NCAA D-I QUALIFIER
CLARION AT 38TH ANNUAL EWL’S HOSTED AT EDINBORO MARCH 9
The 2013 Clarion wrestling team will be participating in the 38th Annual EWL (Eastern Wrestling League) Championship on Saturday, March 9th, at Edinboro University’s McComb Fieldhouse. The Tournament also serves as the NCAA Division I National Qualifier.
The EWL is comprised of six league members including Bloomsburg, Clarion, Cleveland State, Edinboro, Lock Haven and Pittsburgh.
EWL CHAMPIONSHIP HAS 2 SESSIONS
The 2013 EWL=s at Edinboro will have two sessions. Session 1 will start at 10a.m. in a round that will feature quarterfinal action, followed by semi-finals and consolation semifinals. Session 2 starts at 5:45 pm and will have the consolation place bouts, the Parade of Champions, Hall of Fame ceremonies and the 10 championship bouts. A total of 23 wrestlers will qualify for the NCAA Tournament from the EWL=s via the qualifying places determined for each weight class. Following the tournament, the new national qualifying system will then identify the next best wrestlers at each weight class who did not qualify across the country to fill out the national bracket of 33 per weight class.
Tickets will be available at the door. All Session Adult passes are $25, while All-Session Student passes are $15. Individual session tickets will also be available.
CLARION 5-10 OVERALL AND 2-3 IN EWL IN 2013 SEASON
The Golden Eagles, under first year head coach Troy Letters, finished the regular season with a 5-10 dual meet record and a 2-3 mark in the EWL.
“We’re really looking forward to the EWL’s,” said Letters. “We started the year with a plan, and that plan was to peak at the end of the season and qualify as many wrestlers to nationals as possible. We feel we’ve made steady strides forward this season, but this is where all that dedication and sacrifice are meant to pay off. We want to be at our best on Saturday.”
Clarion’s five dual meets wins this year came against Eastern Michigan (21-10), Michigan State (25-16), Lock Haven (18-16), Cleveland State (23-9) and Bucknell (25-16). The Golden Eagles wrestled a tough schedule in 2013 with losses coming to Rutgers (26-6), Northwestern (26-9), Pitt (26-15), Edinboro (28-12), North Carolina (21-19), Kent State (29-10), Bloomsburg (21-9), Ohio U. (24-18), Lehigh (39-9) and West Virginia (18-15). The Golden Eagles also placed second at the PSAC’s championships in December – behind Edinboro.
The Clarion lineup for EWL’s will have Tyler Fraley (Fr. 14-10; Freehold, N.J) at 125; Joe Waltko (Sr. 12-19; Allison Park) at 133; Sam Sherlock (So. 11-10; West Mifflin) at 141; Tyler Bedelyon (Jr. 18-12; Lewistown) at 149; #4 ranked James Fleming (Sr. 29-2; West Mifflin) at 157; Nick Milano (Jr. 3-18;
Erie, Pa.) at 165; Ryan Darch (So. 9-15; Batavia, N.Y.) at 174; Steven Cressley (Sr. 9-18; Punxsutawney) at 184; Justin Ortega (Gr. 18-11; Oxford) at 197 and Phil Catrucco (Sr. 17-21; Sharpsville) at 285.
Fleming, ranked #4 in the nation at 157, will wrestle his final EWL for the blue and gold. The Golden Eagle senior has a season record of 29-2 and a career record of 121-18 – tied for 10th on the all-time win list with former great Bill “Elbows” Simpson who was 121-21-2 from 1971-74. He was an NCAA Champion in 1973 and 5th in 1974 at 167-pounds.
2013 EWL TEAM RACE
Throw a blanket over Bloomsburg, Edinboro and Pittsburgh in the race to win the team title at the 38th EWL Championships. Pitt, under 34th year head coach Rande Stottlemyer, is ranked 17th in the country as a dual meet team with a record of 9-6 and an EWL mark of 4-1. The Panthers are looking for their third straight EWL team title.
