Award Winners Announced
April 26, 2004
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University wrestling team put the finishing touches on the 2003-04 season Sunday as the team held its annual banquet at the Erickson Alumni Center.
With no surprise, the Most Valuable Wrestler Award went to junior Greg Jones who became the first Mountaineer to complete an undefeated season going a perfect 26-0. He also became the first wrestler in WVU history to win multiple national titles with his 184-pound championship in St. Louis. Jones was named EWL Wrestler of the Year for the second time in his career and owns a collegiate record of 101-4.
Sophomore Matt Lebe won the Coaches Award. Lebe finished in the round of 12 at NCAAs – one win shy of All-America status. Wrestling in perhaps the toughest weight-class in the country, the 157-pounder totaled a record of 31-9. Lebe’s 31 wins was good enough for third most, all-time by a Mountaineer sophomore. He finished fourth at the prestigious Midlands Tournament after garnering titles at the WVU Open and Navy Classic. At one point in the season, Lebe wrestled 12 of 14 consecutive bouts against ranked opponents.
Two Mountaineers shared the Rookie Award as senior Joe Clarke and freshman Zac Fryling won the honors. Clarke, a graduate of Princeton, used his final year of eligibility in producing the second-best record by a WVU 131/141-pounder in going 28-10. The senior won two tournament titles (WVU Open, Navy Classic) in filling in for All-American Brandon Lauer who redshirted the season. Fryling came in and made an immediate impact in Turnbull’s lineup as a true freshman posting a 19-14 mark. Fryling ties Lebe for ninth place on WVU’s list of most wins by a freshman.
Earning Team Captain status were Jones, Lebe, Clarke and Mike Torriero. All four grapplers demonstrated their leadership skills on and off the mat this season. The four combines for a 94-36 record while earning the respect of their teammates.
The Mountaineers enjoyed yet another solid season under head coach Craig Turnbull. Ranked in the Top 25 throughout the entire season, the team earned a 16th place finish at the 2004 NCAA Tournament, won a share of the EWL Tournament title and saw the finest individual season by a Mountaineer in school history.
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