By Brody Patmore
Red Lion is hosting a NCAA Division I wrestling match this Friday, January 25 in the Fitzkee Center. The match is between Arizona State and Lock Haven University, two top-15 ranked schools in the nation. An event like this, at least in recent history, has not taken place in York County.
“The match on Friday has a bunch of ranked guys in the country on each team and some exciting match ups individually,” said Red Lion senior wrestler Cole Daugherty.
Red Lion wrestling coach Mike Catullo was a former assistant coach at The University of Maryland and was the one who had the connections to bring an event like this to Red Lion.
There have been 1,700-1,900 tickets sold so far as of January 22. There are still some left, tickets can be bought at redlionwrestling.org.
The expected revenue total is estimated to be around $25,000 when all said and done according to Red Lion athletic director Arnold Fritzius.
The match will feature Kennard-Dale graduate and now star Lock Haven wrestler Chance Marsteller. Marsteller was a perfect 166-0 in his high school career and in 2018 placed fourth at NCAA championships and hopes to win a national championship in 2019.
Although in a different weight class as Marsteller, Arizona State will also bring their own national powerhouse. Zahid Valencia, a redshirt junior, who has many accomplishments that include winning the NCAA championship last year, will make an appearance.
Arizona State practiced in the wrestling room at the senior high on Wednesday in front of some of Red Lion’s wrestlers.
“It was amazing seeing a national champion wrestle so close, and seeing what he goes through every day to get to the top,” said Daugherty about Valencia.
“It is a great opportunity to host this event. It confirms our districts willingness to take on new and large challenges,” said Fritzius. “We know the wrestling community is excited to have an event, of this quality, at our district.”