FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – The Williams College wrestling team under the direction of head coach Scott Honecker is competing in its fifth two-day, 13-team Citrus Invitational.
Three of the thirteen teams competing this December are nationally ranked in NCAA DIII:
#1 – Augsburg University (MN)
#18 – NYU
#23 – Ferrum College (VA)
Honecker's Ephs entered the 2018 Citrus Invitational ranked 10th in New England. Eph individuals ranked in the top eight in New England include sophomore Joey Rossetti who is ranked 5th at 141, first year Nasir Grissom ranked 5th at 174, senior Brendon Seyfried ranked 6th at 157 and senior Alex Pankhurst who is ranked seventh at 149.
Fourteen Ephs took to the mats on the first day of the invitational and Ephs competed in eight of the 10 weight classes.
"We wrestled our hearts out," stated Honecker. It takes commitment and dedication to come off the holiday and make weight and compete against national competition right way. I have been super pleased with the team's professionalism and attitude. Everybody entered is still alive for a placement so if we stay the course through Day 2 we can really make this trip a fantastic one.'
First year David Yeh received a bye in the first round at 125 and then won two bouts by fall to advance in the championship bracket. Yeh pinned Cornell College's Brody Lamb in 6:10 and he followed that up with a pin of Ferrum College's Jalen White at 5:58.
Yeh will face Nick Daggett from UNC Pembroke in the semifinal round with the winner advancing to the first place match.
"These young guys are coming along nicely," added Honecker. "David Yeh has all the tools and is learning how to tactically wrestle college matches. His run to the semis hasn't surprised me at all. He has managed his weight like a professional and is poised for a big day tomorrow."
So. Joe Rossetti won three matches on the day with the first two wins being falls and the third a decision. Rossetti opened his day by pinning Killian Perrigon from Cornell College in :56. Next Rossetti won by fall over UNC Pembroke's Chris Kelly in 2:42.
Rossetti then punched his ticket to the semifinals of the championship bracket when he registered a 9-6 win over Ferrum College's Mario Vasquez.
Rossetti will next take on Jonathan Miller from UNC Pembroke for the right to advance to the finals of the championship bracket. "Joe Rossetti is wrestling the best I've seen him wrestle," stated Honecker. "We can't stop here. He has to take something from every match, something he can adjust, apply, or improve. He can be really special and he has a killer instinct. He has expanded his skill set and he is seeing more and more opportunities from the application of his new techniques."
Fy. Nasir Grissom competing at 174 won three bouts on the first day and moved on to the semifinals of the championship bracket. Grissom won by decision over Cornell College's Nic Jarvis 9-3 in his opening bout. Grissom then pinned NYU's Faud Aliyev in 4:10. To advance to the semifinals Grissom won 13-8 over Liberty University's Sam Karel.
Grissom will face RIT's John Donohue in the semifinal round of the championship bracket. "Nasir Grissom is so good when he lets it fly," Honecker noted." When he's out there having fun, we all have fun, because he creates points like nobody else on the team. We are developing his gunslinger mentality and I am excited to watch him test himself against some of the best guys tomorrow."
Day One Eph results:
125 – Fy. David Yeh advanced to the semifinals of the championship bracket.
133 – Jr. Dietrich Hartman received byes in the first and second rounds and then was pinned by Kyle Burns of Ferrum College and was placed in the consolation bracket. After first round bye in the consolation bracket Hartman was defeated via a fall at 2:56 by Joseph Ballantyne from UNC Pembroke.
133 – Sr. Ben Morton also received two first round byes before he lost to Spencer Dusi from John Carroll University 18-0 in a tech fall. With the loss Morton went into the consolation bracket.
In the consolation bracket Morton was granted a first round bye and in his next bout he recorded a tech fall win over Quinten Howe from Cornell College 19-2. Morton was then paired up against Andrew Desousa from Oneonta State.
"Ben Morton is looking good, racking up points," noted Honecker. "This is Ben and Alex's last trip to Florida on the roster and they are making it count. They aren't wrestling just to win the match, they want to win every single exchange. This attitude has set a great example for all our underclassmen."
141 – So. Joe Rossetti advanced to semifinals in the championship bracket.
149 – Sr. Alex Pankhurst received a first round bye and then lost in the second round to Chad Cantroll of Liberty University via a fall at 6:22 to move to the consolation bracket. A first round bye in the consolation bracket paired Pankhurst against Dylan Barry from Muhlenberg and Pankhurst won via fall at 0:52. Next Pankhurst downed Austin Thomas from Cornell College in a faster fall, 0:38 Pankhurst will face Tyler Brazinski from Oneonta State in the next round.
"Alex Pankhurst has GUTS," Honecker said. "Nothing interrupts his laser focus. He will have the opportunity to really get on a roll tomorrow."
157 – So. Brendan Kiernan lost his first bout to NYU's Cole Kram 6-4 to move into the consolation bracket. In his bout in the consolation bracket Kiernan downed Spencer Easley from Cornell College via tech fall, 20-5. Kiernan's day ended in the next round when Lukas Kaminski from Trinity defeated him 10-4.
157 – Sr. Brendon Seyfried started his day off by pinning Michael McGowan from RIT in 2:13. In his second bout Seyfried won by decision over Trinity's Kyle Lyskawa 7-3, but Seyfried was forced to retire in his next bout vs. NYU's Dylan Dwyer when he suffered an injury.
Seyfried tried to bounce back in the consolation round, but he again had to withdraw from the bout against Angelo Mahaffey from Muhlenberg due to injury ending his day.
165 – Jr. Yo Akiyama lost his first bout by decision to Rashaan Vereen from UNC Pembroke 5-2 to move on to the consolation bracket. After a first round bye Akiyama faced teammate Stephen Willis and he prevailed 11-3. Akiyama's day ended with a 4-3 loss to Luke Reicosky from John Carroll University.
165 – Jr. Dylan Millson received a bye in each of the first two rounds before he was defeated by Ferrum College's Andrew Tolbert 16-1 in a tech fall and was placed in the consolation bracket. Millson's day was ended when Colin Honderd from Cornell College won via fall at 1:37.
165 – Fy. Stephen Willis received a first round bye, but lost in the second round to Trinity's John Reilly via a fall at 2:48. Willis was then placed in the consolation bracket. Willis's day ended with an 11-3 defeat at the hands of teammate Yo Akiyama.
174 – Jr. Luke Anselmi after a first round bye was defeated in the second round by Wylie Allen from Cornell College via at fall 3:31 and he moved on to the consolation round.
Anselmi received a first round bye and then recorded a major decision over Dylan Watson from NYU, 11-5. Anselmi's day then ended with a close 8-5 loss to Jacob Mansman from Oneonta State.
184 – Sr. Bennett Caplin was defeated in the first round by UNC Pembroke's Hunter Strickland 10-4 and moved into the consolation round. Caplin's day ended with a 12-5 loss to Chris Coyle from Oneonta State.
184 – Fy. Ian Darling received a first round bye before being defeated by Brendan Sloop from UNC Pembroke 10-3. Following a first round bye Darling defeated Dominic Skawiniak from St. John's University 4-0, before losing to Anders Klass from Trinity 9-3.