Joey Napoli ’14 has been wrestling at Lehigh as a 149-pounder since he became a freshman. But this redshirt junior is coming off a year of deferred eligibility in order to add strength to handle a bump from the 149-pound class to 157.
That strategy worked out pretty well as Napoli, recently ranked third in the country, beat No. 5 Dylan Alton of Penn State while losing a narrow decision to No. 1 Jason Welch of Northwestern in December.
Last year, Napoli’s class schedule was largely his core classes in mechanical engineering, a major he complements with a minor in aerospace, focusing on aerodynamics.
An engineering internship could be in Napoli’s future because it was tough to work on one in the past.
“As for internships ... I am really focusing on the here and now," Napoli explained. "It’s kind of hard to do anything like that [during] wrestling. When it comes to wrestling and engineering, both are time consuming and demanding. I am able to achieve both successfully by managing my time."
Napoli understands the importance of making the most of his free time outside of wrestling to concentrate on homework and studies.
"Over my time at Lehigh I figured out how to succeed in school and wrestling," Napoli said. "I think any college student in general has to learn through time how to balance all their commitments. It was the same situation with me."
Napoli has one more year of school and plans on focusing on his future internships and career in the upcoming year.