NORTHFIELD, Vt. â€“ Lincoln High alum Anthony Joyce has earned a starting job at heavyweight for the Norwich University wrestling program.
Joyce finished fourth last weekend in the Rochester Institute of Technology tournament to continue a strong start to his sophomore season.
â€śI have a 14-10 record so far,â€ť Joyce admitted over the phone on Monday night. â€śIâ€™m a more well-rounded wrestler now than I was in high school. I hurt my hand in football in my freshman year of college and this year I decided to just focus on wrestling.â€ť
Norwich wrestling coach John Hartupee sees a big improvement in Joyce this season.
â€śAnthonyâ€™s football injury kept him out of wrestling for most of his freshman year,â€ť Hartupee said. â€śThis year, he is working full-time in wrestling, lifting weights and practicing hard.â€ť
â€śI feel stronger and quicker,â€ť Joyce said. â€śIâ€™m six feet four and 260 pounds now. My footwork is better when Iâ€™m in the neutral position. My (takedown) shots are better.â€ť
Joyce will have a wrestling homecoming next month when Norwich visits Johnson & Wales University for a tri-meet on Jan. 15. Both schools wrestle in Division III of the NCAA.
â€śLast year was my first year as coach,â€ť Hartupee said. â€śThe year before I arrived, Norwich came close to dropping wrestling as a varsity sport before some alumni intervened and raised $75,000 to keep the program going. Now we have 45 wrestlers on our roster. The program is doing well. Young wrestlers like Anthony Joyce have a lot to do with that.â€ť
Joyce, who finished third in the state as a senior at Lincoln and placed fourth at the New England championships, is majoring in criminal justice at Norwich.
â€śI would like to work in federal law enforcement,â€ť he said. â€śI am also taking ROTC training at Norwich. Right now, I am not contracted to join the military but I plan to enlist after I graduate from college.â€ť