U.S. Military Academy West Point, NY

Heskett Named Army Wrestling Coach

Former Ohio State Assistant, Four-Time All-American Joins Black Knights

WEST POINT, N.Y.  - Joe Heskett, a four-time All-American, national champion and former U.S. World Team member who spent the past four years as an assistant at Ohio State University, has been named the head wrestling coach at Army Athletics Director Kevin Anderson announced.

Heskett, a 2001 graduate of Iowa State University, replaces Chuck Barbee who resigned following his 10th season to pursue other interests.

"I am very excited to have one of the young talents in collegiate wrestling as our head coach," said Anderson. "Joe comes highly recommended from Athletic Director of the Year Gene Smith of Ohio State has unmatched credentials on the mat and his passion and dedication to the sport should pay immediate dividends. He has continued to advance his career and we are confident he can lead us to wins over Navy, EIWA Championships and national qualifiers."

Heskett, who won the 165-pound national championship in 2002, is the ninth head coach in program history.

"Life will often surprise us with outstanding opportunities," said Heskett. "I am humbled and honored to be able to lead and represent the Army wrestling program. I am inspired by what West Point represents and I graciously accept the challenge to mentor and motivate the cadet-athletes, improve their technical and tactical skills on the mat and to beat Navy. I would like to thank my family, Kevin Anderson, the West Point search committee, specifically Associate Athletic Director Gene McIntyre for his time and energy and the entire USMA athletic department."

Heskett, the eighth four-time All-American at Iowa State, graduated with a degree in speech communications and a career record of 143-9.

He was a three-time national finalist, winning one championship and finishing second and third. Heskett captured three Big 12 Championships, won the prestigious Midlands event on three occasions and graduated third on Iowa State's all-time wins list.

Following his decorated collegiate career, Heskett earned a spot on the 2007 U.S. World Team after winning the U.S. Nationals and U.S. World Team Trials. He represented the United States at the '07 World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan with a fifth-place finish. He dropped a tough, three-period battle with a two-time world champion from Russia in the semifinals before wrestling back to finish fifth and was one of five wrestlers to qualify at his weight for the Olympics. Earlier that summer, he won a silver medal at 163 pounds at the 2007 Pan American Games.

Less than a week after returning from the World Championships, Heskett was forced to retire from competitive wrestling due to an injury and joined the Ohio State staff.

Hired as the volunteer assistant in 2006, Heskett was training for the Olympics while assisting in recruiting, team academic support, cultivating donor and alumni relations and other operational duties. Shortly after his competitive retirement, he was promoted to full-time assistant on Tom Ryan's staff as the chief recruiter. In addition to his work on the mat, Heskett also assumed responsibility for practice plans, academic progress and community service initiatives.

During his tenure at Ohio State, Heskett helped the Buckeyes to four top-10 team finishes at the NCAA Tournament, three NCAA champions and 15 All-Americans. He played a large role in securing the nation's top recruiting class in 2006 and helped sign a host of top prospects.

Heskett began his coaching career at Cal Poly University where he was the head assistant wrestling coach an also earned his master's degree with honors in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Athletic Administration. He assisted in all facets of the program, including fundraising, and helped the Mustangs to their highest NCAA placement in nearly 20 years.

Leadership and leadership training is another passion of Heskett's. He was Iowa State's representative at the NCAA Leadership Conference, a board member of the Children's Body Image, a former member of the Major Ray Mendoza Leadership Fund and an Ambassador and Public Awareness Speaker for the Ohio State Medical Center. He is the founder and Chief Visionary Officer for h Leadership in Columbus, Ohio, a firm with an array of industry experts

A native of Akron, Ohio, Heskett and his wife Tara have two daughters, Olivia and Ava, and are expecting a son in late July. They will reside at West Point.

TRANSACTIONS
WRESTLING
ARMY - Named Joe Heskett head wrestling coach
Barbee Resigns at Army Wrestling Coach

Veteran Head Coach Guided Army For 10 Seasons

WEST POINT, N.Y.  - After 10 years at the helm and 87 victories, Army head wrestling coach Chuck Barbee has resigned, Athletics Director Kevin Anderson announced on Tuesday. Barbee will continue in his position until mid-July.

Barbee, who coached 26 national qualifiers and 48 Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association placewinners, cited a change in career path and a desire to spend more time with his family as the reasons for his departure.

"It has been my honor and privilege to coach at such an outstanding institution for the last 10 years," said Barbee. "The Army Wrestling team has been my professional passion and I am certainly indebted to the young men who believed in West Point and Army Wrestling. I will miss the team, and the West Point community but my family and I are excited about what lies ahead for us. The Army wrestling team is young and exciting and Army Wrestling fans have a lot to be excited about in the future."

"We are grateful for everything Chuck has given to the U.S. Military Academy and the wrestling program," said Anderson. "As you can tell from his records and accolades, he was an accomplished coach who helped continue the storied history of the Army wrestling program. I respect his decision to take his career in a new direction."

While assistant coaches Ryan Wilman and Rafael Vega will remain in their current positions, a national search to find Barbee's replacement will begin immediately.

The 2007-08 EIWA Coach of the Year, Barbee helped Army compete on the national stage, coaching 15 wrestlers to the national tournaments and guiding three wrestlers to All-America honors.

Barbee won double digit dual meets four out of the last six years and in 2009-10, two wrestlers earned a spot at nationals and six placed in the top eight at EIWA's.

Barbee, who began his tenure at West Point in 2000, was brought in to restore the prominence of the wrestling team by developing All-America talent. Matt Kyler continued that lineage earning All-American honors in 2008 with a sixth-place finish at 141 pounds at the national championships in St. Louis following a run that saw him face a seeded opponent all seven times he stepped on the mat.

A 1993 graduate of Oklahoma State, Barbee got off to a strong start in his first season by guiding Maurice Worthy to an EIWA championship and an appearance at the NCAA Tournament that also took place in St. Louis. Worthy's successful season ended after finishing NCAA runner-up at 174 pounds, becoming the Black Knights' first All-American wrestler in 14 years.

Barbee's resume of success stories was lengthened a year later with the addition of Phillip Simpson to the squad. The only three-time All-America in Academy history, he qualified for the NCAA tournament four times, finishing runner-up at 149 pounds in 2005 after an eighth-place effort at 157 and a third-place finish at 141 the previous two seasons. Under Barbee's watchful eye, Simpson graduated as the all-time wins leader in Academy history with 134.

Barbee's expertise has also translated into a rise in dual meet success for the Black Knights. The last six years have seen Army total 57 victories, including 12 during the 2004-05 season when the squad broke into the national rankings and climbed as high as 23rd in the country. The Black Knights also totaled 12 victories in 2007-08 to again mark the program's highest total since the 1996 campaign.

Over the past five seasons, Army has compiled a 31-15-2 mark in EIWA dual meets, including a 21-13 upset of 25th-ranked Columbia in 2007, and an 18-15 victory over Lehigh in 2007-08 that was the Black Knights' first in 14 bouts dating back to the 1990-91 season.

The 2007-08 season will be remembered as one of Barbee's finest on the banks of the Hudson River. Despite being picked to finish eighth at the EIWA Championships, Barbee and the Black Knights put together a third-place effort at the conference tournament as six wrestlers placed in the top-four of their respective weight classes. Senior captain Fernando Martinez (2nd, 125), Kyler (1st, 141), senior Christian Snook (4th, 165), senior Scott Ferguson (2nd, 184), sophomore Richard Starks (4th, 197) and senior Nathan Thobaben (3rd, 285) all punched a ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

Two years earlier, eight of Barbee's Black Knights placed at the EIWA meet, led by third-place finishers Patrick Simpson (149), Jon Anderson (165) and Charles Martin (197). A year later, four Army wrestlers finished in the top-six at the conference championships, including a runner-up effort at 141 pounds by Kyler, who joined Martinez (125) and Thobaben (285) in making their first appearances at the NCAA Tournament, while Snook was an alternate at 157.

The 2008-09 season again included double-digit wins and was highlighted by Kyler, Richard Starks and William Simpson earning a spot at NCAA's in St. Louis. Starks was unable to compete due to an injury suffered during the EIWA Tournament but Kyler secured his third trip to nationals and Simpson his second.

Barbee continued to advance wrestlers to the national tournament during the 2009-10 season. After a 7-4 regular season, six wrestlers placed at EIWA's and two - Kyler and Starks - earned return trips to the NCAA's. Kyler qualified for the fourth time, the first Army wrestler since Phillip Simpson in 2006 to do so. Starks earned his third bid to nationals.

Before Barbee began his tenure at Army, he served as the top assistant at the University of Oklahoma from 1997-2000. Barbee coached under former Army assistant and Big 12 "Coach of the Year" Jack Spates, who was an assistant coach at the Academy when the 1986-87 squad won the only EIWA championship title in Army wrestling history.

