Last Updated: Mon May 08, 2023 - 2:14AM
College recruitment is a chaotic process as a whole, whether you are a student-athlete trying to send out your highlight reel to coaches, or coaches traveling from state to state to watch potential talent.
Hempfield Area's Lucas Kapusta went into the recruiting process fairly excited, but that quickly changed.
“The past pretty much two years have been stressful; it’s (the recruiting process) pretty stressful,” said Kapusta.
He was on the radar of many college coaches, and started to see the recruitment pick up last summer. After visits to North Dakota State and Edinboro, he made a trip to Lock Haven and was blown away by what he saw from the school and wrestling program.
“I was super close with Nate Carr - he was the assistant coach at the time,” Kapusta noted of his visit to Lock Haven. “We had a really good connection. But he ended up leaving two weeks later, and it messed with my mind and I took Lock Haven off my list.”
That bad taste in Kapusta’s mouth would not last long. The Bald Eagles reached back out to the Spartan wrestling standout, and after a second visit in the fall, he made his commitment to Lock Haven.
“I did my official visit and I fell in love with it again,” he mentioned. “I knew I loved it the first time, and as soon as I went back, I knew it was the place for me.”
“The school part - I love the campus and where it’s located. It’s not too far away, but it’s far enough away so my parents aren’t coming up and getting on me,” he added.
On top of finding a new home at Lock Haven, Kapusta is eager to reunite with an old teammate of his when he becomes a Bald Eagle.
Ty Linsenbigler, a former four-time PA state qualifier at Hempfield, was Kapusta’s teammate in high school and will soon be again in college.
Kapusta gained valuable insight from Linsenbigler about college wrestling, and Lock Haven in particular. The advice that was shared with the soon-to-be Bald Eagle gave him great comfort knowing he had made the right choice.
“Being teammates with him, he was always the jokester in the room before and after practice,” Kapusta commented on his relationship with Linsenbigler. “But, when it’s time to work, we put the work in and he’s just a fun person to be around.”
Kapusta finished his high school career with 128 victories including a 38-5 mark his senior year. He was a state qualifier the last two years, placing fifth in the PIAA tournament.
As his time as a high school student winds down, he’s gearing up for the next phase in his life in both the classroom and wrestling room. However, it’s not just the wrestling and school parts that excite him, but also the independence he will gain being a college student.
“I think being on my own - my parents have helped me a lot from the time I was a kid to now,” Kapusta said. “But transitioning from being a kid to being an adult, and being an adult on my own - doing my own laundry, getting my own food - those are things I’m most looking forward to.”