Northern Tier Sports Report
ROME — When NEB wrestling coach Curt Cole advertised that they were bringing in 4-time PIAA Champion and College All-American wrestler Chance Marsteller for a one day clinic, he wasn’t sure what to expect.

But the turnout was even more than his wildest dreams.

“We were going to cap it at 40 but I can’t say no to people,” remarked Cole about their official number of 54 wrestlers. “It hurts to say no. I didn’t think I was going to get 40, I set the bar, I thought, high, but this is great.”

And the kids represent a cross-section of wrestlers from the area.

“We have, I think, everyone from the NTL, minus Wellsboro, which is a hike for them,” Cole said. “And I think we have a couple of Tioga kids and Waverly kids.”

Sullivan County also had a strong contingent there, with wrestlers from grade school all the way up to high school in attendance.

“This is probably one of my favorite parts about wrestling in general,” Marsteller said about doing these clinics. “I’m grateful for the people to reach out to me to have me come in and show stuff.”

He uses these clinics to reinforce what he does for his club, but it goes deeper than wrestling for Marsteller.

“My goal is to help people achieve success, do things that I’ve done, and do things I’ve done better, and without all the mistakes I’ve made,” he explained. “I get to come in, and, not only do I get to show them moves and stuff, but I also get to talk a little bit about life, and, you never know what one thing someone says can click with you for the rest of your life, and I hope, sometimes, I get to be a little bit of that X-factor, maybe have these kids hear that one thing I might say.”

Marsteller uses his three biggest role models - Cary Kolat, Tony Griffin, and Chris Bentley - as examples of what he tries to instill in the next generation.

“When you grew up with those type of role models you kind of get those little tidbits every day,” remarked Marsteller. “What these kids might need to hear I was lucky enough to hear it most days.”

These clinics also bring him back to when he was one the road a lot and training to be the best when he was younger.

“It always reminds me of how I got to where I got, and what I have to do to continue to move forward, as well,” said Marsteller.

Marsteller has had quite a run recently, and nearly unseated 5-time World Champion Jordan Burroughs in the best of three Final X competition at 174 pounds back in June. With a berth for the World Wrestling Championships on the line the two wrestlers split the first two matches, setting up a deciding third bout that Burroughs was able to win.

“I’ve wrestled close to 30 matches the last six months, that’s a lot of international matches in six months, and out of 30 matches, I’ve had 11 top 10 guys in the world,” Marsteller said. “And out of those 30 matches, like almost 20 of them were at some point in time ranked in the top 20 in the world. So, every single one of these matches, and just this last bit of the circuit, and taking it all in, has definitely helped me move forward. And, just every single time I compete, now, it’s just like a little bit of an adjustment. I would definitely say those matches with Jordan, and taking him on at Final X, definitely helped me move forward in my mental game to just reinforce what you’re doing right.”

On Monday Marsteller was teaching an under-hook series, going over each technical detail with the precision of a fine toothed comb.

“That’s his bread and butter,” Cole said. “The under hook series, getting into the legs off the underhook - it’s good stuff.”

It doesn’t matter what Marsteller was teaching, though, as just having a wrestler of his quality in his gym was enough to put a smile on Cole’s face.

“He’s probably one of the hottest, if not the hottest, wrestler right now,” said Cole. “I mean, for him to be so humble and down to earth - you know what I mean - it’s pretty cool.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Chance Marsteller demonstrates a move on Monday…PHOTOS BY CHRIS MANNING

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