles this season. Last year Neff earned All-American status, finishing eighth at the 149 pound weight class in the NCAA Championships, becoming Lock Haven’s first All-American since 2007. Neff will be down at the 141-pound weight class, and will be looking to make his fourth straight appearance at the NCAA championships.
Three wrestlers look to expand the 100-win club this season after Fred Garcia won his 100th match last year. Dan Neff enters the season with 83 wins, Bobby Rehm with 80 wins, and Aaron McKinney with 71.
In the 2014-15 season, LHU went 7-12 overall and 3-3 in the Eastern Wrestling League (EWL), finishing third overall with 101.5 points, this also marks the most EWL wins since the 2004-05 season. Ten wrestlers finished in the top five, and nine finished fourth or better. It marks the second straight season that Lock Haven finished third in the EWL.
The team looks to solidify its team, adding redshirt-freshman, Tristan Sponseller, to the lineup at the 184 pound weight class. This spot was left vacant by three-time NCAA qualifier Fred Garcia. Sponseller went 26-13 last year while competing unattached, a remarkable feat for a true Freshman. In Sponseller’s senior season at his high school, Bermudian Springs, he went undefeated to his PIAA championship victory. Before winning the tournament his senior year, he placed second as a junior and placed third his sophomore year.