Barbee coached seven All-Americans and four national finalists during his tenure at Oklahoma, helping the Sooners build one of the country's top wrestling programs and winning the 1999 Big 12 team title. He helped coach over 30 national qualifiers and was also partly responsible for helping bring in a Top-10 recruiting class in each of his three years with the Sooners, keeping Oklahoma among the elite. The Sooners placed 10th, sixth and fourth at the NCAA Championships during Barbee's stay in Norman.

Aside from his coaching experience at OU, Barbee served as the head coach of the 1999 Big 12 All-Star team versus Korea. He was also the Sunkist Kids freestyle coach at the 2000 Olympic Trials and coached for the Team Excel Freestyle Club from 1997 through 1999.

Barbee was a three-time NCAA All-American for coach Joe Seay at Oklahoma State. He was a prominent contributor in leading the Cowboys to successive national titles in 1989 and 1990. He was also a two-time Academic All-American, a Big Eight Champion in 1991 and Espoir and University National Freestyle Champion. Barbee was a member of the Espoir World Cup team in 1988 and a Junior National Freestyle All-American. During Barbee's competitive career, he trained with wrestling legends John Smith, Kendall Cross, Alan Fried, Pat Smith and Kenny Monday.

Barbee and his wife Sally have four children: Alexa (17), Grace (12), Liza (10) and Tony (8). Army's Kyler, Starks Share Top Wrestling Award

Seniors Named Co-Winners Of Mike Natvig Award

WEST POINT, N.Y.  - For the second consecutive season, Matt Kyler and Richard Starks shared the Army wrestling program's top award.

Kyle and Starks were named co-winners of the Mike Natvig Award, presented to the team's outstanding wrestling at the squad's annual team banquet Tuesday night.

In addition to the Natvig Award, Kyler won the Arvin Memorial Award, Patrick Marchetti was named the Crum Memorial winner, Collin Wittmeyer garnered Most Improved honors and Ryan Mergen won the LeRoy Alitz Award at the Cadet Mess Hall.

Kyler, Army's all-time career leader in wins with 146, is now a four-time winner of the prestigious Natvig Award while Starks was honored for the second time. The Natvig Award was established in 1973 in memory of Natvig, a 1963 graduate who won a national championship. Kyler is the second four-time winner of the award, joining Phillip Simpson (2002-2005). Starks, a three-time national qualifier who owns more than 100 career wins, is the first two-time winner since Maurice Worthy earned back-to-back honors in 2000 and 2001.

Kyler, a four-time national qualifier, four-time EIWA finalist and two-time EIWA champion, also took home the Arvin Memorial Award for the member of the graduating class distinguished in leadership, scholarship and commitment to Army wrestling. It is named in honor of Bob Arvin, a 1965 West Point graduate who was the Brigade Commander and wrestling team captain during his senior season. It was first handed out in 1985.

A freshman, Marchetti collected the Crum Memorial Award, presented to the most courageous wrestler from the freshman class. Wrestling primarily at 157 pounds, Marchetti went 11-16 during his first season with five bonus point wins. The award, presented for the first time in 1985, is named for Wally Crum, a member of the class of 1960 who was killed in action in Vietnam in 1968.

Wittmeyer, a freshman, was named the Most Improved wrestler after posting a 24-15 record in his first season. Wittmeyer was fourth on the squad in wins and registered nine bonus point wins. The award was first distributed in 1990 and recognized the wrestler based on skill level, work ethic and accomplishments.

Mergen earned the "Mr. Intensity" Award, presented for the first time in 1990 in honor of legendary coach LeRoy Alitz. The award recognized the most dedicated wrestler on the team and Mergen was named for the second time in three years. A team co-captain, along with Kyler, Mergen posted an 18-9 record with three major decisions. Mergen is the first multiple-time winner since Jon Anderson of the Class of 2006 won three times.

The four members of the senior class - Kyler, Starks, Mergen and Lance Penhale were recognized as well.

2009-10 Army Team Awards
Mike Natvig Award - Matt Kyler and Richard Starks
Arvin Memorial Award - Matt Kyler
Wally Crum Memorial Award - Patrick Marchetti
Most Improved Award - Collin Wittmeyer
LeRoy Alitz "Mr. Intensity" Award - Ryan Mergen
Army's Kyler Wins Second EIWA Championship

Senior Upsets Bucknell's LeValley In Finals

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Add Matt Kyler's name to the list of two-time EIWA Champions.

Kyler won his second EIWA Championship with a 5-3 win over Bucknell's Kevin LeValley, Sunday at Stabler Arena.

A four-time EIWA finalist, Kyler captured his second championship and will wrestle for the fourth time at the NCAA Championships in two weeks.

Kyler and fellow senior Richard Starks both earned return trips to nationals following two days of wrestling at the EIWA Championships. The 2010 NCAA Championships are scheduled for March 18-20 at Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb.

Starks finished third and earned one of the allocated bids, the second straight year he has qualified for the national tournament.

Army finished tied with Columbia for eighth place in the 13-team event with six placewinners and 65 points.

Cornell won its fourth straight team championship, beating Pennsylvania and Lehigh.

In addition to Kyler and Starks, Collin Wittmeyer (fifth at 184), Orion Ross (seventh at 285), Travis Coffey (eighth at 133) and Casey Thome (eighth at 141) also earned a spot on the medal stand.

Kyler, ranked #10 in the latest Intermat poll, won Army's 30th EIWA individual championships and avenged one of his three losses this season.

"Matt wrestled in a brutal weight class," said Army head coach Chuck Barbee. "He prepared his whole career for this and came out and executed. He worked very hard for this and I was very proud of the way he wrestled."

LeValley, the top-seeded wrestler at 149 pounds and ranked seventh nationally by Intermat, edged Kyler 8-6 in overtime during a dual in West Point, N.Y., Nov. 21.

This time it was Kyler coming out on top and becoming Army's first two-time EIWA champion since Phillip Simpson won three straight titles from 2003-05.

Kyler scored his first takedown a minute into the match before LeValley escaped to make it 2-1. Kyler was in deep on a takedown attempt but was unable to finish the move before time expired.

LeValley chose down in the second period and escaped to tie the match at two. Kyler responded with another takedown before LeValley escaped again to make the score 4-3 in favor of Kyler.

Kyler chose down to start the final period and worked for his escape, finally getting the point with 16 seconds left for the victory and his second silver championship trophy.

Starks earned his second consecutive trip to the national tournament with a win in the consolation semifinals, assuring himself of at least a fourth-place finish by beating Joseph Kennedy of Lehigh.

Starks, with his head wrapped from an injury during an overtime loss in Saturday's semifinals, scored a single-leg takedown two minutes into the first period. Kennedy escaped and Starks chose down in the second period. Starks quickly escaped to run his advantage to 3-1.

Kennedy chose the down position in the final period and escaped to get within a point but neither wrestler was able to score again and Starks took the 3-2 win.

A senior from Midway, Ky., Starks utilized three takedowns for his third-place finish with a 7-2 win against Danial Mitchell of American in the consolation finals.

Starks was in early on a single leg and jumped out to a 4-1 lead with a pair of takedowns in the first period. Starks battled his way to an escape point after starting the second period in the down position. Mitchell chose down to start the third period and escaped but Starks wrapped up the match with his final takedown and his third place finish at EIWA's.

Starks came in fourth as a sophomore, second as a junior and now third and ran his career record at the EIWA Tournament to 9-4.

"Richard is the definition of intestinal fortitude," said Barbee. "For him to come back after losing a match he dominated in the semifinals shows what kind of person he is. He showed a lot of fight and a lot of mental toughness, things you need to content for a national championship."

Wittmeyer, who wrestled four matches on Saturday, fell into the fifth-place bout with a loss to David Craig of Lehigh, the No. 3 seed. Craig picked up a takedown and three back points for an early advantage.

Wittmeyer was the aggressor and was in on several takedown attempts but Craig collected the fall with one second left in the match.

A freshman from Platte City, Mo., Wittmeyer secured his fifth-place finish with a gusty effort in his second consolation match of the day. Facing Bucknell's Robert Waltko, the #6 seed, Wittmeyer trailed 2-1 after a takedown and escape. Waltko escaped to open the second period before Wittmeyer tied the match with a minute to go in the second period with a takedown but Waltko escaped for a 4-3 lead.

Wittmeyer opened the third period in the down position but escaped 35 into the final period to knot the score. Wittmeyer put the finishing touches of his fifth-place with a takedown off of a cradle and had more than a minute of riding time for the 7-4 victory.

Ross, who wrestled just twice during the regular season, earned a seventh-place finish at 285 pounds with an overtime victory against Joseph McMullan of Bucknell.

A sophomore from St. Louis, Mo., Ross picked up a takedown and penalty point for a 3-0 first-period lead. Ross extended his advantage to 5-2 before McMullan picked up a takedown to get within one point.

Ross chose down to start the final period but McMullan collected the riding time and tied the match at five.

Neither wrestler scored during the first one minute neutral session, nor when both wrestlers were in the down position.

They went back to neutral a second time and Ross secured a takedown with 35 seconds left for the 7-5 win.

