Notes from Coach Doyle
March 1, 2015
We're writing this evening with huge news within the Wheeling Jesuit Wrestling program. At this weekend's Super Region, three of our wrestlers accomplished the feat of becoming Wheeling Jesuit's first ever NCAA Qualifiers. In just our second year as a program, Dustin Warner, Nolan Whitely and Preston Bowshier have qualified to compete at the NCAA Division II Championships in St. Louis, Missouri on March 13th and 14th. Even more impressively is that they are all true freshman, a fantastic accomplishment. To put it in perspective, only 5 true freshman qualified in our region and we had 3 of them. Ryan Winslow (5th) and Sawyer Leppla (6th) also placed within the top 6 of the region. One side note for those that won't read the individual recaps, we avenged 3 of our losses to UPJ opponents. I say that because a month ago, we got beat up by UPJ in a dual and we knew it would make us better and that we were as good as them. We finished two spots in front of them this weekend!!
Our team did receive the 4th place trophy, an unbelievable accomplishment for our program. The tournament rankings that went out last week projected us 10th in the region. We finished behind three nationally ranked programs and we finished ahead of traditional powerhouses Gannon and Pitt-Johnstown. During the weekend we defeated 9 wrestlers that had previously beat us! It was encouraging to see our student athletes perform at their best when it mattered most! It was also enjoyable to see many of our non-starters there cheering us on. The story on the weekend can be found at THIS LINK
Dustin Warner (31-10, 9 falls, 5th W&J, 3rd Mt.Union, 5th Midwest Classic, WV Inv Champion, 3rd Super Region I, NCAA Qualifier)
Man what a weekend for Dustin. Aside from the fact that he reached 30 wins, 9 pins and become an NCAA Qualifier, it's the way in which he did it. After dropping his quarterfinal bout to a tough Notre Dame opponent, Dustin had a daunting task in front of him to win 4 matches in a row to make the NCAA Tournament. He won four in a row and in the process beat 3 opponents that beat him this year. He had lost by pin, by major decision and by a 6-2 decision and he avenged every one of them. It's been communicated regularly that Dustin will accomplish BIG things in a WJU singlet and this is just the start.
Jerrid Whaling (3-6, 1 fall, 7th Mt. Union, 5th WV Invitational)
Nolan Whitely (25-9, 2 fall, 3rd W&J, 2nd Mt. Union, WV Inv Champion, Super Region I Runner-up, NCAA Qualifier)
Nolan will forever go down as Wheeling Jesuit's first NCAA qualifier. Nolan called me on Easter last year to let me know that he wanted to become Wheeling Jesuit's first qualifier and All-American. Those were his exact words and for the last 11 months he's repeated that at least 100 times to me. We talk about goal setting and keeping your goals in front of you and Nolan has kept this goal in front of him since the day he committed. Nolan came into the tournament as the #8 seed and proceeded to knock off the #1 seed in the quarters and #4 seed in the semis. More impressive is that in Nolan's semi final match he was awarded the winning takedown and his NCAA birth at the buzzer of regulation only to have it taken away after review. Nolan regrouped, didn't blink an eye and went out to get the takedown in overtime!
Josh Henderson (2-1, 1 fall, 2nd WV Inv, 5-5 unattached)
Jaylen Hill (7-8, 7th Mt.Union, 4th WV Invitational)
Brad Kakos (1-8, Team Captain)
Preston Bowshier (28-9, 4 falls, 5th W&J, 3rd Mt. Union, 8th Midwest Classic, WV Inv Champ, Super Region I Runner-up, NCAA Qualifier)
Preston became our 2nd NCAA Qualifier with a fantastic win over the #5 ranked wrestler in the country from UPJ. The same opponent that beat him 6-0 a month ago. As I've said a few times, Preston came to Wheeling Jesuit with his sights set on BIG things and he's shown that he's well on his way. This weekend was no different and he dropped a hard fought 3-2 decision to the #4 ranked wrestler in the country in the championship match. Preston will be ready to rock and roll in St. Louis.
Tyler Knul (6-8, 5th Mt. Union)
Skyler Terrell (14-12, Captain, 2nd W&J, 3rd WV Invitational)
Skyler competed very well and went 1-2 with two very tough losses. In the first round Skyler had the lead on the eventual 3rd place finisher towards the end of the 2nd period, but ended up losing 5-3. After a gutty win in his next consolation match, he lost in overtime to the #4 seed. I've mentioned that Skyler wasn't a full sized 149 lbs but he performed well for us this season and his off season commitment will determine his success. Fortunately this was Skyler's freshman season and we have 3 more years!
