If you’re a college wrestler, you better hope you’re at the right one.
City League 215-class champion Joshua Visokey has had a busy spring. Now, he must choose where he wants to study and wrestle (but not both at the same time).
Right now, the five schools on Visokey’s list are Seton Hill University, Concordia (in Wisconsin), the University of Buffalo, Pitt Johnstown, and Penn State Greater Allegheny. Each school offers different perks for Visokey. At Pitt Johnstown, Buffalo, and the PSU branch, Visokey has friends and family attending. “Plus, I really like the coaching staff and the wrestling programs they have set up,” says Visokey. MAC fans are crossing their fingers…
Visokey’s interest in Concordia stems from their great wrestling program. Concordia’s coaching staff speaks with Visokey weekly about wrestling at Concordia. Head Coach Bret Corner has an amazing wrestling resume. “I think he’s the kind of coach who would do anything and everything he could do to see me be a successful college wrestler.”
So, then, what about Seton Hill? “I’m leaning towards Seton Hill as my favorite because I’ve visited the campus before and it was amazing,” Visokey says. He also notes that some of his football teammates are headed to Seton Hill, so he would be in good company.
One of the challenges behind Visokey’s decision comes from the schools’ attempts to draw him. “Some of the schools are making me promises about a lot of early wrestling time,” says Visokey. “But that’s not really important to me,” he continues. Visokey knows that early wrestling time is a nice promise, but in reality you have to earn your spot.
It seems that Visokey is a prime example of earning your way to a college athletic program. He has wrestled his way through the public school system, and now he has his choice of colleges. In a day and age where district budgets are being cut and athletics are on the chopping block, Visokey urges against it. “I think making students pay to play sports is the worst possible thing anyone could ever do,” he says. Visokey feels that academics are important, but that kids need to learn the balance and discipline they would get from adding sports. “A high school athlete has to balance his grades to make sure he is able to play,” Visokey says. “Then, on top of that, he has to attend practice and try to do the best he can to become a better athlete. If they start cutting games now and asking for fees for the students to play, I honestly think that many kids will stop playing sports altogether.”
Visokey’s words beg the question: how might his college prospects be different if he’d had to pay to wrestle?
Cara De Carlo is the admin/editor of Sportsgazelle.com