Notes from Coach Doyle

Sean Doyle, Head Coach
Wheeling Jesuit University

February 2, 2014

The team went 1-1 on the weekend, losing to Pitt-Johnstown Friday evening and picking up a thrilling come from behind win at Seton Hill. Please be sure to come out and support us this Wednesday in our last home dual of the year against Shippensburg. A youth camp precedes the dual from 515-615 and a Friends of the Program Social will run from 530-645.

On Friday, we traveled to Pitt-Johnstown to take on a program that is rich in tradition and a perennial powerhouse. They are currently 12th in the country. When we were putting the schedule together in the late spring and early summer, it was a big priority to make sure that we wrestle programs like UPJ. As we pursue a top 20, a top 10 and work into a National Title contender, it's vital that our guys have a perspective on what it's going to take to get to that level. Our schedule is evolving and that will be evident as we release information in the next month. We were defeated 41-3 but there were certainly positives to take from this match. Aside from the experience of wrestling a program like UPJ, Sawyer Leppla picked up another strong win over a ranked regional opponent and Ryan Winslow followed him with what was almost the upset of the season in Division II. Ryan lost to #2 ranked and 2x All-American Travis McKillop 9-7 and needed about 5 more seconds to send this to overtime.

On Saturday, we traveled back into the Keystone state to take on Seton Hill. We talk often about the measure of a man being his ability to respond to being knocked down. The guys have been padded on the back all week after a big win last weekend, so it was a great test for them after getting their butt kicked Friday. Well Saturday started off shaky as we lost 4 matches in a row to fall behind 19-6 (we received a forfeit at 125). Our upper weights weren't phased and displayed a memorable comeback with 5 wins a row and a 24-19 victory. Hans Rogerson picked up a HUGE fall trailing 2-0 at 165. Sawyer Leppla scored 4 points in the last 10 seconds to win 6-4. Ryan Winslow trailed 4-1 before storming back to a 14-8 decision. Maxwell Lacey looked strong in an 8-4 win and Corey Siegfried won a hard fought battle 3-2 to cap off the comeback! Great poise and resiliency from a young group.

Brad Kakos (10-18 5th Mount Union Inv., 4th WV Invitational)
Brad did not wrestle Friday night and accepted a forfeit Saturday. Brad is recovering from an injury and it was important to get another 5 days to recover fully. He will be back in action Wednesday night, better than ever!

Scott Lopez (22-12, 3rd BW Open, 2nd W&J Inv, 5th Mount Union Inv, 2nd Spartan Mat Classic, WV Invitational Champion)
Scott wrestled two regionally ranked opponents this weekend and was defeated in both matches. We are still figuring out a lot of things regarding Scott's prematch preparation to get more consistency out him. He's had a fantastic freshman campaign but Scott strives for much more, as do his coaches. He's a tremendous talent and could be wrestling at the National Tournament in March if we can figure these things out in the next 26 days! FYI- He's already text me about watching film today. If I can convince Amber of just 20 more minutes of wrestling this week, we'll make it happen!

Damon Outward (24-13, 5th BW Open, 5th W&J Inv, 4th Mount Union Inv, 3rd Spartan Mat Classic)
Damon, like Scott, has been a huge success this season and elevated his game to levels a lot thought weren't possible. Damon wrestled two very good opponents this weekend and lost both matches. Damon always battles but just has a few key weaknesses that need fixed to give him a shot against the best. We can't really fix size in 26 days, so I won't address that. Damon will make some noise at the regional tournament.

Dominic Nania (18-15, 5th BW Open, 7th Midwest Classic, 2nd Spartan Mat Classic)
Dom is still out, with no timetable on his return. He has quickly assumed a role of our 5th assistant. (He fights Skyler for that)

Jonathan Barrett (4-7, 3rd WV Collegiate Invitational)
Jonathan has worked his tail off to get to a level where he can compete at this level, and he knows he still has a lot left to do. Jon is in the room almost every day for extra workouts and there is no doubt, his improvements will continue to be seen.

