WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Coming off an uncharacteristic 7-10 dual match record in 2018 and returning three competitors who earned medals at the NCAA Regional last winter Eph head coach Scott Honecker is excited to get to see his grapplers compete against wrestlers from other schools this Saturday.
"While things were bumpy at times last year we were at our best in the post-season and we are excited about starting the developmental process this season and be ready to peak in March," said Honecker.
The Ephs open their season ranked ninth in New England and have five grapplers are ranked in the top six in the region:
So. Joe Rossetti – 6th -- (141)
Sr. Alex Pankhurst – 6th -- (149)
Sr. Brendon Seyfried – 3rd -- (157)
Jr. Yo Akiyama -- 4th – (165)
Sr. Sebastian Dziadkewicz – 5th – (184 )
As has become a tradition at Williams the season will open this Saturday with The Doug Parker Invitational hosted by Springfield College.
The schedule is demanding with the Rochester Institute of Technology Invite, an annual trip to the Budd Whitehill National Duals at Lycoming College, the New England Duals, The Citrus Open in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and a quad match with Wesleyan, Ithaca and Oneonta State.
"The schedule is not built to glorify our guys but to test and challenge them and prepare them for the post-season," Honecker stated.
"Sebastian, Brendon, and Alex are outstanding captains and if the younger guys follow their example they will assuredly experience tremendous gains this year," added Honecker.
"Our other seniors Ben Morton and Bennett Caplin have also been true Ephs in their careers here and do a great job leading by example," continued Honecker. "It remains to be seen what these younger guys can do, but I'm excited to see them have the opportunity to plant their flag in the immediate future."
"I'm also excited to watch Yo Akiyama roll with the momentum of his regional placement of last year," Honecker said.
The Ephs will have two home events in historic Lasell Gym starting with the Williams Open. The Williams Open, an all day competition beginning at 10:00 AM, will be held on January 5 and will have 150 competitors.
The lone home dual match of the season will be held on February 8 when the Ephs host Castleton University at 7:00 PM.
Senior Brendon Seyfried will be gunning to make his fourth consecutive trip to NCAA Championship at season's end. A year ago Seyfried earned his third straight NCAA Championship appearance by finishing second in the NCAA Regional at 149. Seyfried earned All-America honors in 2017. This season Seyfried will compete at 157.
Akiyama and Dziadkewicz figure to be in contention for spots in the 2019 NCAA Championships field in March.