Coffey jumped out to a first-period lead in his seventh-place match at 133 pounds with a takedown after a scramble. Coffey won the toss and deferred at the start of the second period and Williams chose down. Williams scored a reversal and pinned Coffey with 11 seconds left in the period.

A sophomore, Coffey ends his season with a 19-12 record and moved to 22-20 in his career.

Thome wrestled four matches on Saturday and returned Sunday morning for his seventh-place bout against John Regan of Bucknell. Thome scored a single leg takedown in the first period and was in the top position to start the second period. Regan secured a reversal and earned the fall with 11 seconds remaining in the second period.

Thome, a junior, finished the season 25-9 and ran his career mark to 83-36.

106th EIWA Championships
Stabler Arena, Bethlehem, Pa.
Army Wrestlers
133 Travis Coffey
pinned by Andrew Grabfelder, Columbia, 5:23
def. Jacob Bucha, Franklin & Marshall, 4-3
lost to Cortlandt Choate, Brown, 16-7
Sunday, March 7
SEVENTH-PLACE BOUT: pinned by Thomas Williams, American, 4:49

141 Casey Thome
pinned Ryan Doyle, Columbia, 00:29
lost to Zack Kemmerer, Pennsylvania, 8-1
major dec. over Zachary Kulczycki, Brown, 16-3
lost to Matt Pagan, Navy, 4-1
Sunday, March 7
SEVENTH-PLACE BOUT: pinned by John Regan, Bucknell, 4:49

149 Matt Kyler
Saturday, March 6
def. Hicks Manson, Cornell, 5-3
def. Cesar Grajales, Pennsylvania, 9-4
Sunday, March 7
CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS: def. Kevin LeValley, Bucknell, 5-3

184 Collin Wittmeyer
Saturday, March 6
pinned Jesse Boyden, Rutgers, 1:40
pinned by Cannon, American, 1:02
dec. over Kurt Brendel, Princeton, 4-0
pinned Andrew Buck, Navy, 4:57
Sunday, March 7
CONSOLATION SEMIFINALS: pinned by David Craig, Lehigh, 6:59
FIFTH-PLACE BOUT: def. Rob Waltko, Bucknell, 7-4

197 Richard Starks
Saturday, March 6
major dec. over Russell Kropp, Navy, 12-0
lost to Micha Burak, Pennsylvania, 8-5, tb2
Sunday, March 7
CONSOLATION SEMIFINALS: def. Joseph Kennedy, Lehigh, 3-2
THIRD-PLACE BOUT: def. Danial Mitchell, American, 7-2

285 Orion Ross
lost to Kevin Lester, Columbia, 13-3
pinned Mingo Grant, American, 2:00
lost to Tyler Blakely, Pennsylvania, 12-5
Sunday, March 7
SEVENTH-PLACE BOUT: def. Joseph McMullan, 7-5, SV2
Army Wrestling Tops Brown

Black Knights Win 8 of 10 Bouts

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Army won the first four bouts of the match and beat Brown, 27-6, Saturday afternoon in an EIWA Wrestling match at the Pizzitola Sports Center.

Casey Thome won by fall and Travis Coffey, Joey Walters, Rudy Chelednik, Ryan Mergen, Richard Starks, Christian Botero and Lance Penhale all earned decisions to help the Black Knights improve to 4-3 in the first of their two dual matches of the day.

After beating Brown, the Black Knights traveled to Massachusetts where they will wrestle Harvard at 5 p.m.

The match started at 133 pounds and Coffey rode a first-period takedown, third-period reversal, an escape and riding time for a 6-4 victory.

Thome put the Black Knights ahead 9-0, turning Nick Marzza in 1:53 for the first-period pin.

Walters battled his way to a 7-6 win at 149 pounds, combining two takedowns, two escapes and riding time for the win.

Chelednik ran the Army advantage to 15-0 with his 8-1 decision at 147 pounds. Chelednik had a takedown in the first, an escape and takedown in the second and riding time and near fall points in the final period.

After Brown's Jeff Lemmer beat Patrick Marchetti 6-4, Mergen added to the Army advantage with a 5-1 victory at 174 pounds. Mergen's second-period reversal and third-period takedown contributed to the win.

Brown's Brian Crudden beat Collin Wittmeyer, 10-5 before Starks earned a 2-1 victory with a second-period escape and riding time advantage at 197 pounds.

Botero utilized a reversal in the second period and final-period takedown for his 4-0 win at 285 pounds before Penhale closed the match at 125 pounds. Penhale picked up three near fall points in the first period and added an escape, takedown and riding time to conclude the match with a 7-0 win.

ARMY 27, BROWN 6
133: Travis Coffey (A) dec. T.J. Popolizio, 6-4
141: Casey Thome (A) pinned Nick Mazza, 1:53
149: Joey Walters (A) dec. Philip Marano, 7-6
157: Rudy Chelednik (A) dec. Gabriel Brotzman, 8-1
165: Jeff Lemmer (B) dec. Patrick Marchetti, 6-4
174: Ryan Mergen (A) dec. Ziad Kharbush, 5-1
184: Bran Crudden (B) dec. Collin Wittmeyer, 10-5
197: Richard Starks (A) dec. Branden Stearns, 2-1
285: Christian Botero (A) dec. Larry Otsuka, 4-0
125: Lance Penhale (A) dec. Greg Einfrank, 7-0
Army Moves To 3-3 After Loss To Rutgers

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army's Richard Starks posted a win against a nationally ranked wrestler but Rutgers won seven of 10 bouts on the way to a 28-10 victory over the Black Knights, Sunday at Christl Arena.

Army went 2-1 as the host of Sunday's quad match and is now 3-3 on the season.

Rutgers, which allowed just 13 points in its three matches, improved to 10-4.

Starks, ranked 17th, earned a 3-1 decision against Lamar Brown, Matt Kyler cruised to a major decision and Collin Wittmeyer won a decision but Rutgers won the first three matches and never trailed on the way to its 10th victory.

In the other match, the Merchant Marine Academy defeated Boston 24-18.

"I have been saying since early in the season, we have to work harder and smarter than everyone in the country," said Army head coach Chuck Barbee. "We wrestled hard just not too smart. Even in losing to a very good Rutgers team, we wrestled hard. We just need to get in better position and continue to work hard."

Rutgers jumped out to an early lead as Joseph Langel collected three takedowns, an escape and riding time for an 8-0 win against Steven West at 125 pounds.

The Scarlet Knights, who scored 39 points in each of their first two wins on Sunday, extended their lead to 10-0 as #16 Billy Ashnault scored a fall in 1:33 at 133 pounds against Travis Coffey.

Rutgers' Trevor Melde started strong and then held off Casey Thome for a 10-5 win at 141 pounds. Melde has a takedown and five back points in the first period and a reversal in the second. Melde led 9-1 after Thome escaped in the second period. Thome continued to push and scored two takedowns but lost his first match of the day.

Kyler got Army on the scoreboard with an impressive performance at 149 pounds. Ranked eighth in the latest Intermat poll, Kyler collected six takedowns, two near fall points, riding time and a penalty point when David Greenwald applied head scissors for a 16-3 major decision making the team score Rutgers 13, Army 4. Kyler won all three of his matches on Sunday with a fall, technical fall and major decision.

The Scarlet Knights extended their advantage to 16-4 when Daryl Cocozzo posted a 4-0 decision over Daniel Young at 157 pounds. Cocozzo had a first period takedown, a third period escape and two minutes of riding time to give Rutgers a 12-point lead.

Rutgers increased its lead to 19-4 when Greg Zannetti scored a 2-1 win at 165 pounds. Army's Rudy Chelednik was wresting up a weight class and picked up riding time from the top position during a strong second period. Chelednik escaped to start the third period but Zannetti scored a takedown and erased Chelednik's riding time advantage to bump the Rutgers lead.

Daniel Rinaldi won the third straight Rutgers match with a 5-1 decision over Jacob Vetter at 174 pounds. Rinaldi had two takedowns and an escape to give Rutgers a 22-4 lead.

Wittmeyer halted the Rutgers winning streak with a gutsy 3-2 win at 184 pounds. After Daniel Seidenberg escaped, Wittmeyer secured a takedown near the edge of the mat with 15 seconds remaining in the second period. While Seidenberg had a minute of riding time, Wittmeyer escaped in the third period for the 3-2 win that made the team score 22-7 Rutgers. Wittmeyer won all three of his matches via decision on the day.

In one of the marquee matches of the day, Starks, ranked #17 and Brown, ranked #18, felt each other out in the first three minutes with neither wrestler scoring a point. Brown chose down to start the second and needed just 13 seconds to escape for a 1-0 lead. Starks, though, went on top 2-1 with a takedown at the edge of the mat with 16 seconds left in the second period.

Starks chose down in the final period and quickly escaped for the 3-1 lead, though Rutgers led 22-10.

