Event chronicles transformation of college's wrestling program
– Photos by Tom Wilson, writer/editor-PCToday
Coach Pankil Chander talks with Frank Brouse, who wrestled under Hall of Fame coach Max Wasson and who earned an associate degree in ornamental horticulture from Williamsport Area Community College in 1980. The latest of three generations in the industry, he is the founder and owner of Brouse Landscapes LLC in Hatfield.
A nostalgic retrospective of Wildcat wrestling memorabilia – including a display of singlets from over the years – greets attendees of the weekend event.
Four men who left their mark on the college's wrestling program help fill one of the tables in the Mountain Laurel Room. From left are seven-year coach Schuyler Frey, who helped establish wrestling as a varsity sport at Penn College; former assistant coaches Rich Shnyder and Patrick Sparks (now coaching at Muncy High School); and Tyler Myers, an All-American and three-time team captain in the club era. Frey calls Myers "the skipper," crediting the former student-athlete with tirelessly advocating for the varsity program with the college's director of athletics.
Nicholas Semon, an electronics & computer engineering technology student from Norristown, and the college's only active "pre-COVID" wrestler, compellingly talks about the discipline and commitment required of his chosen sport.
Assistant coach Jesse J. Walker, a 2022 alumnus of the web & interactive media major and an All-American while a student, enthusiastically recaps the program's exponential growth for an audience of wrestlers (past and present) and their faithful supporters. "A lot of new heights are being reached," he told the crowd. "You're the reason people are finding out who Penn College is."
Wrestler Jacob X. Kunselman, a business administration student from Ridgeway, caps the get-together with a pair of songs: the theme from "The Littlest Hobo" and Band of Heathens' "Hurricane."
Chander expands upon a season of milestones and "firsts" – a litany of individual and team accomplishments – that comprises conference and national recognition, academic excellence and community service. The grateful coach also noted generous donor support, such as the new mat room courtesy of Dan and Monica Klingerman, and detailed areas of ongoing need for those inclined to contribute.
Expressing their encouragement in sheer numbers, scores of guests (current wrestlers and Wildcat alumni, coaches, families and friends) gather for a group photo to close out the evening.