Jason Nolf And Vincenzo Joseph Undaunted By Hometown Championship Chase
As Penn State wrestling heads to PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh this weekend for the NCAA Championships, a pair of top-two seeded Nittany Lions are preparing to compete in front of their home crowd.
Jason Nolf of Kittanning High School in Yatesboro, PA, and Vincenzo Joseph of Central Catholic High School will be competing in front of a few more familiar faces than in past years.
Joseph came to Penn State boasting a 71-4 record over his junior and senior seasons and holding back to back state titles. He’s continued his winning ways during his Penn State career, claiming two national championships at 165 pounds.
He’s not focused on the homecoming at the moment, though. Joseph is busy working toward a three-peat.
“[I’ll] probably have more than the past two years for nationals because I live there,” he said. “But I haven’t really talked to too many of my family members about who’s coming because I’m just trying to focus on wrestling.”
Joseph said he has always wanted to have the chance to wrestle in PPG Paints Arena, and to have the chance to do so is an amazing opportunity. PIAA wrestling championships are held in the Giant Center in Hershey, PA, so this will be the first chance for both wrestlers to compete where the Pittsburgh Penguins play.
Jason Nolf joined Penn State wrestling with a combined 176-1 career record from his time at Kittanning High School and three state titles. His dominance has continued during his collegiate career, amassing an 86-3 record and his own pair of individual national championships at 157 pounds.
Record and location aside, Nolf describes the chance to wrestle an hour away from where he grew up as just another tournament. Not even his race for the pin record with Bo Nickel can distract him from going to Pittsburgh and competing at his best.
With a habit of goofing around, maybe the team is more focused on coming up with a way to tease Pitt football than they are on psyching themselves out about wrestling in front of family.
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