PERU -It's a program that is on the rise, sending six wrestlers to the NCAA Division I wrestling tournament this past season.
Now, a four-time New York State Champion is hoping that the University at Buffalo Bulls program will help him reach his next goal: National All-American.
"I'm hoping to be pretty competitive in Division I and hoping to make it to the NCAA's in my first year and place right off," Arik Robinson, Peru's wrestling star over the past five seasons, said about his decision to sign with Buffalo.
Robinson signed a letter of intent to wrestle for the Mid-American Conference University May 5, officially joining teammate Patrick "Pappy" Hogan as a Division I athlete (Hogan had previously accepted an offer to wrestle for the Ivy League's Harvard).
"We are using this day to celebrate the accomplishments of out two great wrestlers in Pappy and Arik," said Athletic Director Larry Ewald at the press conference where Robinson signed his letter of intent to grapple for the Bulls. "We don't get that happening around here too much."
Indians head coach Mike Hogan said that the commitments of Robinson and his son doubles the amount of Division I athletes to come out of the program from two-to-four.
Robinson said that the key factors in his decision were his confidence in the coaching staff and the depth of the program.
"They have great coaches and a couple of guys at 125 that I can work with to help make me a great wrestler in college," Robinson said. "I saw that they had three other guys there. I look at it as it is going to be a harder way for me to get onto the mat for the Bulls and get me to be a better wrestler."
Currently, the Bulls roster features freshmen Max and Mike Soria along with redshirt freshmen Sean Walton at 125. The Soria brothers wrestled previously for Kings Park in NYSPHSAADivision I with Max finishing in third place and Mike finishing in fifth place at the 2010 NYSPHSAAwrestling tournament, while Walton wrestled for Palmyra-Macedon, who finished second at 125 in the 2009 NYSPHSAAstate tournament and third at 119 in the 2008 tournament.
Robinson finished his career with a record of 180-10, winning one state title at 96, one at 103 and the last two at 112.