While many people seemed to want Kennard-Dale wrestling sensation Chance Marsteller to go to Penn State, his father, Darren Marsteller, had but one request.

"Honestly, I just want him to be happy," the elder Marsteller said Friday evening, one day after Chance announced to Flowrestling.com, that he had indeed decided to attend Penn State after his upcoming senior year at Kennard-Dale.

"I wanted Chance to go somewhere where he is happy. He is going to like it and is comfortable with the choice," Darren Marsteller said. "I could push him to go wherever, but if he wasn't happy it wouldn't be right. It's going to be his life and that is where he decided he wanted to go. I think it's a good choice."

Listed by many, including Flowrestling, as the No. 1 high school wrestling recruit in the nation, it is easy to understand the Penn State choice. Why would the top recruit not go to the top NCAA program, which is coming off three straight national championships?

Chance Marsteller is 125-0 wrestling for the Rams, a record which includes three PIAA championships in as many years.

He has garnered much attention since before he even wrestled a high school bout - he went to the Nittany Lion Open and won matches as an eighth-grader. In 2011, he won national titles at the ASICS Junior and Cadet National Championships, as well as the Super 32.

Certainly, Nittany Lions wrestling coach Cael Sanderson was a major factor in the decision.

"That guy has a program," Darren Marsteller said.


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"Just being Cael, and what he has done in high school, college and at the world level. Plus, he's got three national championships in a row."

"Chance has always wrestled in Pennsylvania and a lot of kids he will be with at Penn State are kids he has been around. He's been on teams with them and knows them. I think it will be a good fit. And it's not too far from home."

Kennard-Dale High School varsity wrestling coach Mike Balestrini wasn't surprised at Chance Marsteller's choice, even if the coach didn't hear about it until after it was made.

"He had it narrowed down to a few," Balestrini said. "I didn't know. I was away. I still haven't talked to him. I talked to him last week when he went to the beach to get away. I told him he had to get away, enjoy being a kid and relax."

Not that Marsteller is a normal kid - especially on the mat.

"He was more mature than you normally see," Balestrini said. "He was focused, period, and worked as hard the whole time as a freshman, sophomore and junior. His work ethic is unbelievable no matter what. It never changed. Mentally he just stayed focused. Obviously it showed."

Balestrini likes the decision for Marsteller, who will likely finish high school as one of the most celebrated wrestlers in the Pennsylvania scholastic history.

"I am happy for him for where he chose," Balestrini said. "My whole thing was go somewhere where you can win (as a team). We haven't been able to because of the numbers. I am just so happy it's in PA, because PA is the best state. I just hope (Penn State continues the success) for another 12-15 years."

@stevenavaroli; 771-2060

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