John Gershom (10-21, 7th Mount Union Inv, 6th WV Collegiate Invitational)
John did not wrestle Friday night but did step in to wrestle Seton Hill's best wrestler Saturday. We're very beat up at 157 and 165 right now, as John falls in that category. John's a great team player and did not hesitate when I asked him to step in here. It was a tough match for John, but our focus will be on trying to get him healthy this week.

Hans Rogerson (5-4, 7th Spartan Mat Classic, 2nd WV Collegiate Invitational)
Hans may deserve the MVP for Saturday as he picked up a much needed pin, at a time when were getting beat up. Hans has worked though a lot this year and continues to improve and show signs of competing at this level. Friday he was defeated.

Anthony 'TJ' Smith (4-18, 4th Spartan Mat Classic)
TJ is out with injury and we're hoping to have him back this week.

Cody Eggers (2-17, 6th Spartan Mat Classic, 5th WV Collegiate Invitational)
As mentioned above, these two weight classes are lacking stability right now due to some injuries. Cody has been at 157 all year and bumped up to 165 Friday night. His opponent is a 2x National Qualifier but Cody battled hard with him, not surrendering a pin.

Sawyer Leppla (24-11, 1st BW Open, 4th W&J Inv, 4th Mount Union Inv, 3rd Spartan Mat Classic, 2nd WV Collegiate Invitational)
When I talk to our fans, I think Sawyer's name comes up more than most as a result of entertaining matches and finishes. (Entertaining to all but me of course, and Leslie I'm sure!) I can't figure out if Sawyer plans his matches to be dramatic, so that he can be a fan favorite, or if he has a desire for me to lose the only hair I left. Sawyer picked up a very dominant win Friday night over another strong opponent from UPJ and then picked up a last second victory over his Seton Hill opponent. Sawyer has now caught Damon for team wins, so this next few weeks will be a race to the finish!

Nate Hupp (11-9, 4th BW Open, 6th Mount Union Inv)
Nate is still injured and is day to day at this point.

Ryan Winslow (10-3, 4th Mount Union Invitational, WV Collegiate Invitational Champion)
Ryan made great strides, again, this weekend. He spends a lot of time in our workout facilities during the week and that is evident in his superior conditioning. Ryan completely broke the #2 ranked wrestler in the country Friday night and needed just a few more seconds to take it to OT where he would have won. On Saturday he started slow (as usual) down 4-1, but the great thing is that no one on our bench is concerned about Ryan being down a few points. The next thing you know, Ryan was up big, trying to pick up the major. He worked very hard but came up just short with a 14-8 win.

Maxwell Lacey (19-17, 6th W&J Inv, 7th Mount Union Inv, 2nd WV Collegiate Inviational)
Max was defeated by a very good opponent Friday night. Max had a convincing 8-4 victory last night and looked great in a few areas that Max is working hard on. Max is the youngest individual on our team, and his ability to mature sooner than later, will result in a lot of success. Sometimes we see Max Lacey and sometimes we see the real Maxwell Lacey (AKA Chuck Suave) for those that aren't aware. For future reference, please refer to Max as Chuck Suave on match days.

Corey Siegfried (18-11, 3rd W&J Inv, 4th Mount Union Inv, 6th Spartan Mat Classic, 2nd WV Collegiate Invitaional)
Corey wrestled well this weekend and after seeing him throw up 4x after our match last night, I found out he did it while being under the weather. Corey is such a great individual and competitor and he didn't say anything to his coaches about feeling sick. I started to think in his match last night that something was wrong, because Corey at 100% would have scored 10 points last night! Saying that, I'm very proud of him in his ability to go out, on the road, with the match on the line and sealing the victory! Great job Corey.

Have a great week everyone! Again, thanks for all of the support. Things couldn't be better at WJU right now and we do have some HUGE news coming in the near future related to our wrestling camp this summer and schedule for next year.

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