Lions Wrestle Their Way to #1
Well that didn’t take long.
In just his second season as head coach Cael Sanderson and his Nittany Lions are the number one team in the country according to the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll. But like the football coach across campus, Sanderson takes no stock in the recent ranking. Instead, the former four-time national champion won’t be satisfied until they are number one at March’s NCAA tournament.
“It is nice to be ranked number one, but our goal is not to be ranked number one,” Sanderson said Tuesday’s practice. ” Our goal is to the national champions.”
Combined with their two weekend wins over Pittsburgh and Indiana, Penn State overtook the number one ranking after then-No.1 Cornell fell to Lehigh17-15 last week.
The Lions dominated the Panthers Friday night in Rec Hall by a score of 30-7, and turned around to beat the Hooisiers in Indiana, 36-8.
The two wins gives Penn State a 13-0 record, which is the best start to a season in the university’s extensive history.
Redshirt junior Cameron Wade lead his Nittany Lions against Pitt and at Indiana with wins over the No. 3 and No. 14 ranked opponents. The 3-2 decision and the 6-0 shutout lead Wade to being named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week.
Similarly to his head coach, Wade said the acknowledgment means nothing unless a national championship is the grand finale.
“It is a great accomplishment, but I’d rather win that big award at the end of the season,” Wade said.
Jeez, there must be something in the water at the Lorenzo Wrestling Complex.
But redshirt junior Frank Molinaro thinks the mentality that each one of these wrestlers permeates, is the key to the title.
“With the attitude (Sanderson) is trying to instill in this team, I think we have the potential to be something real special,” he said.