HEISER: Marsteller set to get back on mat this week
- Chance Marsteller was a four-time state champion at Kennard-Dale High School.
- After his August arrest, Marsteller is set to get back on the wrestling mat this week.
- Marsteller is entered to compete in a prestigious tournament in New York City.
The frequently fantastic and sometimes sordid saga of Chance Marsteller is set to take yet another new twist.
Marsteller, who had a much-publicized run-in with the law in late August, is entered to compete in the Bill Farrell International Open tournament in New York City, according to the respected wrestling website, FloWrestling.org. The prestigious event starts Thursday and runs through Saturday. Marsteller's first match is set for Friday.
It will be fascinating to watch how Marsteller fares against some of the best wrestlers in the world in the 74-kilogram (163-pound) weight class.
There's no doubt about Marsteller's wrestling talent. You just don't win four Pennsylvania state titles and finish with a 166-0 high school record without being supremely talented.
A career derailed: Marsteller, however, also has his demons.
Those demons derailed his wrestling career a few months back when he was charged in Clinton County with six counts of aggravated assault, a first-degree felony, six more counts each of misdemeanor simple assault and reckless endangerment, two counts of misdemeanor disorderly conduct and one count of misdemeanor open lewdness and public drunkenness, according to online court records.
He was allegedly naked and banging on doors. It was reported that he exposed himself to police. After his arrest, he began slamming his head against the partition in the police cruiser so much that the officers pepper sprayed him to make him stop.
When he was taken to a local hospital, he had to be restrained and sedated, according to police, but not before he allegedly lunged at a nurse, assaulted police and spat blood in an officer's face.
It was later reported that Marsteller allegedly had cocaine and marijuana in his system and a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit (.274) when he was arrested. He's free on $50,000 bail and court records show a date for jury selection in his trial has been set, on a preliminary basis, for Jan. 20, 2017.
That followed a largely disappointing stint at Oklahoma State, where he could never quite live up to his advance billing as one of the best high school wrestling recruits in the nation coming out of Kennard-Dale in 2014.
He redshirted his freshman season at Oklahoma State and was just 6-5 in his sophomore season when he was suspended from the Cowboys' team for an unspecified violation of team rules.
Marsteller then opted to return closer to home and compete for Lock Haven, a small school in central Pennsylvania that competes on the NCAA Division I level in wrestling.
His Bald Eagle career, however, was sidelined before it even started after his August arrest. He dropped out of school and has since reportedly been undergoing rehabilitation and counseling for drug and alcohol dependency.
Getting back on the mat: Here's hoping that Marsteller can rejuvenate a wrestling career that was once brimming with promise.
Marsteller certainly isn't easing back into competition.
The Farrell tournament is seriously stacked.
According to FloWrestling, last year's Farrell finalists, Dan Vallimont and Bekzod Abdurakhmonov, are set to compete in Marsteller's weight class. Abdurakhmonov had a world bronze at 70 kilograms in 2015.
In addition, Marsteller's former teammate at Oklahoma State, three-time NCAA champion Alex Dieringer, is also registered at 74 kilograms.
When asked how he feels about the latest incarnation of his wrestling career, Marsteller told FloWrestling: “I'm just happy to be doing what I love to do."
Maybe this weekend's competition will be the start of an inspiring story of redemption for Marsteller.
He's still a very young man at just 21 years old, with plenty of time left to make his mark on the wrestling world.
More importantly, he has plenty of time left to straighten out his life.
The first step on that journey may start in a few days.
Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.