Edinboro, under 16th year head coach Tim Flynn, has the Fighting Scots ranked 16th in the nation with a dual met record of 10-6 and an EWL mark of 3-2. Both EWL losses were one-point losses to Pitt and Bloomsburg.
Bloomsburg, led by eighth year head John Stutzman, has led the Huskies to the EWL regular season title with a 5-0 record and a 15th NCAA D-I national dual meet ranking. The Huskies have an impressive 17-3 dual meet record in 2013 and will be slight favorites to win the team title.
Likely battling for fourth, fifth and sixth places will be Clarion, Lock Haven and Cleveland State.
PREVIOUS EWL TOURNAMENT RECAPS FROM 2001-2012:
Clarion hosted the 2012 EWL Championships at tippin gym with Pitt winning the team title with 135.50 points, Edinboro was second with 116.50, West Virginia third at 112, Clarion fourth with 91, Bloomsburg fifth with 89.5, Lock Haven sixth with 64.5, Cleveland State seventh with 23 and Millersville eighth with 6.5 points. Millersville, not a member of the EWL, did not have a qualifying tournament to participate at and was directed to the EWL qualifier by the NCAA.
Bloomsburg hosted the 2011 EWL tournament and Pitt won its first team title scoring 132.5 points, with West Virginia second at 116.5, Bloomsburg third with 102.5 and Clarion fourth at 99.5. Rounding out the seven team field were fifth place Edinboro (95.5), sixth place Lock Haven (70.5) and seventh place Cleveland State 26.5 points.
The 2010 EWL’s were hosted at the West Virginia Coliseum, Edinboro took the team title with 135.5 points, Pittsburgh was second with 125.5, and Clarion a strong third with 111 points. Rounding out the seven team field were Bloomsburg in fourth with 84.5, West Virginia fifth with 78, Lock Haven sixth at 58 and Cleveland State seventh with 37.
The 2009 EWL’s were hosted at Lock Haven with Edinboro taking the team title with 126.5 points, WVU second with 95.5, Bloomsburg third with 88.5, Pitt fourth with 84.5, Lock Haven fifth with 80, Cleveland State sixth with 62 and Clarion seventh with 60.5 points.
The 2008 EWL’s were wrestled at Pittsburgh and Edinboro won the team title with 133 points, Pitt was second with 111.50, West Virginia third with 103.5, Bloomsburg fourth with 86, Lock Haven fifth with 70.5, Clarion sixth with 55 and Cleveland State seventh with 53 points.
The 2007 EWL’s were hosted by Cleveland State and Edinboro won the team title with 113 points, West Virginia was second with 104.5 and Lock Haven was third with 98 points. Rounding out the seven team field were Pitt in fourth with 95.5 points, Bloomsburg fifth with 94.5, Cleveland State sixth with 77.5 and Clarion seventh with 35 points.
In 2006 at Edinboro, the Fighting Scots finished first with 120.5 points, West Virginia was second with 110.5, Pitt third with 97, Bloomsburg fourth with 94.5, Cleveland State fifth with 82, Lock Haven sixth at 70.5 and Clarion seventh 29.5 points.
The 2005 EWL’s were hosted at Clarion’s W.S. Tippin Gym. Edinboro won the team title with 113 points, with Lock Haven second at 104 and Pittsburgh third with 98. Rounding out the field were fourth place West Virginia with 93, Bloomsburg fifth with 81 and Clarion and Cleveland State tied for sixth with 62 points.
The 2004 EWL Tournament, hosted at Bloomsburg, saw the most closely contended title race in league history. When the dust settled, West Virginia and Edinboro tied for first place with 99.5 points, while Pittsburgh was third with 97 points, Cleveland State fourth with 80.5, Bloomsburg fifth with 79, Clarion sixth with 70, Lock Haven seventh with 57.5 and Virginia Tech eighth with 44.5
The 2003 EWL Tournament, hosted by West Virginia, saw Edinboro win the team title with 129.5 points and West Virginia second with 123.5. Cleveland State finished a distant third with 80.5, Lock Haven fourth with 75.5, Pitt fifth with 75, Clarion sixth with 63.5, Virginia Tech seventh with 44.5 and Bloomsburg eighth with 44.
