West Chester Wrestlers Complete Busy Weekend
The West Chester University wrestling team recently battled through a tough weekend of dual meet action, coming out with a 7-1 record and many new faces in the line up. Things got started on Friday, Dec. 10 in Ehringer Gym with the first home match of the season against the United States Naval Academy Prep School. This match up looked to be a great one, as WCU was ranked #6 nationally and Navy Prep #8. Navy came into the dual with a line up that featured five former state champions and two more state place winners. The Golden Rams returning All-American John Dickinson, kicked things off with a first period fall. A forfeit at 133 gave WCU an early 12-0 lead. Navy recorded a win by injury default at 141, but Billy Heemer followed with a 17-1 tech fall in his Golden Ram debut. A major decision and a fall by Navy brought them within a point at 17-16 after 165. WCU then took control of the dual in the next three bouts by getting a 16 second fall from All-American Dustin “Tank” Tancredi, a hard earned 6-5 win from National Champion Kevin Bacci and a second period fall from Abe Brooks at 197. This sealed the team victory with two bouts to go. A major at 235 for Navy and a fall at 285 by the WCU’s Tom Dwyer would bring the final score to 38-20. A solid showing by the Golden Rams against a team that will certainly be in contention for the national team title. A rematch could very well happen at the NCWA National Duals in late March.
There was little rest for the Rams, as the very next morning they ventured south to Baltimore to compete in the UMBC Duals that featured seven NCWA teams, including 2nd ranked Apprentice School. With six duals on tap, it would prove to be a long and tiring day. After a first round bye, WCU would do battle with Apprentice. The Builders would come out on top 32-15 by winning the close ones (five wins by decision) and a defensive fall at 165. Lopsided wins for WCU would follow against Penn State – New Kensington 42-19, Southern Virginia 48-14, Delaware 58-4 and Williamson Trade 66-0. The final dual of the day pitted WCU against host University of Maryland – Baltimore County (also a top ten ranked team). UMBC had beaten Apprentice 26-18 earlier in the day, so the Golden Rams knew they would have their hands full. Mike Flynn put WCU on the board with a 9-5 win at 125. UMBC took the next three with a major, a fall and a tech fall to go up 15-3. The Golden Rams dominated the next three with falls by Chadd Baribault and Dustin Tancredi sandwiched around a 14-3 major by Jordan Knaub to give them a 19-15 lead. The teams then traded wins, with Kevin Bacci getting a major at 197. UMBC recorded a fall at 235 to go up 24-23 with one bout to go. WCU’s Tom Dwyer engaged in a back and forth battle with Karim Mansour, trailing 4-3 heading into the third period. An escape by Dwyer would tie it up and then a late takedown secured the 6-4 win that also gave the Golden Rams the victory 26-24.