Ephs Power through Tough Competition at Day One of Budd Whitehill National Duals

Ephs Power through Tough Competition at Day One of Budd Whitehill National Duals

WILLIAMSPORT, PA - - The Williams College Wrestling Ephs traveled to Lycoming College this weekend to take part in the 31st annual Budd Whitehill National Duals. Wrestling kicked off at 9am on Friday, January 11th and will continue through Saturday, January 12th. The prestigious tournament is named after the Lycoming Warriors former wrestling coach who ran the team for over thirty-five years.

This year's tournament features a strong group of 16 teams from across the country. The teams have been separated into four groups of four teams (Group A, Group B, Group C, and Group D). Competition will work in a round robin style with teams initially facing off against each of the other teams within their group. The winners of each groups will be reseeded into a championship bracket. Consolation brackets will also be created for teams which do not win their group. The seeding and reseeding system will ensure that each team has five duals over the course of Friday and Saturday.

Williams College was placed into group A along with York College, Southern Virginia University, and SUNY Oswego. Per the organization of the tournament, Williams Wrestling got the opportunity to compete against all three teams over the course of the day.  The first dual began at 9:00 am against SUNY-Oswego.

The Ephs jumped out to a quick 12-0 lead with SUNY-Oswego forfeiting the 125 weight division to first year David Yeh and Senior Ben Morton started off his day strong with a 2:15 pin at 133 pounds.

Sophomore Joey Rossetti kept the ball rolling in the next match for Williams, with an 11-3 Major Decision victory which extended the lead to 16-0. Unfortunately, the Ephs were unable to earn any further points as SUNY-Oswego took victories at the remaining six weight categories.

Junior Dylan MIllison came close to adding to Williams Wrestling's point total at 184 pounds, but was just edged out with a 3-2 decision defeat.

The final score had SUNY-Oswego defeating Williams College 33-16

For their second match of the day, Williams College Wrestling took on Southern Virginia University. Competition began at 12 pm.

Another 125 pound forfeit to Yeh put Williams up 6-0 to start the match. Morton returned with another dominant performance to extend the Eph lead to 11-0, when he recorded a    21-4 Technical Fall victory over his opponent.

Likewise, Rosetti followed his teammates lead with another win at 141 pounds to make the score 17-0. He improved on his previous match outcome with a 0:28 second pin.

A Southern Virginia University Knight victory at 149 pounds changed the score to 17-3. Sophomore Brendan Kiernan moved the momentum back in the favor of Williams in the following match. His 1:05 pin extended the Eph's lead to 20 points at 23-3.

Coming off an undefeated performance at the Williams Open last weekend, Sophomore Yo Akiyama clinched the match for Williams with a 2:07 pin at 165 pounds.

The Knights managed to capture the remaining weight categories but were unable to overcome the large initial deficit.

The ultimate outcome was Williams College 29, Southern Virginia University 26. 






In their final match of the day the Ephs faced off against the tournament's one seed in York College.

Yeh saw his first action of the day in opponent Jared Kuhns. He managed to down Kuhns in a close 6-5 decision victory which earned Williams another opening lead at 3-0.

A well fought loss at the 133 pound weight division moved the York College Cardinals into a 5-3 lead.

Rossetti remained undefeated on the day and managed a second pin in 1:40 in his match to move Williams back into the lead at 9-5.

Another Cardinal victory over sophomore Jack Murphy, who very recently returned from a back injury, tied the score at 9-9. 

Kiernan notched his second win, in as many matches, over Robert Fleming at 157 pounds to give Williams their final lead of the day at 12-9. Unfortunately, the Eph's promising start was not to last. A series of close matches at 165, 174, and 184 weight divisions and two forfeits at 197 and 285 gave York College the dual match victory. 

The final score was York College 36, Williams College 11.



Head Coach Honecker was pleased with his team's performance in the face of adversity. "We have guys stepping up left and right.  This group has some FIGHT. We knew we were fighting the odds with some guys out with the flu and others getting over the bug.  For both the individuals and the team as a whole, this won't be the last time we face adversity.  We need to continue to cement the precedent that when we're not 100% we give 100% of what we are.  We did that today, and we will strap up and do it again tomorrow.  I'm glad we got out with a win in one of the matches, but the larger theme is that we don't give an inch regardless of circumstances."

The Ephs completed Friday in third place position of Group A after facing some of the strongest competition they will encounter all season. The second and final day of the Budd Whitehill Duals will take place on Saturday the 11th. The Ephs will compete in two more duals before their final place is determined. Action kicks off tomorrow morning.