Dominick Russo, ranked #10 in the latest poll, closed the match with a first-period fall. Army's Ryan Cook scored an early takedown but Russo worked a reversal and then the pin to make the final score 28-10.

Army, which wrestled four matches in the last three days, will compete at the New York State Championships, Saturday and Sunday in Ithaca, N.Y.

"Every win builds our confidence," said Barbee. "As a team, things are slowly coming together. We have a lot of tough matches remaining and need to keep our nose to the grindstone and keep working.

Rutgers 28, Army 10
125: Joseph Langel (R) major dec. Steven West, 8-0
133: #16 Billy Ashnault (R) pinned Travis Coffey, 1:33
141: Trevor Melde (R) dec. Casey Thome, 10-5
149: #8 Matt Kyler (A) major dec. David Greenwald, 16-3
157: Daryl Cocozzo (R) dec. Daniel Young, 4-0
165: Greg Zannetti (R) dec. Rudy Chelednik, 2-1
174: Daniel Rinaldi (R) dec. Jacob Vetter 5-1
184: Collin Wittmeyer (A) dec. Daniel Seidenberg, 3-2
197: #17 Richard Starks (A) dec. #18 Lamar Brown, 3-1
285: #10 Dominick Russo (R ) pinned Ryan Cook, :47

Merchant Marine Academy 24, Boston 18
125: Jordan Alfaro (MMA) dec. Ryan Dowd, 6-4
133: Fred Santaite (B) won by forfeit
141: Abbie Rush (B) tech fall Garrick Skubon, 22-4, 6:17
149: Martin Bell (MMA) dec. Andrew Swank, 6-3
157: Dan Twito (MMA) dec. Nestor Taffur, 9-6
165: Kyle Czarnecki (B) dec. Vincent Renaut, 7-2
174: Justin Diesel (MMA) pinned Hunter Meys, 4:13
184: Brock Mantella (B) major dec. Erik Schott, 10-1
197: Eric Vincent (MMA) dec. Dan Kennedy, 5-3
285: :Judd Connell (MMA) pinned Nate Lavallee, :20
Army Wrestling Beats Merchant Marine Academy

Black Knights Win Nine of 10 Matches

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army won nine of 10 matches, including falls by Ryan Cook and Casey Thome and a technical fall from Matt Kyler as the Black Knights opened their quad meet at Christl Arena with a 38-4 win over the Merchant Marine Academy.

Army benefitted from a forfeit at 133 pounds and Lance Penhale, Daniel Young, Jacob Vetter, Collin Wittmeyer and Richard Starks all posted decisions as the Black Knights improved to 2-2 and won their second consecutive match.

In the other match at 2 p.m., Rutgers dominated Boston, 39-0.

Cook capped the match with his second fall of the season and Thome posted his third bonus point win of the season to spark the Black Knights.

Army started off its afternoon strong. Penhale battled to a 2-0 win at 125 pounds. A second period escape and a third-period ride was all Penhale needed.

Following a forfeit win by Travis Coffey at 133, Thome decked Garrick Skubon in 1:10. Thome picked up a pair of takedowns before earning the fall and giving Army a 14-0 lead.

Kyler, ranked eighth in the latest Intermat rankings, added to the Army advantage with a systematic technical fall at 149. Kyler was actually taken to his back early but rallied for a 21-6 victory in seven minutes, his first technical fall of the season after accumulating more than five minutes of riding time.

Young extended the Army lead to 23-0 with a 3-1 win at 157 pounds. Young scored a takedown and escape in the first and second periods and despite allowing an escape in the third period, won a two-point victory.

King's Point got on the board at 165 pounds as Vincent Renaut posted a 15-6 major decision against Eric Gobin.

Vetter needed overtime but secured a 7-5 win at 174 pounds. Vetter scored a takedown and two near fall points early but a locking hands penalty point and an escape for Justin Diesel sent the match to overtime. Thirty seconds into the one minute session, Vetter got behind Diesel to extend the Army lead to 26-4.

Wittmeyer used a strong third period for a 5-2 win at 184 pounds. Wittmeyer and Erik Schott were tied at two after the second period before Wittmeyer secured a reversal and more than two minutes of riding time to give Army a 29-4 lead.

Starks, ranked #17 in the Intermat poll, was trailing early in his match but took control in the second period. Down by a point, 3-2, Starks chose neutral, secured a takedown and picked up three back points. Following an escape, Starks posted another takedown and led 9-4 after two periods. Starks added another takedown in the third period, after an escape for the 11-5 win.

Cook ended the 2 p.m. matches with his second pin of the season, decking Judd Connell in 4:32 for the final margin.



Army 38, Merchant Marine Academy 4
125: Lance Penhale (A) dec. Jordan Alfaro, 2-0
133: Travis Coffey (A) won by forfeit
141: Casey Thome (A) pinned Garrick Skubon, 1:10
149: #8 Matt Kyler (A) tech. fall Martin Bell, 21-6, 7:00
157: Daniel Young (A) dec. Dan Twito, 3-1
165: Vincent Renaut (MMA) major dec. Eric Gobin, 15-6
174: Jacob Vetter (A) dec. Justin Diesel, 7-5, OT
184: Collin Wittmeyer (A) dec. Dan Kennedy, 5-2
197: #17 Richard Starks (A) dec. Eric Vincent, 11-5
285: Ryan Cook (A) pinned Judd Connell, 4:32

Rutgers 39, Boston 0
125: Joseph Langel (R) major dec. Ryan Dowd, 10-2
133: #16 Billy Ashnault (R) dec. Fred Santaite, 2-1
141: Trevor Melde (R) dec. Abbie Rush, 7-1
149: David Greenwald (R) pinned Matt Morgenstern, 3:25
157: Daryl Cocozzo (R) tech. fall Nestor Taffur, 21-6, 4:36
165: Greg Zannetti (R) dec. Kyle Czarnecki, 3-2
174: Daniel Rinaldi (R) dec. Hunter Meyers, 2-0
184: Daniel Seidenberg (R) dec. Brock Mantella, 3-0
197: #18 Lamar Brown (R) dec. Dan Kennedy, 6-4
285: #10 Dominick Russo (R) won by forfeit
Army Wins Third Straight, Downs Boston

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army won the first five matches, three with bonus points, as the Black Knights posted a 31-9 victory over Boston University, Sunday afternoon at Christl Arena.

Thirty minutes after beating the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy 38-4, Army continued its winning ways by dispatching the Terries in the second of three matches scheduled for Sunday.

Daniel Young earned a major decision, Matt Kyler and Casey Thome registered falls and Lance Penhale, Connor Hanafee and Collin Wittmeyer won decisions as Army improved to 3-2 on the season.

In the other match at 4 p.m., Rutgers dominated the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, 39-3.

Penhale, for the second straight match, got Army off to a good start. After a scoreless first period, Penhale accumulated riding time in the second period and then secured an escape, two takedowns and a riding time point for a 6-2 victory.

Hanafee made it 6-0 Army with a 4-2 decision at 133 pounds. Hanafee trailed 2-1 early but scored a takedown with 13 seconds left in the second period at the edge of the mat. A stalling point in the last period gave Hanafee a 4-2 win.

Thome picked up his second pin of the day to push the Army leads to 12-0. Thome had an early takedown and earned the fall in 2:18.

Kyler rolled to an impressive win at 149 pounds. The eighth-ranked wrestler in the country, Kyler collected four takedowns and two back points in the first period, a reversal early in the second period and then posted the fall at 4:29 to give Army an 18-0 lead.

Young scored in a variety of ways, collecting three reversals, three sets of near fall points, two takedowns and an escape on the way to a 20-10 major decision win at 157 pounds that pushed the Army leads to 22-0.

Boston scored its first points at 165 pounds when Kyle Czarnecki used a second-period reversal and final period takedown for a 4-0 win over Patrick Marchetti.

Hunter Meyers helped the Terries close the gap with a 7-2 decision at 174 pounds opposite Jacob Vetter. Meyers posted a takedown before Vetter escaped. Meyers escaped in the second and collected back points in the third to trim Army's lead to 22-6.

Wittmeyer halted Boston's two-match winning streak with a 5-4 win at 184 pounds. Wittmeyer had an early takedown and then a second takedown 30 seconds into the final period. A reversal by Brock Mantella knotted the score at 4 but Wittmeyer escaped with 30 seconds left for the victory and moved the team score to 25-6.

Corey Hedash battled at 197 pounds but Boston's Dan Kennedy held on for a 4-2 win. Kennedy had a takedown late in the first and then secured an escape and stalling point. Hedash picked up two escapes and had a leg for a takedown attempt with seven seconds left but couldn't complete the move.

Army's Ryan Cook accepted a forfeit at 285 pounds for the final points.

Army will wrap up its Sunday quad match with a 6 p.m. contest against Rutgers at Christl Arena.

