Chance Marsteller defeated Evan Wick to place third at the NCAAs (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Lock Haven senior Chance Marsteller is one of the most storied wrestlers in PIAA history with a 166-0 career mark as a four-time state champion for Kennard-Dale High School '14 (and a three-time Outstanding Wrestler selection).
The Bald Eagles' first two-time All-American in 22 years, Chance has now signed a contract as a resident/athlete and coach with the Lehigh Valley Wrestling Club (LVWC). He reached the agreement with LVWC coach Jeff Buxton on April 5.
An accomplished freestyler who won a University National title in 2017, he first verballed to Penn State before enrolling at Oklahoma State in Fall '14. Marsteller then transferred in January of 2016 to Lock Haven and capped two outstanding seasons (72-7) with NCAA 4th and 3rd place medals.
He drew a sustained standing ovation from appreciative home state fans in Pittsburgh by avenging for third his two prior NCAA losses by fall to Wisconsin's Evan Wick (NCAA 3rd, 4th). To earn third place, the No. 5 seed Chance defeated the No. 9, No. 1, No. 3, and No. 4 seeds, including a four-takedown 9-6 consolations win over Iowa top seed, Alex Marinelli.
In the 2018 NCAA Championships, Marsteller entered as No. 9 seed to earn 4th place.
The standing ovation he received in Pittsburgh's PPG Paints Arena partly recognized his remarkable rebound and rehabilitation from prior substance abuse issues. A significant part of his judge-imposed probation sentence in 2016 involved community service, and he immediately began an extensive role as assistant coach of Kennard-Dale's junior high wrestling team. He'll continue to follow up with those youths, who are two hours southwest of Bethlehem. As support factors, Chance credits his mother, Suzanne, his stepfather and his fiancée, Jenna Thomassy.
Marsteller was recently named 2018-19 EWL Athlete of the Year. He led his team to their first two Top 20 finishes since 1997 with Cary Kolat as their top star. Chance became Lock Haven's first two-time All-American since Jamarr Billman in 2000-02 and their 10th overall. At this year's Southern Scuffle, Marsteller pushed Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State (NCAA 1,1,2) to the brink before a 6-5 finals loss. Marsteller was a two-time PSAC champion, OW in '18 and has been a member of EWL All-Academic Teams
Chance's success helped bring EWL Coach of the Year honors to Scott Moore. The Eagles finished ahead of seven Big Ten schools including Wisconsin, Northwestern and Illinois.
Said Moore, a finalist for national coach-of-the-year: "It's been very rewarding to identify what he needs in his life to be successful and break down and simplify the process for him. It's made me a better coach. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with someone with that skill set. Most impressive has been seeing him develop and mature into a father and leader and captain of the team."
Marsteller will join other resident/athletes and coaches with the Lehigh Valley Wrestling Club coached by Buxton, one of the USA's most outstanding high school and freestyle coaches: Darian Cruz, 125; Frank Perrelli, 125/33; Guesseppe Rea, 125/33; Mario Mason, 149/57; Chance Marsteller, 157/65; Richie Lewis, 165/74; Kadeem Samuel, 184/97; Zack Rey, 265