Navy Wrestling Wins 12th-Straight Star Match
Feb. 17, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy wrestling team won eight of the 10 bouts, including each of the first four to secure a 27-9 victory over arch rival Army in the annual Star Match held Friday evening in front of a packed house at Alumni Hall in Annapolis. Navy has won 12 straight against the Black Knights, including six in a row in Annapolis.
"I am so proud of the effort our team put forth tonight and the fight they brought to the match," said Navy head coach Bruce Burnett, who is 12-0 against the Black Knights since his arrival in Annapolis. "We were well prepared and came out and wrestled hard.
"From Chet Gladchuk, our athletic director, to Adm. Miller, our Superintendent to Capt. Clark, our Commandant, I can't say enough about the support in which they gave us tonight. Having a good number of the Brigade in attendance to back us gave us the opportunity to win this match."
Navy built an early 12-0 lead after taking the first four matches of the evening, including the opening bout featuring senior team captain Aaron Kalil against Army junior Jordan Thome at 133 pounds. It marked the third time this season the two wrestlers had met and Kalil made it a sweep by capturing a 5-4 decision over Thome. Deadlocked at 2-2 going into the final period, Kalil took a 4-2 lead with a takedown with just 46 seconds left in the match. However, Thome knotted the match up on a reversal with 14 seconds to go. Kalil would go on to win the match after building more than two minutes of riding time over the first two periods.
"I think Aaron set the tone for the match with his win over the Thome kid," said Burnett. "Do you know how hard it is to beat a kid three times by a similiar score? He's a tough wrestler, but Aaron matched him throughout and started us off with a win."
Senior Dustin Hasilip (Inwood, W.Va.) closed out his dual career by scoring a 6-0 victory over Army sophomore Tyler Rauenzahn at 141 pounds. Haislip scored the takedown mid-way through the first period and never looked back, as Rauenzahn wouldn't score his lone point of the match until the final period.
Meanwhile, sophomore Joe Locksmith (Kissimmee, Fla.) earned his third dual win of the season by way of a 5-3 decision over Army sophomore Ryan Bilyeu. Locksmith jumped out to a 3-1 lead after the first two periods, but began to tire as the match wore on. Bilyeu closed to within one early in the final period with an escape, but Locksmith scored a takedown with 17 seconds left to push his lead to 5-2. Bilyeu, however, immediately freed himself and was back within a takedown, but Locksmith contained him for the win.
Making his Army-Navy debut was junior Bobby Barnhisel (River Forest, Ill.) who carried on the Mids' success at 157 pounds that two-time All-American Bryce Saddoris had previously carried over the last four seasons. Barnhisel scored a pair of two-point nearfalls over Army senior Jimmy Rafferty to take a 6-1 advantage into the second period. Barnhisel added a point for an escape in the second and another point for his 1:23 of riding time to take the match, 8-1.
After being shut out by Army rookie Cole Gracey in the 165-pound championship bout of the All-Academy Championship two weeks ago, junior Mason Bailey (Fairmont, W.Va.) sought to avenge the loss. Bailey owned a 2-1 advantage going into the final period, but a last minute takedown by Gracey gave the Army newcomer a 3-2 lead with 1:01 to go. Bailey, however, owned over two minutes of riding time and that point would have sent the match into extra minutes. Instead, the match quickly turned in favor of Gracey and with just 18 seconds remaining in the bout, Gracey was able to get the fall over Bailey, cutting Navy's lead to six at 12-6.
Junior 174-pound Oscar Huntley (Stafford, Va.) earned a major decision after bumping up to 197 pounds for the Mids in last year's match. This year, he shut out junior Collin Wittmeyer, 6-0, to push the Mids' advantage in the match to 15-6.
Wrestling in his final Army-Navy match was 184-pound Luke Rebertus (Gloucester, Va.), who absolutely manhandled Army senior Michael Gorman. Rebertus scored four takedowns, two 2-point nearfalls and a 3-point nearfall en route to a 17-2 tech fall over Gorman. It was Rebertus' 99th-collegiate victory and he will graduate owning a 3-0 individual record in Star Matches.
Navy newcomer Paul Rands (Cary, Ill.) faced a tough challenge in meeting Army senior Derek Stanley, who was coming off a title win at the All-Academy Championship. After a scoreless first period between the two 197-pounders, Stanley scored the first point of the match off an escape. Rands, who took a shot to the head from Stanley going into the third period, was finally able to gather himself and tie up the match with an escape with just 20 seconds to go. In an attempt to take down Stanley for the winning points, Stanley turned the tables and took Rands to the mat for two with three seconds remaining and tacked on a point for just over a minute of riding time for the 4-1 decision.
Junior heavyweight Dan Miller (Berlin, Md.) clinched the team victory for the Mids by way of a 6-1 victory over Army senior Daniel Mills who was vastly outweighed by Miller.
Senior 125-pound Tyler Sackett (Omaha, Neb.), meanwhile, took full advantage of what was his first and only Star Match against Army. In the opening period he scored a takedown and three 3-point nearfalls to hold an 11-0 lead. Sackett broke down in the final 20 seconds of the match, giving up a pair of takedowns and a 2-point nearfall, but it wouldn't matter as Sackett earned a 15-7 major decision for the Mids.
"Our seniors - Tyler Sackett, Dustin Haislip, Aaron Kalil and Luke Rebertus - they performed tonight," added Burnett. "I'm just so proud of their effort!"
Not only did the Midshipmen push their series advantage to 46-5-5, the rout marked Navy's 12th-straight win over its service academy rival.
"Army has a good team, but honestly, I think the level of competition that we compete against throughout the year helps give us an edge. It doesn't always look good in the win/loss record, but we learn how to compete and grind it out with some of the best competition the country has to offer. That prepares you for a tough rivalry match like this and sets us up for the conference and national championships."
Navy will use the next two weeks to prepare for the 108th EIWA Championship which will be held at Princeton on March 3-4.
Navy 27, Army 9
Feb. 17, 2012 Alumni Hall Annapolis, Md.
133 - Aaron Kalil (N) dec. Jordan Thome (A), 5-4 3-0
141 - Dustin Haislip (N) dec. Tyler Rauenzahn (A), 6-1 6-0
149 - Joe Locksmith (N) dec. Ryan Bilyeu (A), 5-3 9-0
157 - Bobby Barnhisel (N) dec. Jimmy Rafferty (A), 8-1 12-0
165 - Cole Gracey (A) fall Mason Bailey (N), 6:42 12-6
174 - Oscar Huntley (N) dec. Collin Wittmeyer (A), 6-0 15-6
184 - #13 Luke Rebertus (N) tech fall Michael Gorman (A), 17-2 20-6
197 - Derek Stanley (A) dec. Paul Rands (N), 4-1 20-9
HWT - Dan Miller (N) dec. Daniel Mills (A), 6-1 23-9
125 - Tyler Sackett (N) major dec. Scott Filbert (A), 15-7 27-9
### Go Navy ###