By Ryan Touhey
Whether it was a scorching hot sunny afternoon, a miserable rainy day, or the wee hours of the morning, members of the Sacred Heart wrestling team could be found pedaling towards what they hope is another successful season.
The wrestling team undertook a unique and strenuous challenge, Riding4Wrestling.
The goal of Riding4Wrestling is to help raise funds for current and future Sacred Heart University wrestling teams. The target goal for the campaign was set at $100,000, and the wrestling team is on track, having reached $70,000 as of Tuesday, Sept. 20.
On Monday, Sept. 19, head coach Andy Lausier hopped on a bicycle at 7 a.m. and left campus to begin the 1,116-mile journey to the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri, home of the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Lausier traveled through nine states, at times biking at over 60,000 feet of elevation. Simultaneously, in a display of team unity, members of the wrestling team took turns biking on an exercise bike for 24/7 for an entire week. Members of the wrestling team took turns riding the exercise bike for one-hour intervals throughout the day.
“It’s just a matter of getting out of bed. We remind ourselves it’s nothing compared to what our coaches are doing,” said senior Matt Fisher, in reference to biking during the dead hours of the night.
“It’s about more awareness. We want to get people more involved in the sports community and get people to come out and see what wrestling is all about,” said senior Kyle Brady.
Lausier explained his game plan for his part of the challenge.
“It’s about preparing myself for reality. I just break it down each day. You just chip away at your goal,” said Lausier.
Several people tagged along with Lausier for support. On the first day of the trip, Carter Mario, a former wrestler at University of North Carolina, friend and supporter of Lausier and the Sacred Heart team, accompanied the coach departing from the Sacred Heart campus on his way to Pennsylvania.
“Day one was the toughest. I crashed twice. I crashed the first time, five miles into the ride, but it wasn’t serious. Crash two was significant. I hit a pothole and went over the handlebars,” said Lausier.
Despite these obstacles, Lausier said that Mario’s presence helped him push through.
“Carter’s presence was huge. It gave me a huge boost through the dark hours,” said Lausier.
Collin McSherry, a former wrestling teammate of Lausier at Lycoming University, joined Lausier the second day, as well as the Assistant Coach Derek Moore.
“It was a great thing that I had coach Moore. There was absolutely no way I could do this without him. His presence was immeasurable,” said Lausier.
Moore praised the wrestlers for participating in the Riding4Wrestling campaign.
“It’s phenomenal what those guys are doing. They’re riding hard,” said Moore.
You can follow Lausier and the rest of his team on their journey by visiting their Riding4Wrestling.com and their