Jones Becomes All-Time Wins Leader

By Tim Goodenow
WVU Sports Information Office

March 5, 2005

CLARION, Pa. * Four Mountaineer wrestlers advanced to the championship finals and Greg Jones became West Virginia's all-time wins leader at the 2005 Eastern Wrestling League Championships on Saturday evening at Tippin Gymnasium.

Two-time national champion Jones surpassed previous record holders Jim Akerly (1985-88; 119-34-4) and Scott Collins (1987-91; 119-28-3) for his 120th career win with a 19-3 technical fall over Edinboro's Jim Gibson.

Jones, a Hodge Trophy candidate, took an 8-3 lead on four takedowns in the opening period at 184 pounds. Jones used a five-point move to start the middle period from the defensive position to go up 13-3. A pair of stalling calls on Gibson in the third period secured the 19-3 win at 5:53.

"There are a lot of good wrestlers and good people on the all-time wins list," says Jones, who looks to become just the fourth wrestler in EWL history to win four league titles. "It's nice to be among those names but there is still another day of wrestling for myself and this team. We have four in the finals and tomorrow is another day of preparation for the national tournament in St. Louis."

Shawn Cordell became WVU's first automatic NCAA qualifier with his 9-0 major decision over Lock Haven's Obe Blanc. Cordell, a true freshman, took an early 3-0 lead after one period of action at 125 pounds. A takedown with 9 seconds remaining and riding time pushed the score to 9-0 to advance Cordell to the championship finals.

Seth Lisa became the second Mountaineer to advance to the championship match with an impressive fall at 2:57 over Pitt's Drew Headlee at 133 pounds. Lisa held an early 5-0 lead on a takedown and near fall before Headlee countered with a reversal. Moments later, Lisa reversed Headlee on his back for the fall with 7 seconds left on the clock.

"Qualifying today takes a little of the pressure off my shoulders," add Lisa, who did not make the NCAAs as a sophomore. "Shawn Bunch is the top ranked wrestler in the country and win or lose tomorrow, it will benefit me. These are the type of guys I'll face in St. Louis."

At 157 pounds, Matt Lebe advanced to his third straight EWL finals match. The junior Mountaineer battled Edinboro's Matt Hill for two minutes for before notching the first takedown at 2:14. Lebe turned a single into a double-leg extending his lead to 5-0 in the middle period. Hill escaped to begin the third and Lebe added riding time for a 6-1 decision.

Sophomore Zac Fryling gave Edinboro All-American Nate Yetzer a scare at 165 pounds. Fryling struck first with a takedown 40 seconds in for a 2-0 lead. The No. 1 seed Yetzer responded with a pair of takedowns to regain the lead at 5-3. Yetzer escaped from the defensive position to begin the second period and Fryling countered with a takedown to trail 6-5. In the final period, Yetzer notched a takedown and riding time for the 12-6 decision.

Senior Ryan Wilman wrestled to a scoreless first period with the Bryce Hasseman of Bloomsburg, number 1 seed at 174 pounds. Hasseman scored first off a reversal from the defensive position to take a 2-0 lead. Wilman escaped to open the final stanza before Hasseman pulled away for a 10-2 major decision.

Freshman Jared Villers took his first lost via injury default 43 seconds into his semifinal bout at 197 pounds. Lock Haven's Morgan Horner took a 4-1 lead in the opening period before Villers was forced to the sideline with a knee injury.

Wrestling in the consolation bracket, Teddy Adams fell 12-5 to Pitt's Mike Ciotti at 149 pounds. Ciotti took a 6-3 lead into the final period where Adams fought hard to not to give up a bonus point decision.

In the final bout of the evening, Clarion heavyweight John Fager needed overtime to upend Mountaineer Matt Holsopple. The two grapplers battled to a scoreless first period and traded reversals to begin the middle period to knot the score at 2-2. Holsopple took a 3-2 lead with 22 seconds remaining in the period. Fager countered with an escape from the defensive position in the final period to tie the bout at 3-3 where the match entered overtime. After a scoreless first minute of sudden death, Fager held Holsopple down in the first 30 second period. Fager tallied the winning escape with 17 seconds left on clock for the 4-3 decision.

Tournament action resumes tomorrow morning with Session III (consolation semifinals and finals) at 10 a.m.

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