The 2002 EWL Tournament was won by West Virginia with 114.5 points, Edinboro second with 104.5, Lock Haven third with 104, Pitt fourth with 87.5, Cleveland State fifth with 67, Clarion sixth at 66, Virginia Tech seventh with 48.5 and Bloomsburg eighth with 41 points. The 2002 EWL’s were hosted by Lock Haven.
The 2001 EWL tournament was won by Edinboro with 123.5 points, with Lock Haven finishing second at 95, Pitt third with 94.5 and Clarion fourth with 87 points.
WEIGHT CLASS PREVIEW:
Rankings are the best between Intermat and AWN Magazines:
125 (1 Qualifier – Champion): - Three time EWL Champion #Anthony Zanetta (Pitt) is red-shirting this season, leaving the field open. LH’s Bobby Rehm, who placed third here a year ago, Clarion’s Tyler Fraley who has a 4-1 EWL dual record and a win over Rehm, and Edinboro’s Kory Mines, who has a win over Fraley, seem to be the top three seeds. Mines was fourth here in 2012. Bloomsburg’s Sean Boylan was third here in 2011 and sixth lat year, while CSU’s Ben Willeford was fifth at 125 last year and fourth in 2011.
133 (Top 3 Qualify) – Excellent weight class features returning champion #4 A.J. Schopp (Edinboro) who was 5-0 in the EWL this year. Pitt’s #17 Shelton Mack , who lost 4-3 ot in last year’s championship bout, was also third at this weight in 2011 and will battle for the title along with Bloomsburg’s #14 Nick Wilcox. Wilcox was fourth here a year ago and 6thin 2011. Also hoping to place high are Clarion’s Joe Waltko, who was 5th in 2012 and 5th at 125 in 2010, Cleveland State’s Michael Carlone and Lock Haven’s Cody Wheeler.
141 (Top 2 Qualify) - Edinboro’s #4 Mitchell Port is a strong favorite to win the title at 141. He was 5-0 in the EWL and wa second here a year ago. Hoping to make the finals and earn an NCAA Qualifying spot are Pitt’s Travis Shaffer, Lock Haven’s #19 Dan Neff, Bloomsburg’s Matt Rappo, Clarion’s Sam Sherlock and CSU’s Nick Flannery. Shaffer was third here last year.
149 (Top 3 Qualify) – Edinboro’s #17 Dave Habat is the lone top 20 ranked wrestler in this weight class. Habat will be the top seed and favorite after going 5-0 in EWL action. Vying for the other two NCAA qualifying spots will be Bloomsburg’s Josh Roosa, Pitt’s Ronnie Garbinsky, Clarion’s Tyler Bedelyon and LH’s Mac Maldarelli. Bedelyon was fourth at 141 last year. Roosa was 5th at EWL’s in 2010.
157 (Top 3 Qualify) - Clarion’s two-time defending champion and 2011 Co-OW, #4 James Fleming, is heading a very talented weight class. Fleming was 5-0 in EWL competition and defeated Bloomsburg’s #11 Frank Hickman 4-3 in their dual meeting. Fleming defeated Hickman 4-2 in the EWL finals a year ago. Pitt’s Donnie Tasser, who was third here a year ago, 4th in 2011 and 5th in 2010 is also a top challenger at 157. Lock Haven’s Jake Kemerer, Edinboro’s Mike DePalma, and CSU’s Matt Donohoe are all looking for high places.
165 (Top 3 Qualify) – Bloomsburg’s #11 Josh Veltre and Pitt’s #14 Tyler Wilps are expected to battle for the title at 165. Veltre defeated Wilps in their dual matchup and will likely get the #1 seed. Wilps placed second here a year ago. Also expecting to battle here is Edinboro’s john Greisheimer. The former NCAA qualifier at 157-pounds has moved up to 165. Greisheimer was third at EWL’s in 2011 and 2010. CSU’s Corey Carlo was third here a year ago, while LH’s Aaron McKinney and Clarion’s Nick Milano round out the field. Milano was 4th at 165 in 2010.
