BY DENNY DIEHL, LEHIGH VALLEY WRESTLING CLUB | JUNE 27, 2017, 9:16 A.M. (ET)
BETHLEHEM, Pa.. – Lehigh Head Coach Pat Santoro and Jeff Buxton, Head Coach of the Lehigh Valley Wrestling Club, are pleased to announce the signing of Frank Perrelli, one of the East’s top lightweight freestyle veterans to the Club’s post-graduate resident athlete staff.
Perrelli, a member of the Cornell University Class of 2012, brings both character and a persistent battling-mentality to Bethlehem.
Coach Buxton had this to say: “He’s a guy who does right, great lifestyle and human being and has a passion for the sport. He is an athlete who loves to be coached.”
The native of Hackettstown, NJ, Frank was an unranked but talented Cornell recruit out of Delbarton School in 2006, a two-time team captain for them who placed 3, 1, 5 at NJ States (142-20), NHSCA 4, 5 and third at the Beast of the East.
A three-year back-up to CU’s Troy Nickerson, Frank was 16-13 in his first season before finishing 95-28 over the next four years including two EIWA titles at 125 and an NCAA 4th place medal as a senior. His NCAA championship round loss came in overtime of the semifinals to Nico Megaludis (Penn State’s NCAA 2,2,3,1); the other for 3rd place came vs. Zach Sanders (Minnesota, NCAA 6,5,3,5).
Perrelli finished second at the 2013 U.S. National Freestyle Open to Obe Blanc (Edinboro 2,3), who placed 9th at the 2010 World Championships. Frank finished ahead of Megaludis, Sanders, NCAA 3rd Brandon Precin and NCAA 4 Mark McKnight, Penn State.
Frank added a fourth place at the prestigious 2016 Dave Schultz International tournament, before losing a 9-8 semi-final decision the next January there vs. runner-up Nodin Safarov, Uzbekistan. At this June’s 2017 U.S. World Team Trials at 125, Perelli finished fourth by beating two NCAA champions – Megaludis and Lehigh’s Darian Cruz – while losing late in bouts vs. former World Team member, Tony Ramos (Iowa’s NCAA 3,2,1) and to Ohio State’s NCAA 1,3,3 Nathan Tomasello.
The talented lightweight has a knack for finding top workouts. During his time at Delbarton, he trained at nearby Blair Academy. At Cornell he was sandwiched between two 4-time All-Americans, Troy Nickerson and Nahshon Garrett. He competed at the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club, spent two years at Oklahoma State and arrives in Bethlehem from the University of Virginia’s Cavalier WC.
The LVWC is pleased to land Frank Perrelli over the interest shown from regional training centers at Cornell, Rutgers and Charlottesville, Virginia. His presence will provide mutual benefits between him, NCAA champ Darian Cruz (125), All-American Scott Parker (133) and other lightweights.
The club staff now consists of 125-Perrelli; 132- Darrius Little; 143- Mario Mason; 154/163- Santiago Martinez, Nestor Taffur; 184- Robert Hamlin, Nate Brown; 275- Zach Rey.