EIWA weekly review: Midseason Report Card

We are halfway through the 2010-11 season and the EIWA has seen its ups and downs. Some schools sputtered out of the gates while others soared. And that one Ivy League program in upstate New York just continues to go about its business, despite the target marked “No. 1” on its back. It is time to break down the conference school by school to see how each team fared in the early going.

We are halfway through the 2010-11 season and the EIWA has seen its ups and downs. Some schools sputtered out of the gates while others soared. And that one Ivy League program in upstate New York just continues to go about its business, despite the target marked “No. 1” on its back. It is time to break down the conference school by school to see how each team fared in the early going.


American (6-1) Heading into the season we knew that American had some guys that could seriously compete for a national championship. Steve Fittery sits at No. 1 in the nation at 157 pounds and Ryan Flores has the ability to beat anybody at heavyweight. What we did not know was whether this team was well rounded enough to compete from a dual meet standpoint. Minus a loss to Missouri, the Eagles surpassed every challenge faced this year, including a 21-19 upset over Pitt at the Northeast Duals.  Grapplers such as Matt Mariacher (141) and Ganbayar Sanjaa (149) picked up vital victories in the win over the Panthers. One week in February will prove what this team is made of as the Eagles host Binghamton before traveling to Lehigh and Rutgers all in a span of five days.

Midseason Grade: A-


Army (4-2) – The Black Knights taught us in 2010 that they like to take things down to the wire. Wins against Rider and Ohio came by a total of four points combined and they hung around a talented Binghamton squad before losing the last three bouts and falling 22-12. The story thus far for Army has been the duo of the Thome brothers. Sophomore Jordan and senior Casey are a combined 8-4 in duals this year. The team will be tested down the stretch in 2011 when it travels to Rutgers and Hofstra before hosting the big daddy of them all, a tilt with Navy in West Point.

Midseason Grade: B+


Brown (0-0) –Looking to see how the Brown Bears faired in their duals during the first half of the year? Good luck trying to find out. The fact is that they didn’t have any. The team competed in three tournaments and will face 15 teams in 2011 in duals.

Midseason Grade: Incomplete


Bucknell (2-4) – Credit Bucknell for opening its season with duals against top-tier programs such as Nebraska and Oklahoma State. Follow those up with a trip to Bethlehem to battle Lehigh and any team is looking at a sub-.500 record. The Bison rebounded by beating Drexel at home, but then fell 18-16 to Princeton. Kevin LeValley has been a star at 149 pounds and it showed at the Midlands, but the team needs to pull it together because 2011 doesn’t get much easier.

Midseason Grade: C+


Columbia (2-3) – It has been feast or famine for the Lions thus far with a blowout win over George Mason sandwiched between matches against Virginia and Rutgers in which they were just outmanned, losing to the two teams by a combined 59-12. Kyle Gilchrist is off to a great start at 133 pounds, going undefeated so far in dual meet action. He will have plenty of chances to show off his talents in front of the home crowd as the Lions host seven of their 10 duals in 2011.

Midseason Grade: C


Cornell (1-0) – We were only able to catch of glimpse of the Big Red in dual meet action in 2010, but the squad more than made up for that with its tournament performances. First at Body Bar, first in Las Vegas, and a tie for first at the Southern Scuffle came all with relative ease it seemed like. Cornell began the year No. 1 in all polls and that is where they remain. Look for the Big Red to cruise through their Ivy League schedule as well as more than make up for last year’s tie with Lehigh when the two teams meet again in January.

Midseason Grade: A


Franklin and Marshall (0-4) – It is an uphill battle for head coach Mike Rogers in his first year with the Diplomats. The squad has only three more conference duals left and will be more than equipped to compete in February against schools like Sacred Heart, Gettysburg, and Millersville. The team showed promise in a 32-13 loss to Navy, especially Kenny Knapp, who pinned Joe Locksmith at 141 pounds. While F&M may be a couple of years away from making a serious mark on EIWA wrestling, Rogers has the experience and attitude to turn the tide.