174 (1 Qualifier – Champion) – Maybe the most wide-open weight class at EWL’s will come at 174 with Pitt’s Nick Bonaccorsi leading the way with a 5-0 EWL dual record. Bloom’s Chris Smith, who was 5th at 165 last year, has moved up to 174. Clarion’s Ryan Darch was 1-1 against Smith this year, losing to Smith in the PSAC finals but winning in the dual 4-3. Also in the mix will be Edinboro’s Patrick Jennings, CSU’s Xavier Dye and LH’s Travis Moyer.
184 (Top 2 Qualify) – Pitt’s #12 Max Thomusseit leads the weight class. He was runner-up at 184 in 2011, but red-shirted a year ago. LH’s Fred Garcia was the PSAC champion this year and should challenge to get to the finals after going 4-1 in the EWL dual meet season. Edinboro freshman Vince Pickett was 3-2 in the EWL’s this year, and Clarion’s Steven Cressley is back after finishing third here a year ago while qualifying for nationals. Cressley was 5th at 174 in 2011 and 4th at 174 in 2010. Bloomsburg’s Andre Petroski or Sam Shirey and CSU’s Bobby Blankenship round out the field. Shirey was 6th here a year ago.
197 (Top 2 Qualify) – Two-time EWL champion at 197 #3 Matt Wilps (Pitt) will the favorite to win his third title. He won in 2010 and 2012. Bloomsburg’s # 14 Richard Perry finished third here a year ago, fifth in 2011 and is favored to get to the finals. Clarion’s Justin Ortega could mount a strong challenge here, while Edinboro’s Warren Bosch, LH’s Phil Sprenkle and CSU’s Corbin Boone round out the field.
HWT (Top 3 Qualify): Pitt heavyweight Zac Thomusseit, the champion at 197 in 2011, red-shirted last year and is currently ranked #5 by AWN. He is 4-0 in EWL duals this season. His top challengers will come from Bloomsburg heavyweight #18 Justin Grant and Edinboro’s #19 Ernest James. Grant was the PSAC champion this year for Bloomsburg, after transferring from Kutztown. James was second here losing to Brandon Williamson of WVU 2-1 in the finals in 2012. He was also 4th in 2011. Other heavyweights looking to get in the top 3 are LH’s Harry Turner, CSU’s Riley Shaw and Clarion’s Phil Catrucco. Turner was 6th last year and 5th in 2011 and 6th in 2010.
CLARION EWL NOTES: Clarion has crowned 54 EWL champions since the league started in 1976... The Golden Eagles have crowned at least one individual champion in every year except 1983, 1989, 2000, 2006-2010 ... Clarion has three team titles including 1980, 94 and 95 ... Kurt Angle won 4 titles (1988. 1990-92) ... Charlie Heller (1980-82), Sheldon Thomas (1994, 96, 97) and John Testa (2001-2003) are the only other Clarion wrestlers to win three EWL individual titles since the league began in 1976... The NCAA=s are in Des Moines, Iowa March 21-23. ... The new qualifying system has already established qualifiers across the country in each weight class - all weight classes had 29 qualifying spots... the brackets are limited to 33 - so 4 wrestlers will be added to each weight class by the next best wild card entries left available via the season ranking system. Those will be determined in the days following the completion of all national qualifiers.
EWL TOURNAMENT FACTS: Edinboro has won or tied for first place in 12 of the last 15 EWL Tournaments including titles in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, the tie in 2004, a win in 2003, and a string of four straight from 1998-2001. West Virginia tied for first in 2004 and won the title in 2002, while Lock Haven won in 1997, West Virginia in 1996 and Clarion won back-to-back titles in 1994 and 95. Pitt has 2 team titles in 2011 and 2012.
Updated on May 9, 2013, 9:31am