Cranberry resident joining Butler HOF
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Eagle Staff Writer
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Published:
August 11, 2014
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CRANBERRY TWP — There are plenty of “firsts” next to Lyneil Mitchell’s name in Butler High School wrestling history.
A 1998 Butler graduate and Cranberrry Township resident, he was the Golden Tornado’s first section champion, first WPIAL finalist, first PIAA qualifier and first single-season 30-match winner.
Now he’s the first Butler wrestler to gain entrance into the school district’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Mitchell will join Shawn Bellis, Annie Lowry, Troy Mohney, Mark Maier and Mark Farabee for induction at 5 p.m. Sept. 5 in the high school cafeteria. The inductees will be presented on the field prior to Butler’s home football season opener against Baldwin that night.
“This is a total shock, honestly,” Mitchell said of his induction. “I never did that much in football and I didn’t think wrestling would be a big enough sport in that regard.
“I’ve got an 18 month old son now and you start thinking about legacy ... The Hall of Fame, that will be there forever and I’ll be a part of it. That’s pretty cool.”
Mitchell has never stopped benefiting from wrestling. He runs his own business today — Revolution Physical Therapy in Cranberry Township — and works with professional and high school athletes alike.
“Wrestling gave me the drive to push myself, to not settle for being mediocre, always work for more,” Mitchell said. “When my wrestling career was over, that sort of passionate drive stayed with me.
“Some people call my business successful. I still feel like I have a lot more to do. I guess I’ll always feel that way.”
But he didn’t always feel that way.
Mitchell admitted he “didn’t know what hard work was” when he was in high school.
“I know how lazy I was, looking back on it,” he said. “But I took to wrestling and I eventually realized it was a sport where if you don’t push yourself, you won’t be able to compete.”
Mitchell wound up with a 77-19 record in high school, became a two-time section champion and reached the WPIAL Finals in 1998, when wrestling was still a relatively new sport at Butler.
Mitchell went on to Gannon University, where he compiled a 98-33 record on the mat, including 62-4 over his final two seasons. He won eight collegiate tournaments in his final two seasons.
He placed second and third at the NCAA Division II National Championships as a junior and senior, respectively.
Mitchell also pitched for the Gannon baseball team for four years.