KINGSTON, PA -- Tyler Ponte of Pepperell, a senior wrestler at Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School in Kingston, Pa., will continue his academic and athletic career at Columbia University, New York City, N.Y., in fall, 2014. Ponte will wrestle for Columbia's head coach Carl Fronhofer in the NCAA Division I Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA), now in his seventh season as an assistant and head coach of the Lions. Fronhofer was an All-American as a member of the University of Pittsburgh Panthers at 174 lbs. and was named to the 2009 U.S. National Team. Ponte said he had considered other universities such as Lehigh, American and Duke. He chose Columbia because of the university's highly regarded academic programs and because he wanted the opportunity to wrestle with his brother Ryan, a 141 lb. junior and member of the Columbia team.
"Columbia is a great school and because my brother's on the team I feel that I know the wrestling program and the team pretty well," he said. "The entire coaching staff is great and they are all outstanding wrestlers on their own. I am looking forward to contributing to the team's success and helping the Lions win at the EIWA tournament."
Ponte, who wrestles at 138 lbs., started wrestling at age six and competed with the Doughboy Wrestling Club in Lowell and the All-American Club in Latrobe. He has won the Pa. State Prep Tournament twice, as a freshman at 103 lbs. and as a junior at 132 lbs. He also placed second at 132 lbs. at the 2013 Junior National Tournament and currently has a record of 101-30.
Ponte's talents will help the Blue Knights compete for their eighth Pa. State Prep Team Championship in 2014, said Scott Green, head wrestling coach.
"Tyler is one of the most consistent wrestlers I've ever coached," Green said. "He has been a huge part of four straight Blue Knight teams that have finished second at Prep Nationals. He will be a great asset to Columbia on the mat and in the classroom."
Ponte, who hopes to wrestle his freshman year at 149 lbs. or 157 lbs., is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Ponte of Pepperell.