Shindledecker takes wrestling talents to Penn State

Karl Shindledecker of Chambersburg, top, rides Josh Hillard of Manheim Township in the 126-pound final of the District 3 Tournament on Saturday afternoon. Shindledecker won 6-0 to claim his second district crown.


Good wrestlers are always looking for the next challenge.

And Chambersburg graduate Karl Shindledecker has chosen to take on one of the sport’s biggest challenges — he has committed to wrestling for the powerful Penn State program.

Karl Shindledecker

The Nittany Lions are the top dog in college wrestling, winning nine of the last 11 NCAA championships, and their lineup is tough to crack. Shindledecker will hope to break through in the 125-pound weight class. He would be the second Chambersburg wrestler in recent years to achieve that distinction, after Garett Hammond.

The former Trojan put together a spectacular high school career, posting a record of 103-25. He captured District 3 titles in 2021 and 2022 and placed three times at the PIAA Championships — third in 2019, a runner-up in 2021 and seventh in 2022.

Although it’s relatively late in the recruiting game, Shindledecker is glad to have the decision made and is ready for the challenge.

“The coaches (at Penn State) and I have been communicating for a little while,” he said, “and I took a visit there a few weeks ago. I really liked the atmosphere in the room and I liked the people in general. I realized during the visit that it was a place I wanted to stay.”

Along with the PSU program, the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club also trains in State College, and provides an entirely different group of high-class athletes to train against. That club helps wrestlers get ready for national tournaments and the Olympics.

Shindledecker said, “I know I’ll have to work on every part of my game, and that’s a place I can do that.”

Another factor in Shindledecker’s decision was that two friends he knew in youth wrestling are on the Nittany Lions’ squad — two-time NCAA champion Aaron Brooks and Aurelius Dunbar. Brooks, from Hagerstown, and Dunbar, from Greencastle (he graduated from Mercersburg Academy) grew up in the TYW (Tuscarora Youth Wrestling) club based in Mercersburg.

“Yeah, that was a factor in my decision,” Shindledecker said. “It makes it a little easier to already know some teammates.”


Categories: Chambersburg, Wrestling