Two-time Pennsylvania state champion wrestler to transfer, may not compete this season

BRAD WILSON
The (Easton) Express-Times (TNS)
Ryan Crookham

Two-time state champion wrestler and Lehigh commit Ryan Crookham will leave Notre Dame and may not compete this season.

Crookham, who has been recovering from a concussion that kept him out of this fall’s "Who’s No. 1" national event, will enroll at Saucon Valley for the remainder of the academic year.

“It is in my best interest that I transfer to Saucon Valley High School for the remainder of this year,” said Crookham in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “I would like to thank everyone who has truly supported me throughout my high school career up to this point.”

Crookham politely declined to answer further questions.

Under PIAA transfer rules, an athlete who changes schools after his sophomore season must sit out the ensuing postseason, and there is a 21-day sit-put provision for a mid-season transfer. The former would apply to Crookham; whether the latter would is unclear.

However, exceptions could be granted by the District 11 committee, and any decision there could be appealed to the PIAA Board of Directors. So, barring health issues, it would be possible, in theory, for Crookham to compete this winter.

Crookham is halfway to becoming the Lehigh Valley’s second four-time wrestling state champion. He has compiled a 100-3 record in his two seasons at Notre Dame, winning the PIAA Class 2-A title at 120 pounds as a freshman and 126 as a sophomore.

Entering the 2021 season, Crookham is ranked No. 1 in PIAA Class 2-A by PaPowerWrestling (PPW) at 132, and No. 2 at 132 and No. 7 pound-for-pound nationally by Mat Scouts. He has not lost to a PIAA opponent in his career, sweeping to two District 11 2-A and 2-A Southeast Regional titles.

In August, Crookham committed to wrestle in college at Lehigh, picking the Mountain Hawks over Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin and Navy. Crookham became the highest-ranked wrestler to commit to Lehigh in quite some time.