2006-2007 UCF Season Outlook
UCF Wrestling – 10/19/2006
After claiming back to back national titles in 2004 and 2005, the Golden Knight’s wrestling team ended their 2006 season with a fourth place finish, just two points out of third place, at the national tournament in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This was no small feat given the graduation of nearly half of the previous year's starting lineup. The young team hopes to top last years accomplishments and has all the tools that are required to do so. The only wrestler lost to graduation is David Miller who was a 4x All-American for the Golden Knights, however all is not lost as Miller now joins the ranks of the coaching staff. David Miller will join an already stellar coaching staff which includes former UCF teammate Jason Balma, two-time NCWA Coach of the year Johnny Rouse, and recent National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee Scott Sherman. Also contributing to the Knight’s practice room is UCF’s three-time NCWA champion Tom Lawlor and NCAA DIII All-American Jason Snow.
Also returning this season are five NCWA All-Americans, some of which have had multiple successes at the national tournament. Leading the young team are senior captains Paul Rothenberg and Jimmy Myers. Paul Rothenberg (141lb weight class) looks to join the elite ranks of other UCF 4x All-Americans including Tom Lawlor, Todd Hauser, and David Miller. Jimmy Myers (184lb weight class) is a returning 2x All-American and says that he is excited about this season and has stressed the importance of team chemistry and hard work in order to re-claim the national title. Other returning All-Americans include Matt Bohren (5th 2005, 141 lbs), Zach Sanford (4th 2006, 174 lbs) and Rob McCarty (6th 2006, 149lbs). Returning UCF national qualifiers include: Frederico Carosio, Willie Rothenberg, Michael Lemieux, Billy Rippy, Brian Pierson, and Jesse Pinson.
The Knights are proud to add several of Florida’s outstanding high school wrestlers to the roster including state champion CJ Hauser (165 lb weight class), state runner-up Daniel Wynn (133 lb weight class), and junior college transfers Barrett Hambright (157 lb weight class) and Frito Cherenfant (125 lb weight class). These and a multitude of other young talented wrestlers will add depth to the current line-up and carry on the tradition of successful wrestling at UCF.
The Knights kick off the season with the Knights Brawl Duals and the Central Florida Open the following morning. Next, the Knights travel to University of North Carolina – Pembroke for their annual Wrestling Classic. November closes with the State Dual Meet Championship. After last year’s tough loss to Pensacola Christian College, the Knights hope to claim the 2006 state championship.
In December the Knights will compete in the Southern Slam (North Carolina) and the Sunshine Open (Lakeland, FL). December will close at home with the Central Florida Duals on December 30th.
January will kick off with a quad dual meet at the University of East Georgia followed by the Cliff Keen National Dual Meet Championship at the University of Northern Iowa. At the National Duals the Knights will battle returning NCWA National Champions Grand Valley State as well as University of Texas – Arlington and Kansas State University. This will certainly be an exciting tournament and one of UCF’s premier events. Finishing January will include the Florida Classic (Gainesville, FL) and the Mercer Duals (Macon, GA).
In preparation for the Southeast Conference on February 24th in Athens, GA, the Knights will compete in the Doug Cherry Classic (Lafayette, PA), Florida State Invitational tournament, and closing out the regular season with a home dual meet against the young up and coming Florida Gulf University team. Finally, the Knights travel to Dallas, TX for the 10th Annual NCWA National Championships. This promises to be an exciting season for the young Knight’s who hope to set the standard in Florida college wrestling as well as in the NCWA.