Kollin Clark (4-8, 2 falls)
Kyle Harris (4-6, 1 fall)
Jonathan Barrett (7-7, Captain, 2 fall, 6th Simonson Open)
Kody Kernan (1-4)
Dominick Nania (23-12, Captain, 9 falls, 3rd Mt. Union, WV Invitational Champion)
Dom's weekend was not what he or any of us would have expected with the second semester run he's had. After a first round pin, Dom was defeated by the eventual 4th and 5th place finishers and was never able to gain any momentum in the tournament. Dom will be back ready to train after spring break with his goals in mind. He made great gains this year and we just need to see his best wrestling on a more consistent basis in every position.
Peyton Geary (11-9, 3 fall, 8th Mt. Union, 2nd Ashland Open)
Justin Trent (2-4)
Reyse Wallbrown (16-14, 4 falls, 5th Mt. Union, 6th WV Invitational)
Reyse had the misfortune of being very ill nearly all of the last month. It was no secret that Reyse wasn't competing at the level that we all remembered first semester when he hit the scene running. We felt Reyse earned the spot and although he wasn't near 100% we wanted him to experience a regional tournament because he will definitely be making noise in the future. I always tell Reyse that he is going to be a super star at Wheeling Jesuit in the next 4 years. I'm confident that if not for his health issues, he would be in the same sentence as the other true freshman that are now NCAA Qualifiers.
Anthony Smith (9-8, 4th WV Invitational)
Cody Eggers (2-8)
Sawyer Leppla (16-14, 6 fall, 4th W&J, 5th Midwest Classic, 5th WV Invitational, Super Region I 6th Place)
Sawyer went 3-3 on the weekend and looked like his old self in competing very well. After losing to the #2 seed Sawyer started working his way back through the consis defeating a West Liberty opponent that he had never beaten. In Sawyer's match to qualify for nationals he was defeated 5-2 but until the last few seconds, he was within a point and close to winning on a few occasions. Sawyer has had two successful seasons for us approaching 50 career wins, but I know he wants to accomplish more than that in his time at Wheeling Jesuit. Like most of our guys, Sawyer's ability to win consistently at a national level will be determined by the work he does out of season and the discipline with which he does it.
Dean Meyer (4-3, 3rd WV Invitational)
Nate Starkey (2-5, 2 falls)
Ryan Winslow (20-12, Captain, 12 falls, 2nd W&J, WV Invitational Champ, Super Region I 5th place)
As mentioned in the last update, Ryan's focus is on being at his best this time of year and did that again. After a challenging semester that saw Ryan lose a few matches that he shouldn't have, Ryan wrestled a great tournament falling just short. Ryan recorded 3 falls on the weekend and went 4-2. In his match to qualify Ryan was tied 2-2 with under :30 remaining when called for a penalty point. Being down 1 point, Ryan worked hard but was unable to get the deciding takedown. He came back to win his 5th/6th place match and I was very proud of his tournament and the direction he's heading. We never have to worry about Ryan's commitment and he gets better from every experience he encounters. He's taken steps back that were necessary for him to go forward and he'll be better than ever.
Ki Ryder (4-6)
Jared Leasure (0-2)
Nate Hupp (3-3, 2 fall, 3rd WV Invitational)
Maxwell Lacey (13-17, 1 fall, 2nd W&J, 8th Midwest Classic, WV Invitational Champ)
This season was not what Max would have wrote up after having a solid freshman campaign. As we've seen from Max, he's always a competitor and from time to time finds ways to pull off big wins. We need Max to be consistent. Consistently strong in every position and consistent in his daily work towards the things that will help him reach his goals. Max has been our guy for two years and a major component of what we've built. We need him to make those gains if we're going to become one of the best programs in the country.
Jacob Haynes (0-4)
Corey Siegfried (20-14, 4 falls, 2nd W&J, 5th Mt. Union, 2nd WV Invitational)
Corey had a tough day one running into two tough opponents. Heavyweight in our region may have been deeper than any other weight. Corey is tough and for him to not get a win at the regional tournament says a lot. Some great heavyweight failed to qualify and some failed to get a win. Corey never quits moving forward and this won't stop him at all.
Miguel Staples (0-10)
For those wondering about some names that have been missing, here is a list of wrestlers not listed above:
Scott Lopez- Scott is redshirting this year.
Damon Outward- Competing as an unattached wrestler 4-3 year to date. Damon is redshirting.
Steven Frazier- Competing as an unattached wrestler 2-4 year to date. Steven is redshirting.
Logan Bowman- Competing as an unattached wrestler 3-6 year to date. Logan is redshirting.
Terrance Fanning- Competing as an unattached wrestlers 1-2. Terrance is redshirting.
Dustin Kuhlwein- Not currently competing (recovering from injury)
Kale Rayner- Not currently competing. Kale is redshirting
Thanks for all of the support.
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