BEDFORD, N.Y. Sam Speno had been planning his college wrestling future the moment he began talking to Binghamton University coach Pat Popolizio.
The Fox Lane senior established the groundwork with these conversations and recently made his decision. Speno gave a verbal commitment to attend Binghamton next year as a wrestler.
Speno, a two-time Section 1 large-school champion and twice a state place-finisher, including second last year, said he knows he made the right choice.
I definitely wanted to wrestle at a Division I school, stay close to home and stay close to my wrestling club, said Speno, one of four captains for Fox Lane this season.
Prior to selecting Binghamton, Speno went on an unofficial visit to the University of Iowa with his club coach, John Degl, owner of the Iowa Style Wrestling School. While Speno liked the wrestling facilities, he felt it was a bit too far from home.
Speno had also been in contact with Rutgers coach Scott Goodale. However, the official visit to Binghamton cemented his decision. He also spoke to current Binghamton freshman and friend, Vin Grella of Beacon.
Last month, I went to Binghamton and met the team and coaches and also watched a practice, said Speno, who plans on majoring in human development. The coaches are good and the wrestlers were close. Each time I spoke to coach Popolizio, I wanted to go there even more.
Speno also highlighted the academic support provided if a wrestler needs additional help.
The coaches make sure they help you stay on task with your classwork, Speno said.
Now that Speno made his college decision, he said his wrestling season will be stress-free. He can focus and concentrate on bringing Fox Lane another Section 1 large-school title and his quest for a state championship.
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