BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro announced the addition of 10 wrestlers that will join the Mountain Hawks' wrestling program in the fall. The incoming recruiting class features wrestlers that have combined for 10 state finals appearances. This group, which features six wrestlers from Pennsylvania and one each from New Jersey, New York, Tennessee and Virginia, should cover the full range of weight classes, while adding talent and depth to an already strong program.
"We've quietly put together a really solid class," said Santoro who enters his 10th season. "This group coming in features a lot of very hard workers, some of who may have flown a bit under the radar. We really liked them and they fit what we were looking for as far as student-athletes and the work ethic and the type of character kids they are."
The wrestler who will travel the shortest distance to Lehigh's
campus is Dan Moran, a Lehigh Valley product from Northampton
High School. Moran posted a 151-27 high school record and is
ranked 18th at 138 lbs. by InterMat. A four-time Pennsylvania
state place winner and semifinalist, Moran owns a pair of
runner-up finishes. A projected 141/149 pounder, Moran is a
District XI and Northeast Regional champion who won the Escape
the Rock Tournament and earned Outstanding Wrestler honors. He
also posted a runner-up finish at Escape the Rock and was also a
Beast of the East runner-up as well. Moran is also a junior
freestyle All-American and placed at NHSCA Nationals as a
sophomore. He was a finalist for the District XI Scholar-Athlete
Another four-time Pennsylvania AAA state qualifier and two-time runner-up is Jimmy Hoffman from Hazelton High School. Hoffman is ranked 95th overall and 16th at 132 by InterMat and was also top 20 in his weight class according to FloWrestling. Hoffman is a four-time District 2 finalist and three-time champion. He won the Bethlehem Holiday Classic in 2016 and was a four-time finalist and two-time champion at the Sheetz Holiday Classic. Hoffman owns a 161-26 career record and is a two-time NHSCA All-American and two-time winner of the Times-Leader Wrestler of the Year award. He projects at 133 or 141.
A familiar name from a school that has produced several Lehigh wrestlers of the last few years, Matt Parker comes from Pennridge High School, just south of the Lehigh Valley. The younger brother of All-American and EIWA Champion Scott Parker, Matt Parker is ranked in the top 100 by both InterMat and FloWrestling and is ranked 10th at 120 lbs. He produced a 142-17 career record in high school, finishing fifth, second and third in three trips to the state tournament. Parker is a three-time district and regional champion who was a three-time place-winner at the Beast of the East tournament. A projected 125 pounder, Parker is a two-time Escape the Rock runner-up and a 2014-15 King of the Mountain Champion who also placed twice in Cadet freestyle.
Lehigh also digs into Boyertown High School in Gilbertsville, Pa., for the second straight year with the addition of JT Cooley. A two-time PAC 10 finalist and conference champion and district runner-up in 2016, Cooley owns a 73-36 career mark after having his senior season cut short due to injury. Cooley is a two-time All-Area first team selection who has medaled at the Escape the Rock and King of the Mountain tournaments. He is also a two-time state qualifier in freestyle and Greco-Roman. Cooley, who attended the same high school as freshman heavyweight Jordan Wood, should provide depth at 157 for the Mountain Hawks.
Providing additional depth at 125 and 133 will be Satoshi Abe from Putnam Valley High School in New York. Abe is a three-time section one champion in New York and a three-time state qualifier. He is a four-time all-league performer and a three-time all-section honoree. Abe posted a career mark of 125-30 at Putnam Valley.
The lone Pennsylvanian in the class from the western part of the state is upper weight Eli Grape, a three-time AAA place winner from Upper St. Clair High School in Pittsburgh. Grape owns a career record of 132-27 and was a 2016 Allegheny County Champion, a two-time WPIAL finalist and three-time sectional champion. A team captain and three-time team MVP, Grape was the Outstanding Wrestler of the 2017 Southmoreland Tournament. A projected 184/197 pounder, Grape was also a standout linebacker, team captain and All-Conference performer in football.
Luke Resnick from Owen J. Roberts High School is the third member of the class who could figure in at the lightest weights. A state qualifier as a senior, Resnick owns a 99-38 career record and is the active District 1 leader with 28 technical falls. He won 42 bouts as a senior and placed third at regionals, while also posting podium finishes at the Conestoga Valley, King of the Mountain and Escape the Rock Tournaments. Resnick placed at King of the Mountain and took fifth at regionals as a junior and was a member of the PWCA All-Academic Team.
From Robinson High School in Fairfax Station, Virginia is middleweight Tyler Hazard. A three-time place-winner and two-time runner-up, Hazard posted a 75-20 career record, highlighted by a 23-6 senior season. Hazard has placed at both the Escape the Rock and Manheim Holiday Classic tournaments. A member of the Virginia national team, Hazard placed third at VAWA freestyle states in 2013. He projects at 149 or 157 for the Mountain Hawks.
A 2017 National Prep place winner, Brock Herring comes to Lehigh from The McCallie School in Tennessee. A three-time TSSAA DII state finalist and four-time state medalist, Herring owns a 129-37 career record and won a state title as a senior, capping a 29-3 campaign. He placed seventh at the National Prep tournament at Stabler Arena in February and won the Prep Slam tournament at Holy Innocents' Episcopal School in Atlanta. Herring, who projects at 133 or 141, is a three-time regional champion who competed for team Tennessee in both freestyle and Greco-Roman at the USA Wrestling Junior Duals in Oklahoma in 2016.
Projected heavyweight Victor Lacombre from Hunterdon Central High School in New Jersey rounds out the incoming class. Lacombre began wrestling as a freshman in high school and capped his career as a two-time New Jersey state place winner, taking fifth as a junior and third as a senior. Following his senior season, Lacombre competed at NHSCA Senior Nationals in Virginia Beach, Va., where he placed fourth. Lacombre captained both the football and wrestling teams as a senior at Hunterdon Central.
"This group will provide depth but a lot of these guys will also be capable of challenging for starting roles," said Santoro, who added that this class reminded him a lot of the class he inherited in the fall of 2008; one that ultimately produced All-Americans Robert Hamlin and Joe Kennedy as well as EIWA champion Shane Welsh.
"A lot of them may be under the national radar but we know how good they are. They're going to add a lot to this program."
The Mountain Hawks finished 12th at the 2017 NCAA Championships with a pair of All-Americans in Scott Parker and NCAA Champion Darian Cruz. While Lehigh loses nine seniors to graduation, including a pair of All-Americans, the Mountain Hawks return five NCAA qualifiers for the 2017-18 season plus a group of freshmen that deferred eligibility last season.
Lehigh Wrestling 2017 Recruiting Class
|Name||Proj. Wt.||Hometown/High School|
|Satoshi Abe||125/133||Putnam Valley, N.Y./Putnam Valley|
|JT Cooley||157||Gilbertsville, Pa./Boyertown|
|Eli Grape||184/197||Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair|
|Tyler Hazard||149/157||Fairfax Station, Va./Robinson|
|Brock Herring||133/141||Signal Mountain, Tenn./McCallie|
|Jimmy Hoffman||133/141||Drums, Pa./Hazleton|
|Victor Lacombre||285||Whitehouse Station, N.J./Hunterdon Central|
|Dan Moran||141/149||Bethlehem, Pa./Northampton|
|Matt Parker||125||Sellersville, Pa./Pennridge|
|Luke Resnick||125/133||Chester Springs, Pa./Owen J. Roberts|
Taken from www.LehighSports.com