Fisher’s new wrestling program expected to begin next winter

BY JENNA COSTELLO '22, STAFF WRITER

Caption should say: Photo provided by St. John Fisher College Athletics.

By Jenna Costello ’22, Staff Writer

St. John Fisher College recently announced the reinstitution of the wrestling program. The program will begin in the 2022-2023 winter season, thanks to a passionate group of Fisher wrestling alumni and a generous donation from alumni William and Tracy  Pellicano.

The wrestling program at Fisher first began in 1965 with much success both regionally and nationally. The program produced both NAIA and NCAA Division III All-Americans but was put to a halt in 1983. After 38 years, the wrestling drought has come to an end.

A host of reasons including alumni support, donations, and the increasing popularity of wrestling led to the revival of the wrestling program. 

Wrestling has become a well-known sport among Section V athletics and the greater Rochester area giving Fisher easy access to recruits. In addition, a generous donation from William J. Pellicano and Tracy Pellicano provided the necessary funds to renovate the former yoga studio in Michaelhouse into a state-of-the-art wrestling pavilion named after Joseph Pellicano. These factors along with the support and encouragement of former wrestling team members led to the reinstatement of the program.

An experienced wrestler and successful head coach, Ryne Morrison was selected to lead Fisher’s new wrestling program. His coaching accolades are endless including the development of four All-Americans, eight Central Regional Place winners, eight NWCA Scholar All-Americans, and eight First-Team All-MIAA selections.

Fisher Athletics Director, Bob Ward expects the program to be a positive addition to the current line-up of sports offered at the college. “It gives the college a fuller sports roster in the winter months,” Ward said. 

“It [also] gives an opportunity for us to recruit another unique population.” In addition to helping the college, the program is also aimed at helping create better young adults.

“Wrestling is about enduring struggle,” Morrison said. “Balancing academics, cutting weight, extra workouts and the nature of the sport is all a constant struggle. But enduring that struggle develops the mindset, values, and work ethic that transcends the sport. No other sport creates that level of struggle on a daily basis. And once wrestlers apply the same mindset outside of wrestling they can excel in all areas of their lives.”

Starting this March, a schedule will be created and should be released the following school year. For interested students, more information can be found on the Fisher athletics website or via an email to jmorrison@sjfc.edu.

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