By Anthony Mitchell
For The Daily Item
Josh Mangle wrestled under some of the greatest coaches in Shikellamy wrestling history during his time in Sunbury.
Now a coach at Ursinus, Mangle may be a Phil Lockcuff-type coach or have an impact like Rob Johnson had, on one of the wrestlers under his watch. Mangle helped to coach the Division III Cultural Exchange wrestling team this summer in competitions throughout Europe.
The Ursinus coaching staff was chosen to coach the team which consists of wrestlers from eight Division III schools across the nation. The coaching staff for the competition rotates between schools each year and this year was Ursinus' chance.
The trip, which combines wrestling and training with time to discover culture along the way, consisted of stops in Paris, Istanbul, Turkey and four cities in Bulgaria including the capital of Sofia.
"It was a wonderful experience," Mangle said. "We got to know kids who we may only see once or twice at nationals and they got to know us."
After meeting with George Kalchev, the director of the Kalchev International Tournament in Sofia, Mangle and his crew had the chance to train in top Bulgarian wrestling facilities, including the Bulgarian Olympic training facility in Sofia and a mountain training facility.
While training with Bulgarian wrestlers, Mangle and his wrestlers had the opportunity to see how wrestling is perceived in the eastern European country.
"We were treated like rock stars," Mangle said. "Wrestling is their national sport and we were treated like heroes. We were wrestlers and everyone treated them with respect. It didn't matter (that) we were U.S. wrestlers."
Perhaps the enhanced personal treatment towards the wrestlers had an effect on their performance in the competition.
The team finished 2-2 in international competition and finished the tournament with a bang. On the final day of competition, the United States squad took home four individual championships and two runner-ups to win the annual tournament, which featured wrestlers from Bulgaria, Turkey, France, Ukraine and Norway, in addition to the United States.