Army 31, Boston 9
125: Lance Penhale (A) dec. Ryan Dowd, 6-2
133: Connor Hanafee (A) dec. Fred Santaite, 4-2
141: Casey Thome (A) pinned Abbie Rush, 2:18
149: #8 Matt Kyler (A) pinned Andrew Swank, 4:29
157: Daniel Young (A) major dec. Nestor Taffur, 20-10
165: Kyle Czarnecki (B) dec. Patrick Marchetti, 4-0
174: Hunter Meyers (B) dec. Jacob Vetter, 7-2
184: Collin Wittmeyer (A) dec. Brock Mantella, 5-4
197: Dan Kennedy (B) dec. Casey Hedash, 4-2
285: Ryan Cook (A) won by forfeit

Rutgers 39, Merchant Marine Academy 3
125: Joseph Langel (R) major dec. Jordan Alfaro, 12-4
133: #16 Billy Ashnault (R) won by forfeit
141: Trevor Melde (R) pinned Garrick Skubon, 2:33
149: David Greenwald (R) dec. Martin Bell, 8-4
157: Daryl Cocozzo (R) major dec. Dan Twito, 12-1
165: Greg Zannetti (R) dec. Logan Torgison, 12-7
174: Daniel Rinaldi (R) major dec. Justin Diesel, 9-1
184: Jesse Boyden (R) dec. Erik Schott, 7-3
197: Eric Vincent (MMA) dec. Michael Cucinotta, 8-6
285: #10 Dominick Russo (R) pinned Judd Connell, :40
Army's Kyler Win Prestigious Southern Scuffle

Senior Places First; Freshman Jordan Thome Sixth After Injury

GREENSBORO, N.C.  – Senior Matt Kyler won the individual championships at 149 pounds and an injured Jordan Thome finished sixth at 133 pounds as the Army wrestling team wrapped up competition at the Southern Scuffle held at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center.

Army finished with 60 points and placed 12th in the 32-team field. Cornell won the event with 164 points, in front of Minnesota (151.5), Indiana (131.5), Edinboro (87.5) and Virginia (96.5).

“We have a lot of work to do and we’re certainly not content with the final results at all of our weight classes,” said Army head coach Chuck Barbee. “We want to do better. We need to get back in the room, make corrections, get tougher and raise our intensity even more. The whole team wrestled hard. Guys need to keep making jumps and making improvements. We can’t be satisfied with winning a match; we need to get on the podium.”

Kyler secured two major decisions early Wednesday to move into the finals where he claimed the individual championship when Cesar Grajales of Pennsylvania injury defaulted.

Ranked 10th in the latest InterMat rankings, Kyler secured a 17-7 major decision against John Nicholson of Old Dominion followed by a 15-7 major decision over Torsten Gillespie of Edinboro to advance to the finals.

Kyler jumped out to a 5-1 in the third period when Grajales defaulted at the 5:22 mark.

“Matt wrestled hard,” said Barbee. “He has been working on fundamentals and doing the little things right and that certainly added up. He paid attention to the details and was rewarded.”

Thome, a freshman, moved into the semifinals with a hard-fought 8-6 win against Zac Stevens of Michigan. Thome faced Jayson Ness of Minnesota, ranked second in the latest InterMat poll, in the semifinals but injury defaulted, ending his tournament run. Thome, who did not compete in his consolation bout, finished sixth in the event.

“Jordan is wrestling really well,” said Barbee. “Any time you put a freshman out there, you never know how he is going to respond. Jordan shows up at game time and loves to compete. It wasn’t a huge surprise how well he wrestled but he was certainly exciting to watch before he was hurt.”

Three other Army wrestlers competed during the second day of the 10-mat event. Casey Thome was edged in his quarterfinal bout at 141 pounds by Germane Lindsey of Ohio, 3-2, and then fell in the consolation bracket to Zack Kemmerer of Pennsylvania, 8-3.

Nicholas Bundy, who wrestled four times on Tuesday in the 141-pound division, lost his consolation bout to Ivan Lopouchanski of UNC Greensboro, 7-4.

Jimmy Rafferty posted a 4-1 mark at 149 pounds during the first day but lost to Savva Kostis of Appalachian State, 13-4.

Army will return to dual meet action next week, hosting four matches. On Friday, Army will host Hofstra at 7:30 p.m. at Gillis Field House and then welcome Merchant Marine Academy, Boston University and Rutgers for a Sunday quad-meet at Christl Arena. Wrestling Sunday gets underway at 2 p.m.

2009 Southern Scuffle
DAY TWO
ARMY WRESTLERS
133 Pounds
Jordan Thome
QUARTERFINALS: dec. Zac Stevens, Michigan, 8-6
SEMIFINALS: lost to #2 Jayson Ness, Minnesota, inj. def.

141Pounds
Casey Thome
QUARTERFINALS: lost to Germane Lindsey, Ohio, 3-2
CONSOLATIONS: lost to Zack Kemmerer, Pennsylvania, 8-3

Nicholas Bundy
CONSOLATIONS: lost to Ivan Lopouchanski, UNC Greensboro, 7-4

149 Pounds
#10 Matt Kyler
QUARTERFINALS: major dec. John Nicholson, Old Dominion, 17-7
SEMIFINALS: major dec. Torsten Gillespie, Edinboro, 15-7
FINALS: inj. def. over Cesar Grajales, Pennsylvania

Jimmy Rafferty
CONSOLATIONS: lost to Savva Kostis, Appalachian State, 13-4
Rider Edges Army
Black Knights Win Five Matches But Fall 16-14

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Rob Morrison scored a 2-0 win in the final bout of the night as Rider edged Army, 17-16, Thursday night in a non-conference wrestling match at Gillis Field House.

The Broncs, wrestling their sixth dual match of the season, won the final two matches by decision to pull out the victory and improve to 3-3.

Junior Casey Thome posted a major decision and seniors Matt Kyler and Ryan Mergen and freshmen Colin Wittmeyer and Jordan Thome won via decision but the Black Knights fell to 0-2.

Army jumped out to an early lead, retook the lead with two matches to go but Rider fought back to post the victory on the strength of two bonus point wins.

"The effort is there," said Army head coach Chuck Barbee. "The intensity is there. It's just a matter of strategy and making sure you don't make critical mistakes. I'm optimistic that as the season progresses, we will learn from these tough losses and be better at the end of the season. We're certainly not content with a loss but we made huge strides in the last week or so. We competed well. We lost of couple of tough bouts and won a couple of tough bouts we just didn't come out on top."

Mergen, a senior captain, won his second consecutive dual match with a strong third period and got Army off to a 3-0 lead at 174 pounds Rider's Jim Resnick earned two takedowns in the first period and one in the second but Mergen escaped three times and benefitted from a penalty point for being pushed out of bounds.

Resnick, with at least a two-inch height advantage and 1:36 of riding time, chose down to start the final period. Mergen rode him for the first part of the period and then took Resnick to his back. Mergen had the move locked and held Resnick for 1:15 for three near fall points and a 7-6 win.

Wittmeyer extended the Army advantage to 6-0 with a win in his first dual match at 184 pounds. Wittmeyer secured a takedown with 20 seconds left in the first period, a reversal in the third and a 1:40 advantage in riding time for a 5-1 win.

Rider's Tyler Smith, ranked #19 in the latest Intermat rankings, scored the Broncs' first points with a 13-3 major decision over freshman Casey Hedash at 197 pounds.

Smith posted a takedown in the first and three takedowns in the final period and picked up three near fall points as well as an escape and riding time around three Hedash escapes for his 12th win this season to make the match score 6-4.

Rider took its first lead of the match when heavyweight Ed Bordas recorded a 10-2 major decision over freshman Alan Lutterman for an 8-6 lead.

Bordas utilized his weight advantage and scored four takedowns, an escape and riding time against the under-sized Lutterman.

Ilyass Elmsaouri picked up a takedown with 13 seconds left as Rider took an 11-6 lead at 125 pounds. Army's Lance Penhale escaped just three seconds into the second period for a 1-0 lead and the wrestlers were neutral before Elmsaouri scored the takedown for the 2-1 victory.

Jordan Thome posted his first dual match win with a hard-fought 8-5 win at 133 pounds. Thome picked up a takedown in the first period and two near fall points in the second but Rider's Jimmy Kirchner put together a reversal and three near fall points for a 5-4 lead after two periods.

Thome chose down to begin the third period, worked a reversal, benefitted from an illegal move point and added more than two minutes of riding time to cut Rider's lead to 11-9.

Jordan's older brother, Casey, started quick at 141 pounds with a first-period takedown and three near fall points for a 5-1 lead against Aaron Nestor after three minutes. Thome, competing in his first dual this season, then worked a reversal and picked up two more back points in the second.

The elder Thome put Army back on top with a takedown and three back points to conclude the major decision and give the Black Knights a 13-11 lead.

Kyler, who suffered a tie-breaking loss in his first dual match of the season, left no doubt on Thursday, stringing together four takedowns for a 10-3 win at 149 pounds.

Ranked #10 in the latest Intermat rankings, Kyler had more than two minutes of riding time and put Army ahead, 16-11.

