November 7, 2007

Brown Wrestling Set to Start 2007-08 Campaign

Nov. 7, 2007

Providence, RI - In the 2007-08 campaign, the Brown wrestling team is ready to take things in a new direction. Returning nine out of 10 starters from last season and welcoming back a pair of wrestlers who were starters before sitting out last season with injuries, Bruno has the talent to improve on last season's 10th-place finish at the EIWA Championship. In fact, the only major turnover in the offseason for the Bears came on the coaching staff, where new assistants John Clark and Ed Gutnik have already done a great job in helping Head Coach Dave Amato, entering his 25th season at the helm of the Bears, prepare the team for the season.

Led by senior captains Levon Mock (Bangor, MI), Mark Savino (Princeton, NJ), and Jeff Schell (Zion Grove, PA), here's the Bears' outlook at each weight class:

125 pounds (Returning: 2, Lost: 1, Newcomers: 0)
Sophomores Greg Einfrank (Jefferson Valley, NY) and Mike Piccirillo (Dix Hills, NY) return to battle for the starting job. Einfrank was the starter as a freshman last year, going 13-17 for the season, including an 8-8 record in dual meets. Einfrank's four wins by pinfall were second on the team, while his six bonus-point wins (4 pins, 2 majors) tied for second. Piccirillo went 1-4 in limited action, but could push Einfrank for the starting job.

133 pounds (Returning: 4, Lost: 0, Newcomers: 1)
Schell, a former NCAA qualifier at 125, returns for his second season as the starter at 133, and will be looking to return to NCAAs. Last season, Schell was knocked out of the EIWA Tournament prematurely, which should serve as motivation for the talented senior. He'll be pushed by a trio of juniors: John Triggas (Moraga, CA), Eli Harris (Green River, WY), and Ross Baldwin (Summit, NJ); and freshman Max McFadden (Providence, RI). Triggas has the most experience of that foursome, with a career 10-12 record.

141 pounds (Returning: 1, Lost: 0, Newcomers: 2)
Savino earned Honorable Mention All-Ivy status last season, and will be looking to improve on that this season. Posting a 16-15 record last year, he was one of three Bears to advance to the second day of competition at EIWAs, placing sixth. Freshmen Dave Foxen (Garden City, NY) and Ricky Bailey (Palmyra, NJ) will train to step into the starting spot next season.

149 pounds (Returning: 3, Lost: 1, Newcomers: 1)
Sophomore Bryan Tracy (Williamstown, NJ) took over the starting spot at 149 during the dual season, and will return to that spot this year. He'll be pushed by sophomore Mark Bloom (Manchester, NY), sophomore Stephen DeLorenzo (Wantagh, NY), and freshman Hudson Collins (Dallas, TX). DeLorenzo went 7-6 at 141 early in the year, later moving up to 149 and splitting a pair of matches. Bloom returns to the team after missing a year, having debuted in 2005-06, and Collins will try to work his way up the ladder in his rookie campaign.

157 pounds (Returning: 2, Lost: 2, Newcomers: 1)
Last year's starter, junior Tom Fazio (Ringwood, NJ) returns after posting a 10-10 record and is a prime breakout candidate. He had six bonus-point wins (2 pins, 1 tech, 3 majors), despite missing the season's first two tournaments, and earned a seed entering the EIWA Tournament. Junior Lenny Marandino (Redding, CA) will push him after wrestling at 149, 157, and 165 last year. Freshman Steve Depew (Easton, PA) will join the fray at 157.

165 pounds (Returning: 2, Lost: 1, Newcomers: 1)
While the Bears lose NCAA qualifier Shawn Kitchner, they already had a preview of life without him, as he was injured for the entire dual season before returning for EIWAs. Junior Chris Musser (Vestal, NY), who started for most of the season at 174, will move down a class and is the likely starter at 165. Sophomore Alex Siedlecki (East Amherst, NY) and freshman Kasey McCurdy (Lancaster, OH) will also compete with Musser for the starting job.

174 pounds (Returning: 2, Lost: 1, Newcomers: 1)
Sophomore Bran Crudden (Columbia, CT) was thrown into the fire as a freshman, stepping in at 165 for much of the season to replace the injured Kitchner. He finished his season as the EIWA starter at 174, which is where he will start his sophomore campaign. Sophomore Andrew Jimenez (Tampa, FL) and freshman Brandon Shull (Grand Junction, MI) will compete with Crudden for the starting spot.

184 pounds (Returning: 2, Lost: 0, Newcomers: 0)
Junior Matt Gevelinger (Mineral Point, WI) was the starter in his first season at 184 after starting at 174 as a freshman, going 12-15. He went 8-7 in dual matches, and tied for the team lead with four major decisions. Sophomore Josh Serene (Kittanning, PA) is currently recovering from an injury, but could compete for time later in the year.

197 pounds (Returning: 3, Lost: 0, Newcomers: 0)
A huge question mark last season, 197 could be the deepest on the team this year with players returning from injuries. Junior Branden Stearns (Edinboro, PA) missed all of last year with an injury, but was the starter at 184 as a freshman. He should compete with sophomore Larry Otsuka (Upper Saddle River, NJ), who was forced into the starting rotation due to injuries last season. Junior Leo Saniuk (Akron, OH) will return to the lineup for the spring semester after missing all of last season with an injury. He was 12-14 as the starter at 197 in 2005-06, and will likely step back into that position once he works the rust off from missing a season and a half.

285 pounds (Returning: 2, Lost: 0, Newcomers: 0)
Mock, a two-time Second Team All-Ivy honoree and NCAA qualifier last season, will look to cap his career with an EIWA championship after finishing with a team-best 20-14 record last year. He went 10-4 during the dual season, finishing with team-highs with nine pinfall victories and 11 bonus-point wins (9 pins, 2 majors) on the year. Junior Zach Zdrada (Atkinson, NH) performed well when filling in for Mock in the second half of the season, going 3-1, and will be looking to have a successful season in preparation to take over the starting job next year.