“We knew it would be nice,” Lehigh wrestling head coach Pat Santoro said. “But it was even better than we expected.”
Pat was talking about the reception his Lehigh wrestling squad experienced at Allentown’s PPL Center this weekend, when a sellout crowd over nearly 10,000 people came to watch No. 1 Penn State grapple with No. 5 Lehigh in a collegiate wrestling event.
It was, by all accounts, something special to behold.
“I thought it was really cool and an exciting place to wrestle,” said Penn State wrestler Nick Nevills. “These fans were really into it, a rowdy bunch. It’s a lot more fun as an athlete to wrestle in an environment like this. I’d say it was one of the most exciting times I have had in my career.”
The sense of spectacle at the PPL center, though, puts a spotlight on what more can be done at Lehigh itself to make their athletic contests into spectacles. It requires money to be spent and energy to be expended. But the result is the extra excitement that makes the student-athletes’ careers.
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