Rider's Zac Cibula put the Broncs within two points, 16-14, with a 9-5 win over Rudy Chelednik at 157 pounds. Chelednik escaped in the second, picked up a reversal in the second and then a takedown in the third for a 5-3 lead. Cibula then escaped, notched the takedown and then three near fall points for the 9-5 win.

Morrison clinched the match at 165 pounds, making a first period takedown standup in a 2-0 victory that made the team score 17-16.

Morrison won his 10th match this season with his victory against freshman Eric Gobin. Morrison led 2-0, rode Gobin in the second and then fought off numerous attempts from the bottom position and held on for the victory.

Army will be idle until Dec. 28 when the team competes at the Southern Scuffle in Greensboro, N.C. The two-day event begins Tuesday at 10 a.m.

MATCH NOTES: Thursday was the second of six matches that ITT Knight Vision, the multi-media platform of the Army Athletic Association, will carry live on-line with a video and audio stream … Army's Ryan Mergen improved to 9-6 this season and 57-42 during his career … Colin Wittmeyer is now 10-4 during his rookie campaign … Jordan Thome has a team-best 14 wins against five losses … Casey Thome is now 2-1 on the season and 60-28 for his career … Matt Kyler improved to 9-2 this season and is now 123-29 in his career. Kyler needs three wins to tie Brad Fenske for second place on Army's all-time wins chart.

RIDER 17, ARMY 16
174: Ryan Mergen (A) dec. Jim Resnick, 7-6
184: Colin Wittmeyer (A) dec. Joe Ferber, 5-1
197: #19 Tyler Smith (R) major dec. Casey Hedash, 13-3
285: Ed Bordas (R) major dec. Alan Lutterman, 10-2
125: Ilyass Elmsaouri (R) dec. Lance Penhale, 2-1
133: Jordan Thome (A) dec. Jimmy Kirchner, 8-5
141: Casey Thome (A)  major dec. Aaron Nestor, 15-2
149: #10 Matt Kyler (A) dec. Michael Kessler, 10-3
157: Zac Cibula (R) dec. Rudy Chelednik, 9-5
165: Rob Morrison (R) dec. Eric Gobin, 2-0
Referee: Mark Sigmon
Army-American Wrestling Match Cancelled

Facility Issue Calls Off Dec. 12 Match

WEST POINT, N.Y.  - The Army at American wrestling match, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12 in Washington, D.C., has been cancelled due to a conflict.

No reschedule date has been announced.

The Black Knights will host their second dual match of the season on Thursday, Dec. 10 at Gillis Field House. The home match against Rider will begin at 7:30 p.m. and ITT Knight Vision will cover the event live.
Mergen Scores Upset but Bucknell Tops Army

Bison Win Eight of 10 Matches

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army's Ryan Mergen scored an upset win but Bucknell won eight bouts on the way to a 25-6 win over the Black Knights, Tuesday night in an EIWA match at Gillis Field House.

Mergen put together a takedown, reversal, back points and two escapes for a 9-6 win against #9 Shane Riccio.

The Bison though strung together eight other wins and beat Army for the first time in a dual match.

Bucknell, which boasts four nationally ranked wrestlers, improved to 2-2 and 1-8 all-time against Army.

Senior Lance Penhale also posted a victory for the Black Knights who were wrestling their first dual of the season in front of a nice turnout at Gills Field House.

"Bucknell has an outstanding team," said Army head coach Chuck Barbee. We were the heavy underdogs and were probably only favored in two weight classes. We just didn't pull any upsets. Bucknell is a quality team. We have some inexperience in our lineup and have to get healthy and keep improving."

At 174 pounds, Mergen was effective at the edge of the match and secured the upset win to end the match in a dual that started at 184 pounds.

After a scoreless first period, Mergen took down to start the second period. He escaped and then scored a takedown at the edge of the mat for an early 3-0 lead. Riccio, ranked ninth nationally in the latest Intermat poll, escaped later in the period and got a takedown to tie the match at three.

Mergen then secured a reversal and two near fall point s near the edge of the mat for a 7-3 advantage. Riccio took down in the third and escaped but Mergen countered with another takedown for the 9-4 victory, although Bucknell won the dual, 25-6 after the Bison bench was docked a team point for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"Mergen is just a great leader, a guy who shows up every time and gives 110% every time," said Barbee. "It is a good testament to what hard work will do for you when you work hard."

The match opened at 184 pounds and Bucknell's Rob Waltko strung together three takedowns, an escape and a 1:04 advantage in riding time for an 8-4 win over Jacob Vetter.

Vetter escaped twice in the first period and to open the third but could not score a late takedown as Bucknell took an early 3-0 lead.

The Bison extended their lead to 6-0 with a 10-3 decision by Jay Hahn at 197 pounds. Hahn posted four takedowns, an escape and riding time but Daniel Mills escaped three times.

Bucknell heavyweight, Joe McMullan, wrestling up at 285 after weighing in at 197, notched a 4-0 win for a 9-0 Bison lead. Army freshman Alan Lutterman was the aggressor early but McMullan rode him the second period. McMullan chose down to open the third period and scored an escape. Lutterman had several shots late but McMullan scored a takedown and riding time.
Penhale got the Black Knights on the board with a gutsy effort at 125 pounds. The senior from Kenai, Alaska, scored an early takedown but locked hands and led Derrik Russell 2-1 after the first period.

Russell escaped late in the second period to knot the match but Penhale scored an escape of his own and riding time for the win to make the match score 9-3.

Bucknell's David Marble, ranked #13 nationally, put together six takedowns, two back points and a reversal but was docked two points for unnecessary roughness in a 17-7 major decision win against freshman Jordan Thome at 133 pounds.

The Bison took a 16-3 lead following a great bout at 141 pounds. Bucknell's Zach Hancock scored an early takedown but Army's Nicholas Bundy escaped. Again, Hancock scored a takedown and again Bundy escaped. Bundy secured a takedown of his own to tie the match at four after one period.

Hancock was awarded a penalty point for an illegal move and then posted a reversal for a 7-4 lead after two periods. Bundy quickly reversed Hancock to start the third but was called for an illegal move. Bundy let Hancock escape to make it 9-6 and picked up a takedown with three seconds left but Hancock held on for the 9-8 win.

In matchup of nationally ranked wrestlers at 149 pounds, Bucknell's Kevin LeValley edged #6 Matthew Kyler 9-6 in the first tiebreaker. Kyler jumped out to an early lead with a takedown before LeValley, ranked #13, escaped. Kyler escaped to open the second period and benefitted from a penalty point for locking hands and a stalling call for a 5-1 lead.

LeValley chose down in the third period, escaped and then took Kyler down. LeValley's advantage in riding time knotted the score at five and forced overtime.

Kyler took two shots in the 60-second sudden victory format but neither wrestler scored. Kyler escaped late in the first tiebreaker 30-second session but was then called for violation for starting early, twice. Kyler allowed LeValley to escape but was unable to get points late and suffered his second loss of the season and first dual match loss since the 2007-08 season.

Bucknell increased its lead to 22-3 as Brantley Hooks posted a 5-2 decision over Rudy Chelednik. After a scoreless first period, Hooks escaped to open the second period and then scored a takedown.

Chelednik chose down in the final period and escaped 20 seconds into the period but Hooks added a takedown and Chelednik couldn't get a takedown after escaping.

Andy Rendos, ranked sixth nationally, collected a major decision over freshman Eric Gobin at 165 pounds. Rendos scored two near fall points, a reversal and four takedowns plus riding time for a 13-4 win and a 26-3 Bucknell margin. Gobin escaped three times and benefitted from an illegal move for his four points in his first collegiate dual match.

Army will continue its dual meet slate on December 10 when the Black Knights host Rider at 7:30 p.m. at Gillis Field House.

BUCKNELL 25, ARMY 6
184: Rob Waltko (B) dec. Jacob Vetter, 8-4
197: Jay Hahn (B) dec. Daniel Mills, 10-3
285: Joe McMullan (B) dec. Alan Lutterman, 4-0
125: Lance Penhale (A) dec. Derrik Russell, 4-2
133: #13 David Marble major dec. Jordan Thome, 17-7
141: Zach Hancock (B) dec. Nicholas Bundy, 9-8
149: #13 Kevin LeValley (B) dec. #6 Matt Kyler, 8-6 TB1
157: Brandon Hooks (B) dec. Rudy Chelednik, 5-2
165: #6 Andy Rendos (B) major dec. Eric Gobin, 13-4
174: Ryan Mergen (A) dec. #9 Shane Riccio, 9-6
Referee: Jeff Cook
VEGA JOINS ARMY WRESTLING STAFF

Former Williams Head Coach Makes Move To West Point
 
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Former Williams College head coach Rafael Vega has joined the Army Wrestling staff, Athletic Director Kevin Anderson and head wrestling coach Chuck Barbee announced.
 
Vega comes to West Point following his seven-year tenure at Williams College that included All-American honors on the mat and in the classroom.
 
