This past weekend, the wrestling team made their season debut in Bristol, R.I. at Roger Williams University. The tournament is notoriously competitive and boasts nationally ranked wrestlers and teams, not giving the Cards any easy warmup into the season. However, a challenge is what the Wes wrestlers prefer.

“Personally, I think the Roger Williams tournament went very well,” Shane Ross ’19 said. “We showed a lot of heart as a team and got a lot of impressive victories. I’m honestly so excited for the rest of this season and can definitely see our team contending for a NEWA duals championship.”

Amir Daouk ’20 debuted in the 125 weight class bracket, facing up against Messiah College’s Lucas Malmberg first round. Malmberg defeated the Cardinal freshman with a fall at 2:16 and went on to win the entire 125 bracket. Malmberg is currently ranked No. 1 in the country for Division III wrestling, with his team closely following at No. 2 in tournament rankings.

Zack Murillo ’19 also competed in the 125 class and received a bye through the first round. Murillo matched up against Nick Barbaria of Roger Williams and lost by decision 4-6. Barbaria lost to Malmberg in the semifinals. Roger Williams is currently ranked No. 5 in the country under dual rankings for Division III.

Another freshman, Tristan Stetson joined Daouk and Murillo in the 125 weight class, losing to Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Michael Aquino first round by decision 3-5.

Dylan Jones ’19 competed in the 133 weight class and received a bye the first round. Jones defeated Stevens Institute of Technology’s Andrew Dickerson with a fall at 2:12 and then lost to York College’s Ryan Flynn by decision 0-6. Flynn, currently ranked No. 3 nationally for DIII 133 weight class, continued on to the finals where he lost to Stevens’ Troy Stanich.

In the 141 weight class bracket, Ross matched up against Messiah’s Lee Cassel first round, losing by decision 2-6.

“As an individual competitor, I just want to continue to go out there and compete at my highest potential every single time I step on the mat,” he said.

James Matias ’19 joined Ross in the 141 bracket, getting a bye the first round. Second round Matias went up against Roger Williams’ Patrick Scally and defeated him by major decision 12-3. Matias then beat Stevens’ Dylan Van Sickell with a fall at 2:29 to earn a spot in the semifinals. There he faced Johnson and Wales University’s Josesph Ferinde, ranked No. 10 nationally in the 141 weight class, who ended up disqualified, rocketing Matias into the finals of the 141 bracket. There he matched up against York’s Gregory Warner, ranked No. 4 nationally in the 141 weight class, and was defeated by decision 0-2.

Also in the 141 bracket was Frank Crippen ’17, who also received a bye first round. In the second round, Crippen found Bridgewater State University’s Jacob Mullin-Bernstei and beat him by decision 6-5. Crippen then faced No. 10 Joseph Ferinde of Johnson and Wales and lost by decision 2-6, handing off Ferinde to Matias in the semis.

Robert Rosenberg ’17 competed in the 157 bracket, facing up against Jeff Hojnacki of Messiah first round. Rosenberg lost with a fall at 6:45. Hojnacki, ranked No. 5 nationally for DIII in the 157 weight class, continued through the bracket to the finals where he lost to Coast Guard Academy’s No. 4 Christophe Sullivan.

Grant Hill ’20 joined Rosenberg in the 157 bracket and matched up against Norwich University’s Ben Swanson. Hill lost by a fall at 2:54.

In the 165 weight class, Aaron Cranston ’20 faced WPI’s Tyler Wilson first round, losing by major decision 1-10.

Roy Forys ’19 joined Cranston and received a bye first round. Second round, Forys met Coast Guard’s Nick Remke and was defeated by major decision, 0-8. Remke continued on to the finals where he lost to Stevens’ Colin Navickas, ranked No. 6 nationally for DIII 165 weight class.

Dominic Pirraglia ’18 competed in the 174 weight class, matching up against Roger Williams’ Devin Pietz first round. The Cards’ captain won with a fall at 4:33. Pirraglia then lost by decision 6-7 to Coast Guard’s Jeremy Berson.

In the 184 weight class, Wesleyan was represented by Matt Winchester ’18, who received a bye the first round. Second round, Winchester lost to Messiah’s Derek Beitz with a fall at 3:57.

Zachary Turner ’20 competed in the 197 weight class, defeating York’s Andrew Reinhold first round by decision 10-4. Turner then lost to Messiah’s Kyle Koser with a fall at 0:42. Turner then entered the back-draw where he beat Norwich’s Ronnie Caudill with an 8-2 decision, but subsequently fell to WPI’s Michael Curtis with a fall at 1:18. Curtis continued on to the finals of the consolation bracket.

In the heavyweight 285 class, captain Isaiah Bellamy ’18 competed for the Cards. Bellamy received a bye through the first round before meeting Norwich’s Connor Drouin. Bellamy defeated Drouin with a fall 1:11. Next Bellamy faced Jonah Aurelio of JWU and lost by sudden victory 1-3.

Overall, the host Roger Williams won the tournament with an overall team score of 150.5. JWU followed with 135, No. 12 York 127, Stevens 125, Coast Guard Academy 117.5, No. 2 Messiah 116.5, WPI 80, Wesleyan 66, Norwich 61.5, Merchant Marine Academy 49.5, Bridgewater State 47.5, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology 5.5.

The Cards are back on the mats this Saturday at Springfield College for the Doug Parker Invite. Last year the team finished 5th out of 18 teams and, with a stacked freshman class, Wes is looking to shift gears and place even higher.

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