Chance Marsteller is a legend in York County sports circles; he never lost a high school wrestling match, including four straight wrestling championships while at Kennard Dale High School. He made fans of people who knew nothing about wrestling. He was so strong, so quick and smooth we felt pity for his opponent. After high school, Chance was accepted at the top wrestling colleges in the country, where we expected his star would shine even brighter. Then it all fell apart.
He got into all kinds of trouble for all kinds of different reasons, but he stayed out of jail. He transferred to a smaller wrestling kingdom at Lock Haven, where he’s 35-1.
He made some youthful mistakes, but learned from them– he says he learned his lesson, he’s “cleaned up”. He’s doing what we all expected him to do, it just took a while longer. Talent, by itself, is never enough. I saw Lock Haven’s loss to Cornell Sunday. This story comes from Bill Albright at the York Dispatch.
BILL ALBRIGHT, 505-5403/@ydsports
LOCK HAVEN — After some bumps in the road, Chance Marsteller is thriving in his new home.
It’s referred to by many as Mat Town USA, but it’s better known as Lock Haven University.
Following an outstanding career at Kennard-Dale High School, that produced four PIAA state titles and a 166-0 career record, and an abbreviated stop at Oklahoma State University, Marsteller is experiencing the college success with the Bald Eagles that nearly everyone had predicted for him.
“I just came back here because I wanted to be closer to home,” the 2014 K-D graduate said. “I knew I needed a school that was a little smaller, that was more hands on and personal. Lock Haven offered me the opportunity and I felt it was just the right fit for me.”
The road at Lock Haven hasn’t always been smooth for Marsteller. Before he ever wrestled a college match for the Bald Eagles, there was a well-publicized off-mat incident that led to his being removed from the program for a time.
Marsteller had a blood alcohol content that was more than three times the legal limit for driving and also had marijuana and cocaine in his system, according to court documents.
That followed the brief stint at Oklahoma State. When he started with the Cowboys, he was rated the top college wrestling recruit in the nation, according to some experts. His career with Oklahoma State, however, never took off. He was eventually suspended from the Cowboys’ wrestling program for unspecified reasons before leaving the program and eventually transferring to Lock Haven in 2016.
A second chance: Now, however, Marsteller is happy to have been given a second chance at Lock Haven and he is making the most of the opportunity.
“I feel very fortunate and am blessed with the opportunity to have this experience and I try to make the most of it every day,” Marsteller said. “All of the things that happened to me during the last year made me realize that if you do good things, good things will happen for you. I always thought I was a pretty good person who just needed to clean up some of his extracurricular activities. When you do that, it helps you to focus on your priorities, and the experience for me has been a real life changer.”
Stellar season: Marsteller opened the 2017-18 season with 22 straight wins. until he dropped a close decision to Bryce Steiret of Northern Iowa in the prestigious Southern Scuffle before coming back to finish third. Since that time, he has racked up 13 more consecutive wins to sit at 35-1 heading down the home stretch of the 2017-18 season. He was ranked No. 4 nationally in NCAA Division I at 165 pounds in the latest Intermat rankings.
With the way things have gone for him, Marsteller is happy with where he stands.
“I would say that was my biggest win thus far, and for me, it is just a matter of preparation,” Marsteller said. “I take every match as a big match when I go into it and I believe in my training. When you step out on the mat and open up, good things happen. That is what I did in that match and I plan on doing that same thing when I battle a number of other top-five guys over the next six weeks.”
Coach lauds Marsteller: So what does Marsteller bring to the table for the Bald Eagle program, both on and off the mat?
“Having a guy like Chance on the team adds a lot of experience and knowledge to the sport,” Moore said. “He was not only successful in the sport in high school, but he was his own mentor as far as running club practices. Just his overall knowledge and experience have added a lot of depth to our program. Whether it is hard work in the wrestling room breaking down technique or winning matches for us, he is just a consistent guy who we can rely on to score points. When he goes on the mat, he has the ability to get the momentum going and get the crowd into the match. When he does that, it spills over to the rest of our guys in the lineup.”
More to come: The story is still far from finished for Marsteller, who is currently competing for the Bald Eagles as a redshirt junior.
Stay tuned, because there’s a good chance more good things are to come from Marsteller as he continues his career as a Bald Eagle wrestler.
Reach Bill Albright at firstname.lastname@example.org.