"We are excited to welcome Rafael to the Army Wrestling program," said Barbee. "He has developed talent at every level not only in the wrestling room but in the classroom as well. He is a hard worker and excited about this opportunity to work at the U.S. Military Academy.  He understands the challenges and his tireless work ethic as an instructor and as a recruiter is going to be a great benefit to our program."
 
While at Williams, a Division III school in Williamstown, Mass., Vega coached four All-Americans and 14 Academic All-Americans.

Among those wrestlers he guided were Ryan Malo, a national finalist, Corey Paulish, a fourth-place finisher as a sophomore, Tom Priare, a national finalist and three-time All-American and John Dolan, also a three-time All-American.

The Ephs led Division III wrestling with a 3.54 grade point average, a figure that was in the top 10 of all sports at that level.

Under Vega, Williams won the New England Wrestling Association title last year, placed in the top-three in the conference on five occasions and in the top-six six times while producing 30 All-New England wrestlers.

"Rafael comes from a strong academic school so he has an idea of the type of young men we recruit," said Barbee. "His experience, coupled with his success as a scholastic and collegiate wrestler, was really what set him apart from some other quality candidates."
 
Prior to joining the Williams staff as an assistant in 2001, Vega served as a volunteer at Mount Anthony Union High School and as a coach and clinician at Bruce Baumgartner's World Class Camp for two years.

As a high school wrestler in Vermont, Vega was a USA Wrestling All-America, chosen to represent the U.S. in the Dapper Dan Classic and secured Junior Olympic European championships in both freestyle and Greco roman.
 
Vega chose Edinboro University and was nationally ranked in all four of his seasons. Twice, he finished third at the Eastern Wrestling League championships and was a two-time NCAA qualifier.

The Edinboro Wrestling Rookie of the Year, Vega twice placed at the nationally renowned Midlands Tournament and was a three-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference finalist.
 
Vega also starred internationally, winning the Tour de Monde Junior Olympic Czechoslovakian freestyle and Greco Roman championships and the Tour de Monde Junior Olympic German freestyle and Greco Roman championships.

TRANSACTIONS
COLLEGES
ARMY -- Named Rafael Vega assistant wrestling coach.
www.goARMYsports.com
 
Ryan Yanoshak
Special Assistant to the Senior Associate A.D.
U.S. Military Academy
639 Howard Road
West Point, N.Y. 10996
845-938-7197 (office)
845-406-1130 (cellular)

Black Knights' Recruits Recognized Nationally Once Again
 
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Head coach Chuck Barbee and his staff, once again, attracted a top notch recruiting class to the U.S. Military Academy for this coming fall. Army wrestling's Class of 2010 was ranked 22nd nationally
 
The contingent features eight grapplers who won state titles in high school, as well as five wrestlers who attended and developed their skills at USMAPS last year. Four members of Army's 2006-07 recruiting class hail from the talent-rich state of Pennsylvania.
 
"This class will help give us a strong foundation over the next three to four years," said Barbee. "I challenge each one of our recruits to make their mark right away. We have a lot of unproven weight classes going into next season and a freshman could certainly break into the starting lineup."
 
Barbee, entering his seventh season at West Point, has authored some of the best recruiting classes in the storied history of the the Black Knights' program. This year's class certainly maintains that higher standard of excellence to which Barbee and his coaching staff expect Army wrestlers to achieve.
 
The rankings, which came out earlier this month, named Oklahoma State's incoming freshmen as the top class for the 2006-07 campaign. Lehigh, ranked second nationally, was the top EIWA program in the rankings. Bucknell and Cornell were the only other conference rivals rated higher than Army in the annual polling of recruiting classes.
 
Matt Kyler (Pa.) highlights the outstanding class. He was a Pennsylvania state champion in 2005. Steven Gilbert was a four-time state champion in New Mexico, while Lance Penhale (Alaska) was a three-time state champ.
 
W.I.N Magazine's Top 25 Recruiting Classes
  1) Oklahoma State
  2) Lehigh
  3) Penn State
  4) Minnesota
  5) Nebraska
  6) Missouri
  7) Arizona State
  8) Old Dominion
  9) Michigan
10) Oklahoma
11) Iowa State
12) Boise State
13) Virginia Tech
14) Bucknell
15) Cornell
16) N.C. State
17) Indiana
18) Purdue
19) Edinboro
20) Iowa
21) Illinois
22) Army
23) Bloomsburg
24) Rider
25) Maryland
      Rutgers
 
 
www.goARMYsports.com
 
 
James Zuhlke
Asst. Dir. of Athletic Comm.
U.S. Military Academy
(845) 938-7197

ARMY ANNOUNCES 2009-10 WRESTLING SCHEDULE

Seven Tournaments, 11 Duals Dot Slate
 
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Eleven dual matches and seven tournaments comprise the 2009-10 Army wrestling schedule, released by veteran head coach Chuck Barbee on Monday.
 
The Black Knights will wrestle eight duals at West Point and participate in seven tournaments in preparation for the EIWA and NCAA Championships.
 
"Once again, we were able to secure a schedule against top-notch competition that will challenge us at every weight class," said Barbee, who enters his 10th season as head coach. "The diversity of our schedule features teams from the top conferences and will allow us to progress throughout the season and peak in March."
 
Army will open the season November 7 at the Clarion Open in Pennsylvania before traveling to Brockport, N.Y. for the Oklahoma-Gold Classic a week later. Among the teams expected for the Classic are Ohio State, Edinboro, Oklahoma, Kent State, Rutgers, Buffalo, Liberty and the host school.
 
On November 21, the squad is at the Body Bar Invitational in Ithaca, N.Y., along with Cornell, Maryland, Kent State, Columbia, Drexel, Wyoming, Bloomsburg, Buffalo, Clarion, Sacred Heart and Ithaca.
 
The first dual of the season is set for Tuesday, Nov. 24 against EIWA foe Bucknell at West Point's Gillis Field House. Two days later, the Black Knights welcome Rider to the same venue.

The one-day Cleveland State Open (Dec. 12) and two-day Southern Scuffle (Dec. 29-30) completes the first semester action.
 
Once again, a quality field is expected at the Southern Scuffle in Greensboro, N.C., with Big 10 powers Minnesota, Michigan and Indiana expected to attend, along with Pennsylvania, Edinboro, Kent State, North Carolina State, Princeton, Lock Haven, Cornell, Old Dominion and a host of other schools.

Army returns to the mat in the new year when it hosts Hofstra at 7:30 p.m., on January 8. Two days later, Army will welcome the U.S. Merchant Marine, Boston and Rutgers in a quad-match at Christl Arena.

The Black Knights will return to Ithaca, N.Y. for the New York State Championships Jan. 22-23 along with Cornell, Binghamton, Buffalo and Columbia among others and then wrestle at Brown and Harvard on Jan. 30.

Navy is hosting the Academy Championships on Feb. 6, then Army closes its regular season with three duals. Millersville and Sacred Heart will visit for a tri-match on Feb. 13 before the Black Knights end the regular season at Navy on Feb. 20.

Lehigh is again serving as the host school for the EIWA Championships March 6-7 in Bethlehem, Pa. Omaha, Neb., is the site of the NCAA Championships March 18-20.
 
 
2009-10 Army Wrestling Schedule
 
November
Sat.      7          at Clarion Open                                     Clarion, Pa.                               All Day
Sat.      14        at Oklahoma-Gold Classic       Brockport, N.Y.                                     All Day
Sat.      21        at Body Bar Invitational                        Ithaca, N.Y.                              All Day
Tue.     24        BUCKNELL $!                       West Point, N.Y.                     7:30 p.m.
 
December
Thur.   10        RIDER            !                                     West Point, N.Y.                     7:30 p.m.
Sat.      12        at Cleveland State Open                        Cleveland, Ohio                        All Day
Tue.     29        at Southern Scuffle                  Greensboro, N.C.                     All Day
Wed.    30        at Southern Scuffle                  Greensboro, N.C.                     All Day

January
Fri.      8          HOFSTRA!                              West Point, N.Y.                     7:30 p.m.
Sun.     10        U.S. MERCHANT MARINE#           West Point, N.Y.                     2 p.m.
Sun.     10        BOSTON $#                            West Point, N.Y.                     4 p.m.

Sun.     10        RUTGERS $#                          West Point, N.Y.                     6 p.m.
Fri.       22        at N.Y. State Championships   Ithaca, N.Y.                              All Day
Sat.      23        at N.Y. State Championships   Ithaca, N.Y.                              All Day
Sat.      30        at Brown $                                Providence, R.I.                                     TBA
Sat.      30        at Harvard $                              Cambridge, Mass.                    5 p.m.
 
