Jan. 5, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Navy wrestling team returns to action on Saturday evening (7:30 pm) when it plays host to the ninth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners at Wesley Brown Field House. While Navy owns a 2-2 mark in dual meets this season, Saturday’s battle will be the first home dual of the 2011-12 campaign for the Mids. Meanwhile the Sooners are 3-2 this season and are coming off a surprising 18-17 loss to 18th-ranked Wyoming this past Tuesday in Laramie, Wyo.
As the Mids now turn their attention to dual portion of their season, Navy will not only face Oklahoma this weekend, but will battle East Stroudsburg, No. 12 Lehigh, No. 13 Maryland, No. 20 Rutgers, North Carolina and Campbell during the month of January.
The Midshipmen are fresh off an 11th-place finish (out of 22 teams) at the prestigious Southern Scuffle held this past week at UT Chattanooga where 50-plus nationally-ranked wrestlers were in action. Two-time NCAA qualifiers and nationally-ranked Navy seniors Aaron Kalil (Salem, N.H.) and Luke Rebertus (Gloucester, Va.) both placed sixth in the event at their respective weight classes.
Although Kalil wrestled well at the Scuffle and was a placewinner, he dropped back two spots in this week’s Intermat poll from 18th to 20th. He has amassed an 18-6 record this season which includes a flawless 4-0 record in dual competition. While he stands 23rd in Navy’s all-time wins record book with 86, he will be challenged Saturday evening by 11th-ranked Jordan Keller who has put together an 11-3 record to date.
Rebertus wrestled in the toughest weight class at the Scuffle, 184 pounds, and despite a sixth-place finish, he did push up one position in the rankings from 15th to 14th. One of the reasons was an impressive win over eighth-ranked Kevin Steinhaus of Minnesota at the Scuffle. Rebertus, who owns a 2-2 record in dual action this season, will meet 20th-ranked Erich Schmidtke of Oklahoma (10-5) on Saturday evening. The two wrestlers have a history, meeting twice last year, first at the Reno Tournament of Champions and then in a dual meet.
Last year’s dual between the two featured plenty of sparring, but not much scoring. The opening period ended 0-0 and each wrestler produced an escape to start the second and third periods, respectfully, sending the match into overtime. After a one-minute sudden victory period, neither wrestler had scored, pushing the match into a 30-second tiebreaker. Schmidtke chose the down position, but Rebertus was relentless in keeping his ankle clinched and did not allow Schmidtke to break the hold, setting up a second 30-second tiebreaker with Rebertus in the down position. With under 10 seconds remaining, Rebertus was able to reverse the hold to take a 3-1 lead before Schmidtke escaped to trim the lead to one. But it was all Rebertus needed to avenge an earlier loss to Schmidtke at the Reno Tournament of Champions in December, as Rebertus claimed a 3-2 decision.
Rebertus is tied for 18th on the Mids’ all-time career wins list with 89 alongside 2002 graduate Mike Bigrigg. A win Saturday night would make him just the 18th wrestler in school history to reach the 90-win milestone.
Junior Oscar Huntley (Stafford, Va.) was one of three Navy wrestlers to score wins over OU a year ago as he picked up a 5-3 victory over OU’s Jeff James a year ago. This year he is expected to face redshirt sophomore Nolan McBryde, who has a 3-8 overall mark and is 0-7 in dual action.
Oklahoma will put seven wrestlers on the mat who are currently ranked in the top 20 of their respective weight classes., including three in the top 10 In addition to the previously named 133 and 184-pounders, the Sooners will be represented by eighth-ranked Jarrod Patterson at 125 pounds, top-ranked Kendric Maple at 141 pounds, 10th-ranked Nick Lester at 149 pounds, 12th-ranked Matt Lester at 157 pounds and 20th-ranked Patrick “Bubby” Graham at 165 pounds. Graham’s name should ring familiar to local wrestling fans, as the redshirt junior is an Annapolis High School graduate who wrestled his first two seasons for Mark Cody at American before following Cody to Oklahoma this year.
