Josh Mattana (’11)

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season.  Given that we are at the end of the fall semester wrestling competition, I thought I would provide a brief overview of the season to date.

The Eph’s are a very talented wrestling team as evidenced by the pre-season coaches’ polls where they were ranked 1st in the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) and 13th in the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NMCA) polls. However, because of lingering injuries and illnesses, the Eph’s never had a chance to put their projected starting line-up on the mat at the same time.  Based on the latest polls, the Eph’s are 4th in the NEWA and have dropped out of the NWCA.

Williams has two projected starters who have yet to wrestler due to injuries.  Both have been medically cleared to begin competition when the team regroups on January 2nd. Three other starters have been in and out of the line-up due to a variety of injuries and are using this time off to get healthy.  It should be noted that teammates have stepped up and several guys have been wrestling up a weight class (or two) to do whatever is necessary to help the team.  Special recognition goes to Carson Brooks (’14), Darius Charles (’14), Scott Sanderson (’13), Kyle Martin (’12) and Mir Henglin (’13).

In dual meet competition, the Eph’s are 3-2 with a program first win over Luther College of Iowa.  In the first half, Ces Antisa (’13) and Ryan Malo (’11) have carried the team and are wrestling extremely well.  In the national polls, Antista is ranked 5th and Malo 2nd. In the NEWA, the Ephs have three wrestlers ranked 1st (Antista, Paulish and Malo), one 3rd (Foote) two 6th (Tanabe and Lomio) and one 7th (Mattana).    

Over the holidays’, the Eph’s competed in the Wilkes Open and at the Midlands.  Both are highly competitive Division 1 tournaments.  Injuries and the weather limited the Eph’s to six participants in the Wilkes Open.  Team results were highlighted by tri-captain Josh Mattana’s (’11) fourth place finish at 125.  Heavyweight Colin Curzi (’12) wrestled well and went 2-2, just missing out on placing in the tournament.  The Midlands is hosted by Northeastern University and it is an invitation only event.  This year Ryan Malo (’11) and Corey Paulish (’11) were invited to attend.   Paulish had to withdraw due to injury and Ces Antista (’13) replaced him.  Unfortunately, weather conditions in the Northeast prevented Antista from getting to Chicago in a timely manner and he had to withdraw.  Malo wrestled well and went 1-2 in the tournament against nationally ranked Division 1 competition.

Upcoming key January events include the following:

  1. Bud Whitehill duals at Lycoming College on January 13th and 14th.  This is a twenty team dual meet tournament with teams from across the country.  To the best of my knowledge, this will be the first time Williams competes in this event.
  2. NEWA Dual meet tournament at Bridgewater State on January 23rd.  Williams won this tournament for the first time ever last year and will be looking to defend its title.
  3. NEWA/Metro Conference Duals at The College of New Jersey on January 29th.  Williams will wrestle Hunter College, NYU and TCNJ.  Last year Williams defeated TCNJ for the first time ever and they will be posed for revenge.

The second semester is what separates the men for the boys, and with a little luck in the “health” department, the Eph’s should achieve its pre-season potential and peek for the conference tournament and the NCAAs. 

I’ll be back in touch after the Bud Whitehill duals with a brief update.

Have a safe and Happy New Year!

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