Notes from Coach Doyle
Head Coach, Wheeling Jesuit University
January 10, 2017
We hope that your holiday season was a wonderful time spent with family and friends. We wish you a Happy New Year from Wheeling Jesuit Wrestling!
Our last message was an exciting announcement of our first top ten win in program history. This past week, the team achieved it's greatest accomplishment to date, with a memorable run to the national championship match in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. After defeating #8 Findlay (OH), #3 Maryville (MO) and #20 Colorado State-Pueblo (CO), we were defeated by 2x defending national champions and current #1, St. Cloud State (MN) in the national final.
Although, our guys have had a strong start to the year, the team came into the duals unseededed before knocking off three straight ranked opponents. Our team has continued to focus on improving every year and working towards an opportunity to compete for a national championship. On Friday, they embraced that opportunity and although we were defeated, we will be a better team from the unbelievable experience.
Please check out a few of the interviews and stories from the memorable two days:
Interview following upset over #3 Maryville
Press Release on Day 1 Victories
Press Release on Runner-up Finish
125lbs- Jacob Donahue
Jake was the story of the event recording a 4-0 record and also knocking off the #1 wrestler in the country and defending NCAA Champion. As we spoke about in previous emails, Jake's early performances were not indicative of what he's going to accomplish in a Cardinal singlet. He's adjusted to the weight cut now and we're excited about these next two months for Jake!
133lbs- Nolan Whitely
Nolan went 2-2 over the two days. He recorded a big fall to start the Findlay dual meet. He lost a tough battle to Maryville against a 2x All-American but did score in the final seconds to preserve a regular decision, saving us what proved to be a huge team point. In the semis, Nolan scored with 1 second on the clock to tie the match and went on to win in overtime. Again...in a dual meet that we tied and won on criteria, this was a game changer. In Nolan's final match of the day against a very good St. Cloud opponent, Nolan controlled much of the action but a late first period takedown tied the match and Nolan ended up falling in overtime.
141lbs- Daniel Romero
Daniel has continued to be a great addition to our line up this season. He redeemed an early season loss to his nationally ranked Findlay opponent to help propel us to a dominating first round win. Daniel went 2-2 on the week with both losses coming to top ten opponents. He is getting better as the season progresses and continues to get closer to competing with the top guys.
149lbs- Dominick Nania
Dom went 3-1 with 2 BIG falls against Maryville and Colorado St.Pueblo. His only defeat came at the hands of the #1 wrestler in the country from Findlay in a 7-4 decision. Dom has become a complete wrestler and continues to get better every day because of his attention to it. Since leaving Sioux Falls last year, his eyes were set on Birmingham.
157lbs- Greg Brusco
Greg recorded a 2-2 record, going 2-0 on day 1 and 0-2 on day 2. I think every match Greg wrestled was against a nationally ranked wrestler. Greg is very good and knows that he has positions that he has to be better at. He's ready to compete at the highest level and over these last two months needs to focus on his strength. He'll do what is required and continue to get better. He's a motivated young man.
165lbs- Nic Skonieczny
This was the first competition for Nic since November 19th due to an injury. Taking two months off and coming back to this competition is no easy task. Nic went 1-3 losing two matches by one point. All three of his losses were to top 10 opponents. Nic is experienced and understands that he needs a little mat time. He will get ample opportunity to see more ranked opponents in the coming weeks.
174lbs- Reyse Wallbrown
Reyse has settled in to this weight class well. Although he went 1-3, he was very competitive against very good competition. Moving up two weight classes, we weren't sure how Reyse would respond but he seems to be adapting better every time out.
184lbs- Nate Starkey
Nate went 1-3 and like a few of our other uppper weights, saw very good competition at a high level. Nate battled and helped us win our quarterfinal and semi final match, even in defeat. He's had a solid season up to this point and has about 7 weeks to make that next jump to give himself an opportunity to wrestle in Birmingham.
197lbs- Terrance Fanning
Terrance's last 3 weeks are probably the toughest 3 weeks of wrestling he's had in his career. He's 2-5 in his last 7 matches and I'd be confident to say he's never lost 5 out of 7 in his career. Nearly every match that he's lost had an opportunity to win and in a few cases controlled the match. He needs to become better at managing his matches and understanding his strenghts/weaknesses. As a coach, having a very talented wrestler that needs to manage matches is much better than the alternative. He'll figure it out and as he knows, the matches that matter are still in front of us.
285lbs- Maxwell Lacey
Max continues to be a reliable heavyweight for us that has stepped it up this year. Max lost a tough decision to his Findlay opponent to open things up. Max lost to the #4 wrestler in the country from Maryville, but preserved bonus points to help the team win. In our semi-final, the match came down to heavyweight and Max pulled through with a dominating 5-0 decision to secure our spot in the national championship match. He's motivated, having fun and still learning every day. It's a good recipe for success!
Thanks to all of you for the ongoing support. Thanks to those of you that were texting, emailing and sharing news via social media. It was a special few days for our guys that they won't soon forget.
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