Spring Grove’s Zachary Clingan knew that he wanted to make his college choice prior to wrestling season so that he could focus strictly on the mat.
After narrowing down his college choices, the eventual winner was Millersville.
Clingan chose the Maraurders over Bloomsburg, Lock Haven and York.
“I really liked the coaching,” Clingan said of Millersville. “I felt like everything was an addition to my high school coaches in how they acted and the way they coached and everything. I wanted a place where I could earn a spot and play early. I liked the location and atmosphere on campus. It felt a lot like my hometown. Everyone kind of knew each other and it was nice.”
Clingan, who plans on majoring in biology with a minor in business, took a visit to Lock Haven, an unofficial visit to Bloomsburg and an official visit to Millersville before making his final decision in early October.
“The coaching staff did a lot to try and get me to come and they were always texting me and asking me what they could do to make me want to come there,” Clingan said of why he committed when he did. “They did a lot for me.”
Clingan wrestled at 120-pounds as a junior and is projected to wrestle at 125/133 at Millersville. Last year, he made it to the PIAA Class AAA quarterfinals before losing his next two matches and spent much of the off-season working on his decision making and knowing when to do what and what position to take when.
As he heads into his senior campaign, the stakes are high, but the goals may be higher.
“My goals are that we need to come together as a team this year because we lost seven or eight seniors last year,” he said. “We need to come together as a team so we can make it as far as or further than we made it last year. Personally, I hope to place high, maybe top four at states.”
Clingan joins a growing number of Hanover-area wrestlers to join the Crusaders. Spring Grove’s Keegan Worley and South Western’s Aram Moffitt are freshmen on the Millersville roster and Clingan’s Spring Grove teammate Michael Hartman has also committed to wrestle for Millersville.
“(Michael) and I are best friends and of course we talked about it,” Clingan said of their decision to wrestle together. “I really didn’t know where I wanted to go to college. But when they emailed me about it, I was like yea, because I am going to be with my best friend and it will be 10 times easier that way.”
The coaches have told Clingan that seeing some mat time as a freshman is a possibility but it all depends on how he does when he gets there which is what he has been working on lately.
“I definitely need to up my intensity in practice,” he said. “I don’t wanna go in there thinking that I am going to be all that and say I am going to go and kick butt and win the spot. I need to really prove myself.”