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Three St. Joes Matmen sign D1 scholarships

By BRIAN CARSON
Central Pa Sports 

BOALSBURG – St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy standoutsCaleb Dowling, Tyler Stoltzfus and Keegan Rothrock made theirdecisions to continue wrestling at the collegiate level at the school gymnasium Wednesday morning.

Dowling, a Juniata county native, joins Coach Tim Flynn at West Virginia to compete at 149/157 for the Mountaineers. Tim Flynn is the older brother of Wolves’ Coach Pat Flynn.

Stoltzfus is off to Lock Haven to wrestle for Scotty Moore and the Bald Eagles at 157/165, and Rothrock heads to Brown where he will wrestle at 165/174.

I think all three will do fantastic at the next level. They are dedicated young men, getting good grades and working hard,” Pat Flynn said. “Caleb got his SAT scores and had a 1300. Keegan’s is up there too. He’s wanted to go to Brown for a long time. They are going to do a fantastic job for their schools. The bottom line is they’re furthering their education and using wrestling as a vessel to get that education. It’s fantastic each of them has high standards and goals and they’ve been working towards them.”

Dowling enters the upcoming season with a 119-16 career record and a three-time PIAA place winner. He took third as a freshman, second as a sophomore, and fourth last march. Dowling is a two-time District 6 and Southwest Regional Class 2A champion.

The decision to attend West Virginia was an easy one for Dowling. The Mountaineers beat out Bucknell, Lehigh and Maryland.

Going through the whole recruiting process, I had great schools interested in me, but personally, what I wanted, when I looked into it, West Virginia had everything I wanted,” Dowling said. “There was not a downside, so last spring, once I realized where I wanted to go; there is no reason not to commit now. From a wide range of academics, because I haven’t decided what I wanted to do, the coaching staff are one of the best in the country and I fit in with the team well. All that combined made it an easy choice.”

Tim Flynn is in rebuilding mode in his second year at the helm of the Mountaineers and Dowling feels he can be a key piece of the puzzle for a potential turnaround, but he knows plenty of hard work lies ahead.

Coach Pat couldn’t have helped in a more unbiased way. He didn’t push me toward West Virginia at all. He didn’t have any influence at all with my decision,” Dowling said. “The team has been struggling the last couple of years with the new coaching staff, but it takes time to build up a program. The new recruits coming in, some I know personally, are willing to work hard. I know what my goals are. I know I have things to work on to get better and that’s a good thing. I feel I can get better and be ready for the college game.”

Stoltzfus has a 123-25 career record with two PIAA medals to his credit – fifth as a sophomore and fourth last season. He owns a District 6 and a Southwest Regional crown to his credit.

I liked the work ethic and the work the team is willing to put in. I like the close proximity to home (Mifflinburg),” Stoltzfus said. “Coach Moore does an awesome job training kids to where they need to be.”

Lock Haven beat out North Carolina State for the services of Stoltzfus.

“It came down to Lock Haven and NC State, but I felt Lock Haven was the best place for me,” he said. “I’m hoping to be their guy at 174, wrestle hard and score a lot of points.”

Rothrock placed third in the state as a junior and brings a 93-32 career mark into his senior season. Academics, not just wrestling, played a significant part in his decision to major in engineering or economics at Brown.

When I was looking for a college, academics came first, so Brown spoke for itself being Ivy League and everything,” Rothrock said. “Once I stepped on campus, I really liked it. I fell in love with the campus and felt the coaches and team had my back. I knew it was for me.”

Brown beat out West Virginia and Virginia for the services of Rothrock.

“Wrestling is right up there with academics. I want to be a national champ, so I want to do the best that I can at whatever weight class they need me to be,” Rothrock said. “I’m looking to grow more muscle mass and wrestle at 165 for college.”

These three young men at St. Joseph’s represent all that’s good with high school athletics, namely, hard work, dedication, academic achievement and the pursuit of excellence in all they do.

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