Notes from Coach Doyle
Head Coach, Wheeling Jesuit University
December 21, 2016
The team returned from Las Vegas yesterday and the guys are traveling home for a much deserved break. This first semester flew by and the NCAA Tournament is getting closer by the day! On Monday, the team competed in the Desert Duals at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. This trip was planned for not only some great wrestling, but as a 'thank you' to our 4th year wrestlers that made a commitment to start this program 4 years ago. It's been quite a four years with many ups and downs, but our program is positioned to become one of the best in the country because of the young men that started it. Our next event is the NWCA National Duals on January 5-6, where we'll see the top 16 teams in the country!
DESERT DUALS RECAP
I'll provide a link to the full recap below but provide some highlights. We earned our first win over a top 10 program by defeating #8 Cal Baptist 22-17. The match came down to heavyweight and Max Lacey knocked off his 2nd top ten opponent of the year to seal the victory. It was one of the more memorable moments in our programs short history.
The team went 3-1, with our only loss coming to Division 3, #1 ranked Warburg in a 21-21 tie determined by criteria. It was a fantastic match to be part of with great intensity. Wartburg has won 11 national titles, currently ranked #1 and very good. We held a 21-6 advantage going into 174lbs but could not hold on.
Link to recap
125lbs- Jacob Donahue
Jake went 2-2 on the day and wrestled harder than his record would indicate. Jake is making the adjustment down to 125. Jake built a lot of momentum in our match with Wartburg even though he lost. Jake was down 6-0 in the first period and lost 6-1. He rode his nationally ranked opponent for 4 minutes and it definitely deflated Wartburg a little. Jake will continue to get better as he manages the weight more effectively.
133lbs- Nolan Whitely/Dustin Warner
At this point in time Nolan and Dustin will be competing at 133lbs. Obviously we have two very good wrestlers here, both capable of beating anyone in the country. Dustin went 2-0 on the day with a big fall against Wartburg. Nolan went 1-1 on the day with a very solid performance against Cal Baptist and a close loss the the #3 ranked wrestler in the country from Minnesota Moorehead.
141lbs- Daniel Romero
Daniel wrestled hard and went 3-1. Daniel's only loss came to his opponent from Cal Baptist. Daniel wrestled two opponents from California on Monday and knew both of them. He wrestled a little tentative in both matches and I think the fact that he knew them changed his approach a little. It was a good day overall and Daniel has had a very good semester.
149lbs- Dominick Nania
Dom went 4-0 on the day, winning every match with bonus points. He defeated a nationally ranked opponent from Wartburg by fall and as he always does, provides our team energy like few can or will ever do.
157lbs- Greg Brusco
Greg continues to shine in a Cardinal singlet. He went 3-1 with his only loss coming to the #1 ranked wrestler in the country from Wartburg. His opponent spent the last 3 years wrestling for the Hawkeyes of Iowa going 54-18. Greg held the match to a regular decision and was within 4 with a minute left. Greg continues to get better in every position and will be a major threat come March.
165lbs- Anthony 'TJ' Smith
TJ went 2-2 on the day and after losing two tough battles early in the day, wrestled very well in his last two. TJ is hard nosed, consistent and is as reliable as it gets within our team. His progression in the last 4 years is pretty amazing and he's turned into a very solid college wrestler.
174lbs- Reyse Wallbrown/Keegan Driscoll
Reyse went 2-1 on the day and Keegan went 0-1, with an exhibition win as well. Reyse has been wrestling well since making the move to 174lbs and throughout the day worked hard in his wins. His only loss came in the Cal Baptist match where he lost a late scramble. Keegan stepped in for the Wartburg match wrestling the #2 wrestler in the country. As he does every single time, Keegan battled hard and preserved much needed team points at the time. Keegan is still working back from an early season injury and making strides.
184lbs- Nate Starkey
Nate went 2-2 on the day with losses coming to the #6 and #3 ranked wrestlers in the country. Nate has wrestled more matches this year than his previous 3 combined, so it's nice to see him gain some consistency. He's noticeable improved in many areas and will continue to improve through our stretch run with more mat time.
197lbs- Terrance Fanning
Terrance went 2-2 on the day and also lost to two top 5 ranked wrestlers. His loss in the Wartburg dual was a little hard to swallow as Terrance was the better wrestler. As we know in sports, the better team/individual doesn't always win. In a 30 second window of the 2nd period, Terrance gave up 3 points from the top position without his opponent getting away. (Free t-shirt to the individual not at the event that can figure that out) He went on to lose 4-2. He has had a solid first semester and knows what he needs to do to be on the podium in March.
285lbs- Maxwell Lacey/Logan Bowman/Corey Siegfried
All three individuals had the opportunity to wrestle Monday. Max went 1-1, defeating the 7th ranked wrestler in the country to win the Cal Baptist dual, and losing a 3-1 match to the 3rd ranked wrestler in Division 3 from Wartburg. Max has made tremendous strides this season and continues to earn big wins. Logan went 0-1 on the day, picking up an exhibition win as well. Logan lost the first match of the day, giving up the deciding takedown with 3 seconds left in the first period. He wasn't able to score offensively. Logan has worked through similar results and frustrations in the past, and I'm sure he'll be more prepared 2nd semester. He always has. Corey went 0-1 on the day, and 1-1 in exhibition. Corey lost a tough battle in our last match of the day against Minnesota Moorehead. Corey has always provided great effort every time he steps on the mat and we're fortunate to have 3 guys that we can count on.
Have a Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year!!
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