Jan. 10, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- After spending the last month of action on the road, the Navy wrestling team returns home this weekend to play host to long-time rival Maryland on Saturday evening (7:30 pm) following the men's and women's basketball doubleheader against Army at Alumni Hall. Saturday's matchup between the in-state rivals is just the second dual meet of the season for the Mids, who scored a 33-3 win over Boston University on Dec. 14, while Maryland has spent the bulk of its season wrestling in dual action and has put together a 4-5 record.
Fans unable to attend Saturday's match can follow the action via Navy's live video feed for free at Live Video
The Mids, who traditionally spend the better part of November and December competing in tournaments, have sent wrestlers to non-team scoring events Michigan State Open, the Roadrunner Open, the East Stroudsburg Open and the Franklin & Marshall Open. Meanwhile, the Mids took second at their own tournament in November, while placing 16th at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Open and 25th at the Southern Scuffle. Over the next month, in addition to Maryland, Navy will face Lehigh (Jan. 17), North Carolina (Jan. 25) and American (Feb. 8) on the road before closing out its dual ledger at home against arch rival Army on Feb. 21.
Navy opened the second half of its season at the Southern Scuffle on Jan. 1-2, one of the premiere wrestling tournaments in the country. The tournament featured 10 of the top 25 teams in the country, including five of the top 10 and three of the top five. The Mids advanced five wrestlers into the second day of competition, but returning NCAA qualifier Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Va.) was the lone Navy wrestler to place. The junior 165-pounder turned in an eighth-place finish, dropping his three matches by a combined seven points.
Walsh has placed in all five events in which he has competed, taking fourth at the Michigan State Open, third at the Roadrunner Open, second at the Navy Classic, eighth at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and eighth at the Southern Scuffle. He has put together a 17-10 overall mark and with an 11-4 decision over Boston U.'s Mitchell Wightman, he stands 1-0 in dual action.
Junior 133-pound Colton Rasche (Plano, Ill.) was also one of the five to advance into the second day of the Scuffle, but bowed out to Iowa State's Dakota Bauer, 4-3. Rasche has been solid this season where he has placed in three of the five tournaments (medical forfeit at Navy Classic) and has put together a 16-7 overall mark. He is just three wins shy of his total from a year ago.
Sophomore 157-pound Bobby Burg (Gasport, N.Y.) dropped an 8-3 decision to North Carolina's Thomas Gantt in the final day of competition at the Southern Scuffle, falling short of placing. He has however placed at the Navy Classic (third) and Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invtitational (seventh) en route to posting an 11-4 mark this season.
Recently returning from a preseason injury, senior Raymond Borja (Virginia Beach, Va.) is battling senior Alex Johnson (Memphis, Tenn.) for the starting job at 149 pounds. Borja defeated Boston U.'s Nick Tourville, 6-4, in dual action in his first match back and went 2-2 at the Southern Scuffle. Johnson, meanwhile, has wrestled tough in this his senior year, battling to a 9-5 record which featured a second-place effort at the Navy Classic.
Returning NCAA qualifier Mathew Miller (Edgewood, Md.) is expected back on the mat this weekend after an injury at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in December has kept him sidelined. Ranked 12th nationally at 174 pounds, Miller owns a 10-3 record and has a title victory to his credit at the Roadrunner Open to go along with a fourth-place effort at the Michigan State Open.
Senior Johnny Watson (Lexington, N.C.), however, will be ready to step up to the challenge should Miller not be ready to go. Watson has turned in a 10-8 record, his best record in his four seasons, and has given his opponents everything they could handle and more.
Navy leads the series against Maryland, 50-11-3, including a 22-18 victory over the then 23rd-ranked Terps a year ago in College Park. However the Terps have gotten the best of the Mids in recent years, winning four of the last six meetings. Maryland dealt Navy a 23-12 loss the last time the two met in Annapolis. The last time the Mids beat the Terps in Annapolis was on Jan. 22, 2010, by a 19-14 count.
The Terps are led by sixth-year head coach Kerry McCoy, who will put four nationally-ranked wrestlers onto the mat Saturday evening including a pair of top-four competitors in their respective weight. Senior 184-pound Jimmy Sheptock and heavyweight Spencer Myers own a combined 30-0 record. Sheptock stands No. 1 nationally with an 18-0 mark, while Myers is fourth in the country at 12-0. Junior 197-pound Christian Boley enters the match ranked ninth and carries a 15-1 mark, while 15th-ranked Shyheim Brown stands 13-3 on the year at 141 pounds.