Midseason Grade: C


Harvard (0-3) – The Crimson only participated in three duals in 2010, and came out on the losing side of all of them. Penn State completely overwhelmed Harvard in a 45-0 debacle and the team could not bounce back, losing 24-22 to Eastern Michigan and 31-10 to Michigan State. This team has talent, led by Corey Jantzen at 149 pounds and Walter Peppelman has stepped up in attempting to fill the crater-sized hole left by two-time NCAA Champ J.P. O’Conner. But the team will be hard pressed for wins in 2011 against squads such as Maryland, Oklahoma, and Lehigh. Harvard finishes out the year with four straight home duals.

Midseason Grade: C


Lehigh (7-2) – Eager to prove that this was as strong a Lehigh team as ever, head coach Pat Santoro and Co. ran the gauntlet in the early going with duals against five ranked schools. The Mountain Hawks soared in wins over Virginia, Michigan, and Pittsburgh, winning by a combined 90-20. Lehigh narrowly missed making a real statement by losing 21-17 at Penn State, but there are more than enough chances in 2011 — none bigger perhaps than playing host to Cornell on Jan. 20. You will be hard pressed to find a better closing three in a dual than the trio of Robert Hamlin (184), Joe Kennedy (197), and Zach Rey (Hvy).

Midseason Grade: A


Navy (1-0) – The Midshipmen took care of Franklin & Marshall by a 32-13 score in their only dual in the first half of the season. The squad also won its own tournament in the Navy Classic as well as a middle-of-the-road showing in Las Vegas and seventh place finishes at the Reno Tournament of Champions and the Southern Scuffle. Senior Bryce Saddoris is ending his illustrious career on a high note and a showdown with American’s Steve Fittery at the EIWA Tournament would do the world a service. Junior Luke Rebertus has also stepped up at 184 pounds to make this Navy squad a dangerous opponent.

Midseason Grade: B+


Penn (3-2) – The Quakers opened up the season by finishing first out of 12 programs at the Keystone Classic. After that they traveled to Albany for the Northeast Duals where things did not go quite as smoothly. Blowout wins over Sacred Heart and Stanford do not exactly sit very well when coupled with losses to Maryland and Pittsburgh. Penn ended its first half of the year on a positive note, winning 23-18 at Rider before placing eighth at the Southern Scuffle. Rollie Peterkin led the way at 133 pounds both times with a major decision against the Broncs and a first place finish in Greensboro.

Midseason Grade: B


Princeton (2-5) – It was not exactly the start to the season that fifth-year head coach Chris Ayres had in mind. After an underwhelming eighth place finish at the Keystone Classic, his squad dropped the first two duals of the year at home against Liberty and Binghamton. When the Tigers earned their first win of the year against George Mason, they followed it up less than two hours later with a 42-0 dismantling loss at the hands of Rutgers. The team rounded out the year by putting together an impressive 18-16 win over Bucknell, but could not follow through immediately after, losing 18-17 to Drexel.

Midseason Grade: C+


Rutgers (9-1) – With a squad that head coach Scott Goodale believes can put his program on the map, the Scarlet Knights closed out 2010 with a signature win over Missouri and plenty of lopsided scores over lesser opponents. The lone loss came against Penn State, 22-10, in a match that could have been significantly different had two bouts tipped the other way. There will be several chances for Rutgers to prove its worth in 2011 and fortunately for the Scarlet Knights, all of them will be at home. The squad hosts Virginia Tech, Bucknell, and American before closing out the season on Senior Knight against Lehigh.

Midseason Grade: A-

Well there you have it. One semester in the books and another on the way that promises to be as exciting, if not more so as the EIWA moves into conference duals. All of this leading up to the weekend of March 5 for the EIWA Tournament on the campus of Bucknell University.

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