February
Sat.      6          at Academy Championships    Annapolis, Md.                                      All Day
Sat.      13        MILLERSVILLE !                 West Point, N.Y.                     4 p.m.
Sat.      13        SACRED HEART !                West Point, N.Y.                     6 p.m.
Sat.      20        at Navy            $                                  Annapolis, Md.                                      TBA
 
March
Sat.      6          at EIWA Championships         Bethlehem, Pa.                          All Day
Sun.     7          at EIWA Championships         Bethlehem, Pa.                          All Day
Thur.    18        at NCAA Championships        Omaha, Neb.                            All Day
Fri.       19        at NCAA Championships        Omaha, Neb.                            All Day
Sat.      20        at NCAA Championships        Omaha, Neb.                            All Day
          
 
 
Home Matches In BOLD CAPS
! Matches at Gillis Field House, West Point, N.Y.
# Matches at Christl Arena, West Point, N.Y.
$ EIWA Matches
 
 
 
www.goARMYsports.com
Ryan Yanoshak
Special Assistant to the Senior Associate A.D.
U.S. Military Academy
639 Howard Road
West Point, N.Y. 10996
845-938-7197 (office)
845-406-1130 (cellular)

Army Wrestling Ties East Stroudsburg, 15-15

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army junior 149-pounder Matt Kyler improved his record to 34-3 this winter with his 20th-straight victory to lead the Black Knights in a 15-15 tie with visiting East Stroudsburg, Friday night, at Gillis Field House.

Neither team earned any bonus point victories and spilt 10-straight decisions as Army (10-4-2, 4-1-1 EIWA) also received victories from junior Lance Penhale (125), sophomore Casey Thome (141), sophomore Rudy Chelednik (157) and junior Richard Starks (197).

"We did a good job tonight of not giving up any bonus points, but we also didn't put any on the board and that obviously was the difference," said Army head coach Chuck Barbee. "East Stroudsburg has a solid team and they really came ready to wrestle. I thought we wrestled hard, but we just didn't put the points up in a couple of weight classes that we needed to."

ESU's Chris Birchler started the evening off with a 7-3 victory over Army junior heavyweight Michael Sprigg, before Penhale evened the match with a 6-1 win over David Luthy at 125.

Following a 8-1 Warrior decision by Matt Swallow over Connor McCarthy, Army forged a 12-6 lead with three-straight decisions by Thome over Matt Rizzo at 141, Kyler over Scott Keckman, 11-4, and Chelednik over Ken Monarque, 3-0.

ESU (4-12-1, 1-2-1 EIWA) answered with three victories of its own to lead, 15-12, as Thad Frick bested freshman 165-pounder Michael Gorman, 10-3, Jeff Jacobs earned a 3-2 win over sophomore 174-pounder Jacob Vetter, and Ed Ebewo held off senior John Drew, 12-7, at 184.

Needing at least a decision to salvage a tie in the final match of the night, Starks out-pointed Shane Mallory, 6-5, help the Black Knights avoid defeat.

Undefeated in his last 14 outings, Thome's record this season stands at 24-10, including a 12-4 ledger in dual meet competition. Ranked 20th in this week's Intermat/NWCA/NWMA national poll, Starks improved his mark to 28-6 and 13-3, while Chelednik's upped his season total 18-13, including an 8-5 dual record. Kyler is undefeated at 16-0 in dual meets this year.

Army hits the road on Saturday for a dual meet at Lehigh, which entered the week ranked seventh in the national team poll, scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. in Bethlehem, Pa.

Army 15, East Stroudsburg 15
285 - Chris Birchler (E) dec. Michael Sprigg, 7-3

125 - Lance Penhale (A) dec. David Luthy, 6-1

133 - Matt Swallow (E) dec. Connor McCarthy, 8-1

141 - Casey Thome (A) dec. Matt Rizzo, 9-5

149 - #10 Matt Kyler (A) dec. Scott Heckman, 11-4

157 - Rudy Chelednik (A) dec. Ken Monarque, 3-0

165 - Thad Frick (E) dec. Michael Gorman, 10-3

174 - Jeff Jacobs (E) dec. Jacob Vetter, 3-2

184 - Ed Ebewo (E) dec. John Drew, 12-7

197 - #20 Richard Starks (A) dec. Shane Mallory, 6-5
Army Wrestling Sweeps Brown And Harvard, Sunday

WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army wrestling team picked up a pair of wins over visiting Brown and Harvard this afternoon in a pair of dual meets at Gillis Field House. The Black Knights (10-4-1) spotted Brown a 13-0 lead before taking six of the final seven bouts en route to the 21-16 victory in the opener, and then took care of business during a 30-11 win over Harvard.

Army juniors Matt Kyler (149) and Richard Starks (197), along with senior Michael Sprigg (285) and sophomore Casey Thome (141) all picked up two victories on the day.

"We had a lot of new faces in the lineup today and that can sometimes be a lot of pressure," said Army head coach Chuck Barbee. "We knew we would be outmanned at a couple weights, but our guys did what they had to do to help us win."

Brown used three-straight wins, including a pin by Bran Crudden over Army sophomore Dean Gaier at 174, and a 14-6 major decision by Matt Gevelinger over senior John Drew at 184, to take the early lead.

Starks, ranked 18th in this week's national poll, got the Black Knights rolling at 197 with a 7-0 shutout of Branden Steams, before Sprigg followed with an 11-3 major over Zach Zdrada at heavyweight. Junior Lance Penhale made it three in a row after holding on for a 4-3 decision opposite Greg Einfrank at 125 to cut the deficit to three, 13-10.

The Bears made it a 16-10 edge after Ross Baldwin took a 7-2 decision from sophomore Josh Sandhaus at 133, but it was all Army from there. Thome took a 2-0 decision from Steve Delorenzo at 141 and Kyler, ranked 12th at 149, turned in a 16-1 technical fall over Dave Foxen to put the Black Knights up, 18-10, with one bout remaining. Sophomore Rudy Chelednik sealed the victory with a hard-fought 2-1 decision over Bryan Tracy at 157 that came down to a 1:57 advantage in riding time.

"When you draw the names out of the hat, you never know who is going to have to close the deal," added Barbee. "Rudy was the guy that got called on to do it today and he did a really great job in a clutch situation and got a big win for us against Brown."

Against the Crimson, the Black Knights were awarded victories in five of the first six bouts to open a 20-3 that proved insurmountable. Freshman Mike Gorman started the match off with a 7-4 decision over Mike Sandler at 165, before Harvard's Bryan Panzano evened the score with a 7-2 win over Gaier at 174. Sophomore Jake Vetter earned a 6-3 decision over Pat Ziemnik at 184, before Starks earned a 21-5 technical fall over Sean Murphy and Sprigg picked up a 7-3 decision over Spencer DeSena to make the score, 14-3.

Following a Harvard forfeit at 125, Tom Picarsic earned a 12-2 major over Sandhaus, but a pin by Thome over Fermin Mendez and an 11-0 major by Kyler over Walter Peppleman sealed the Black Knight victory.

Kyler improved his record to 30-4 this winter, including a spotless 15-0 mark in dual meet competition. Starks' record currently stands at 24-6 with a 12-3 dual ledger, while Thome's mark is 20-10 with an 11-4 dual total and Sprigg's record is 24-9 and 12-3 to lead Army.

"Matt and Richard keep rolling along and seem to keep getting better every week. They just keep building in confidence and intensity and continue to wrestle with a lot of aggression. Casey hasn't had too many breaks during the season and has been going up against some super-tough competition all year. It was good to see him step it up and tough out some big wins for us," continued Barbee.

The Black Knights will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 7, when they looks to defend their team title at the All-Academy Championships, hosted by VMI in Lexington, Va.

Army 21, Brown 16
165 - Jeff Lemmer (B) dec. Mike Gorman, 12-5 (ot)
174 - Bran Crudden (B) pin. Dean Gaier, 3:47
184 - Matt Gevelinger (B) maj. John Drew, 14-6
197 - #18 Richard Starks (A) dec. Branden Stearns, 7-0
285 - Mike Sprigg (A) maj. Zach Zdrada, 11-3
125 - Lance Penhale (A) dec. Greg Einfrank, 4-3
133 - Ross Baldwin (B) dec. Josh Sandhaus (A), 7-2
141 - Casey Thome (A) dec. Steve Delorenzo, 2-0
149 - #12 Matt Kyler (A) tech. Dave Foxen, 16-1 (5:20)
157 - Rudy Chelednik (A) dec. Bryan Tracy, 2-1

Army 30, Harvard 11

165 - Mike Gorman (A) dec. Mike Sandler, 7-4
174 - Bryan Panzano (H) dec. Dean Gaier, 7-2
184 - Jake Vetter (A) dec. Pat Ziemnik, 6-3
197 - #18 Richard Starks (A) tech. Sean Murphy, 21-5 (6:30)
285 - Mike Sprigg (A) dec. Spencer DeSena, 7-3
125 - Lance Penhale win by forfeit
133 - Tom Picarsic (H) maj. Josh Sandhaus, 12-2
141 - Casey Thome (A) pin. Fermin Mendez, 1:48
149 - #12 Matt Kyler (A) maj. Walter Peppleman, 11-0
157 - #4 J.P. O'Connor (H) maj. Rudy Chelednik, 12-2

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