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Bill Pribisco | for the Ligonier Echo This photo was taken by Bill Pribisco on 11/19/2012 at Ligonier Valley High School Ligonier, Pa.
Signs letter of intent Ligonier Valley High School senior Josh Patrick, second (from left) signs a letter of intent to Rutgers University for wrestling. Witnessing the event are his parents Cheryl Patrick and Robert Patrick; second row, Brian Matson, Ligonier Valley High School wrestling coach and Tom Brown, Ligonier Valley Middle School wrestling coach.

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Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 8:51 p.m.

Joshua Patrick, a senior at Ligonier Valley High School, has signed a letter of intent to attend Rutgers University in New Jersey and further his wrestling career for the Division I Scarlet Knights. Through three seasons wrestling for the Rams, Patrick has already earned a spot as one of the greatest wrestlers to ever attend Ligonier Valley.

Patrick is the son of Robert and Cheryl Patrick of Rector and has three younger siblings, Justin, Hannah and Robby. Justin is a junior at Ligonier Valley. He and Joshua have both qualified for the PIAA state championship wrestling tournament every year they have wrestled.

Joshua finished fifth in the state in Class AA at 113 pounds as a junior, his second time earning a spot on the podium at the state championships. Patrick is a two-time District 6 champion, while also earning a runner-up finish. After the 2012 varsity wrestling season, he earned the national championship at 113 pounds in the National High School Coaches Association junior tournament.

Patrick has an 83-18 varsity record for the Rams and will be aiming for 100 wins as a senior. He will wrestle his final season at Ligonier Valley under new head coach Brian Matson.

“Cheryl and I are proud of Josh, not so much for his accomplishments but with the way he has worked to achieve his goals and overcome setbacks,” said his father, Robert Patrick. “We are very proud of the young man he has become. He has a strong work ethic and a desire to do well.”

Joshua has had setbacks in his wresting career, including missing an entire season when he was 12 due to a knee injury. He missed six weeks during his sophomore season and seven weeks during his junior year due to illness and injury.

“I am looking forward to a healthy season and finally getting my 100 wins and competing at 100 percent so I can try to achieve my goals for my senior year,” Joshua said. He hopes to reach the state championship finals during his last season at Ligonier Valley.

In addition to wrestling, Patrick also participates in cross country and track for the Rams. He is a four-time PIAA state qualifier and two-time Heritage Conference champion for the cross-country team and has earned two letters in track and field. He is a three-year member of the National Honor Society, two-year member of the Spanish Honor Society and has earned all-academic wrestling honors at both the state and national level. Patrick participates in the One Road club and is a member of St. Vincent Parish. He does farm work during the summer.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to attend Rutgers University,” Patrick said. “My dad has always told me that ‘hard work pays off' and it has. I am thankful to my parents for their support and the values they have given me. Also, the many coaches I have had since I started playing sports – I have learned something from every one of them.”

At Rutgers, Patrick will wrestle for head coach Scott Goodale, who is entering his sixth season at Rutgers with a career record of 84-28-1. “I have spent a year getting to know the coaches and feel really good about wrestling for Coach Goodale and his staff,” Patrick said. “He seems to care as much about academic success as he does about winning and truly cares about his wrestlers.”

Joshua hopes to earn a spot as a starter for the Scarlet Knights on the way to becoming an all-american and competing for a national championship. He is considering civil engineering or criminal justice as a major.

Doug Kurtz is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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