Penn State wrestling lands an engagement from Biglerville star Levi Haines
Penn State is on the board of its recruiting class of 2022 with an engagement Wednesday from Levi Haines, junior from Biglerville, who ranks 12th in the MatScouts rankings for Class 22. Haines is the reigning state champion, three-time state finalist and member of the world cadet team that will travel to Budapest, Hungary for the competition this summer.
Haines has a career record of 100-5 in three seasons with the Canners, including a perfect 30-0 record and his first state title as a junior at 145 pounds last season. He started his preparation career in freshman at 106 pounds and rose to 126 in sophomore before making another jump to 145.
Haines won state gold in his third final appearance, nabbing Nathan Higley of Sullivan County in the second period. In total, the junior made 15 playoff games and won 14 with bonus points, including two major decisions and one fall at the PIAA Class 2A Championships.
In his previous two final appearances, Haines lost to Ryan Crookham of Notre Dame-Green Pond and Sheldon Seymour of Troy, who combined to win four state titles between them. Haines was also slow to start his second season with a heavier weight, losing two of his first three games, and missed part of December and January with injury.
“No, I had no regrets,” Haines said of his previous setbacks in the final. “I knew before this final that there was a possibility that you would win and that there was a possibility that you would lose. “Go out there, compete, just be myself, and I failed in those two. I have certainly learned a lot from them and gained important experience. I didn’t let him bother me. I recovered and continued to train.
Haines looked to the role of a technical, polite and tough competitor with an almost ideal temperament for the Penn State wrestling culture. He was far from impressed with himself after winning PIAA Gold in March while expressing a desire to focus on process rather than results. These are invaluable skills that Coach Cael Sanderson has sought out in the members of his program.
“I guess I could have been a little more excited about it, but hey,” Haines said of his state final victory, which was also his 100th career victory. “I mean, it’s cool, but it’s just another wrestling match. Whether it’s the 100th or the 1000th, I don’t care.
This formula should lend itself to Haines’ success as he makes the transition to making wrestling an even more important focus of his life to the next level. Haines also trained at the M2 training facility for former Penn State product David Taylor and was part of the world cadet team at 71 kilograms.
Haines projects himself as 157 or 165 pounds, according to Flo Wrestling, after showing steady growth from his freshman to junior seasons at Biglerville.