Maryland owns a 4-5 record this season which includes wins over Johns Hopkins (42-3), Kutztown (35-0), Alderson-Broaddus (52-0) and Rutgers (19-18). The Terps' losses have been at the hands of Stanford (17-16), Penn (19-13), Cornell (31-9), Pitt (21-12) and Michigan (28-10).
Projected Navy Lineup
• 125 - Brendon Campbell - Fr, New Castle, Ind. (6-7, 1-0) -OR- Taylor French, Fr, Forsyth, Mont. (3-6, 0-0)
• 133 - Colton Rasche - Jr, Plano, Ill. (16-7, 1-0) -OR- Jericho Urmenita, Sr, Auburn, Wash. (4-3, 0-0)
• 141 - Joe Locksmith - Sr, Kissimmee, Fla. (12-9, 1-0)
• 149 - Raymond Borja - Sr, Virginia Beach, Va. (3-2, 1-0) -OR- Alex Johnson - Sr, Memphis, Tenn. (9-5, 0-0)
• 157 - Bobby Burg - So, Gasport, N.Y. (11-4, 0-0) -OR- Zach Johnson - Sr, Memphis, Tenn. (7-10, 0-1) -OR- Ben Hunter - Sr, Harrisonville, Mo. (7-4, 0-0)
• 165 - Peyton Walsh - Jr, Glen Allen, Va. (17-10, 1-0)
• 174 - #12 Mathew Miller - So, Edgewood, Md. (10-3, 0-0) -OR- Johnny Watson - Sr, Lexington, N.C. (10-8, 1-0)
• 184 - James Mannier - Sr, Troy, Ohio (12-9, 1-0) -OR- William Miller - So, Chinook, Mont. (7-7, 0-0)
• 197 - Paul Rands - Jr, Cary, Ill. (7-6, 1-0)
• 285 - Colynn Cook - Jr, Murrysville, Pa. (11-9, 1-0) -OR- Brendan Kahle - Jr, Abingdon, Md. (1-3, 0-0)
Projected Maryland Lineup
• 125 - Billy Rappo - So, Holland, Pa. (11-8, 2-5) -OR- Paul O'Neill - So, Bethesda, Md. (5-5, 0-3)
• 133 - Tyler Goodwin - Fr, Gambrills, Md. (8-5, 2-4) -OR- Tony Farace - So, Columbia, Md. (6-10, 0-1)
• 141 - #15 Shyheim Brown - So, Harrisburg, Pa. (13-3, 8-1)
• 149 - Frank Goodwin - Sr, Gambrills, Md. (8-6, 2-3) -OR- Derrick Evanovich - So, Venetia, Pa. (4-7, 1-3)
• 157 - Ben Dorsay - Sr, Virginia Beach, Va. (10-6, 3-3) -OR- Danny Orem - Sr, Glen Burnie, Md. (7-7, 2-2)
• 165 - Josh Snook - So, Bear, Del. (4-7, 1-3)
• 174 - Tony Gardner, Sr, Reisterstown, Md. (5-7, 4-5)
• 184 - #1 Jimmy Sheptock - Sr, Northampton, Pa. (18-0, 9-0)
• 197 - #9 Christian Boley - Jr, Brockport, N.Y. (15-1, 6-1)
• 285 - #4 Spencer Myers - Jr, Selinsgrove, Pa. (12-0, 8-0)
Make It a Navy Wrestling Weekend
• All fans who show their ticket stub at the door from Saturday's Army-Navy basketball games will receive $3 admission to the Maryland match.
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.
Elementary and Middle School Night
• All elementary and middle school kids receive $3 admission to the match.
Fan Appreciation Night
• All fans who wear Navy gear to the game receive the group rate of $3.
• Free admission for all 4-H members when they present the 4-H voucher at the ticket office. For more information, contact Melissa at 410.293.8787.
Faculty and Staff Night
• All USNA faculty and staff are invited to attend this match. Each person receives 4 tickets and can be picked up at the match.
• All members of the YMCA receive $3 tickets by showing their membership card.
Big Brothers / Big Sisters Match
• All participants are invited to attend the match for FREE when they register in advance.
• Check the Navy Athletics Facebook page and twitter feed for a special wrestling deal!
• 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 2014 summer.
Park and Rec Night
• All Annapolis Park and Rec families are invited to attend the match for $3 admission.
### Go Navy ###