“Oklahoma is one of the powerhouses in wrestling and that’s exactly why we scheduled them,” said Navy head coach Bruce Burnett. “We need to figure out how we compare with the nation’s elite wrestlers and that’s exactly what we are going to do on Saturday night. It gives us the chance to evaluate where we are and with two-and-a-half months left in the season, what we need to do to get our guys on the podium at the NCAA Championship.
“There’s no doubt our guys will compete ... it’s Oklahoma! I expect our guys to give everything they’ve got in the tank for seven minutes on Saturday.”
Admission to Saturday night’s match is $7 for adults and $5 for students (18 & under). As a reminder, fans are encouraged to park at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and ride the shuttle over to the Naval Academy grounds. Access to the grounds is limited to those cars with a Department of Defense sticker.
• Camper Reunion - Campers receive free admission by wearing their Navy Wrestling camp t-shirt. Campers can enter at the match to win a free session of camp for the 2011 summer.
• NFCU Night - All NFCU members receive the group ticket rate by showing their NFCU debit card or checks.
• Chamber of Commerce Night - All members of the Annapolis Chamber of Commerce are invited to attend this match for $10. This price includes the ticket, a hot dog, a Coca-cola product, and an autographed team poster.
• YMCA Night - All members of the YMCA receive $3 tickets by showing their membership card.
• Faculty and Staff Night - All USNA Faculty and Staff are invited to attend this match. Each person receives 2 tickets and they can be picked-up at the match.
Projected Navy Lineup
• 125 - Patrick Prada - Fr., Laurel, Md. (3-11 / 0-3) -OR- Tyler Sackett - Sr., Omaha, Neb. (1-2 / 1-0)
• 133 - #20 Aaron Kalil - Jr., Salem, N.H. (18-6 / 4-0)
• 141 - Raymond Borja - So., Virginia Beach, Va. (7-7 / 0-1) -OR- Dustin Haislip - Sr., Inwood, W.Va. (0-0 / 0-0)
• 149 - Joe Locksmith - So., Kissimmee, Fla. (7-9 / 1-3) -OR- Peyton Walsh - Fr., Glen Allen, Va. (7-5 / 0-0)
• 157 - Bobby Barnhisel - Jr., River Forest, Ill. (6-7 / 0-3) -OR- Zach Basich - Jr., Wheeling, W.Va. (10-4 / 1-0)
• 165 - Matt Jackson - Jr., Rising Sun, Md. (5-5 / 0-0) -OR- Mike Brant - Sr., Johnstown, Pa. (2-2 / 0-0)
• 174 - Oscar Huntley - Jr., Stafford, Va. (12-6 / 3-1) -OR- James Mannier - So., Troy, Ohio (13-8 / 0-0)
• 184 - #14 Luke Rebertus - Sr., Gloucester, Va. (16-8 / 2-2)
• 197 - Paul Rands - Fr./So., Cary, Ill. (9-11 / 1-3)
• 285 - Dan Miller - Jr., Berlin, Md. (7-6 / 3-1)
Projected Oklahoma Lineup
• 125 - #8 Jarrod Patterson - Jr., Cushing, Okla. (12-3 / 4-1)
• 133 - #11 Jordan Keller - Sr., Wichita, Kan. (11-3 / 3-1)
• 141 - #1 Kendric Maple - RSo., Wichita, Kan. (14-0 / 5-0)
• 149 - #10 Nick Lester - RSo., Eureka, Mo. (12-4 / 4-2)
• 157 - #12 Matt Lester - RSo., St. Louis, Mo. (11-3 / 4-1)
• 165 - #20 Bubby Graham - RJr., Annapolis, Md. (7-8 / 2-3)
• 174 - Nolan McBryde - RSo., Eagle River, Alaska (3-8 / 0-7)
• 184 - #20 Erich Schmidtke - RJr., Aberdeen, Wash. (10-5 / 2-3)
• 197 - Keldrick Hall - RJr., Dallas, Texas (9-6 / 2-2)
• 285 - Kyle Colling - RFr., Arcade, N.Y. (7-5 / 1-1)
### Go Navy ###