March 25, 2017
Dear Wrestling Club Member,
As we approach our final gathering of the 2016-17 season with our Annual Meeting on Saturday, April 8, I wanted to write and thank you for your support over the past four years of my term as President. We have shared some exciting times that have included the highs and lows that only collegiate athletics can bring. Wrestling at Lehigh provides a unique challenge for the students, the coaches and the fans.
We have a tradition at Lehigh that compares with none other. When I looked at the top 20 teams on the board in St. Louis, Lehigh was the only true private school on the list and quite small by comparison. Our tradition of having strong academics in conjunction with the rigorous demands of the sport still resulting in national prominence is to be admired. However, it only continues with strong, positive support by the alumni and fans.
We are facing challenges from a changing culture both on campus and in society, which require us to become more assertive in promoting our sport and getting our family, friends and acquaintances to join and reach out to the following generation. I am excited that we continue to have new and younger members joining us on the Board.
I want to thank my Executive Committee and Board of Directors for their efforts and support. I look forward to assisting Bob Gerlach as he takes over the reins as President and urge everyone to step forward and help him grow our fine tradition as one of the nation's most vibrant collegiate wrestling clubs. Ours is a mission of 'boosting' the sport of wrestling at Lehigh. With 24, or so, intercollegiate sports at Lehigh (more than three times the number that existed back in the 60's and 70's), our mission is to focus attention on wrestling.
As 'boosters' we must be mindful that our actions should be in that vein, as opposed to getting caught up in negative or hyper-critical commentary. We are in a "talking head" world, where we are inundated with myriad opinions and everyone's an "expert". It's great that Lehigh fans are extremely passionate about their teams but, there are times when our passion burbles beyond simply cheering our athletes, and gets personal. I want our Club to be associated with the image of passionate fans who want to do nothing but be supportive and nurturing of our student-athletes. They, and their families, need it. We must remember that the wrestler in the brown and white singlet is someone's son, grandson, brother, cousin or friend, and that they are doing the best they can in trying circumstances that most of us have never experienced.
I wanted to close with that thought as we look forward to the 2017-18 season. It is a season that, coming off a 12th place finish at nationals with an NCAA Champion, can be very, very special. And, it can be a special season only with your positive and enthusiastic support. Thank you and, GO LEHIGH !!!
Nick Noel '74
President, Lehigh Wrestling Club