Jan. 11, 2013
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 Lehigh on Saturday afternoon (2:00 pm) at Alumni Hall. Saturday’s matchup between the EIWA foes is just the second dual meet of the season for the Mids, who scored a 33-4 win over George Mason on Dec. 8, while Lehigh has spent the majority of the season wrestling in dual action and has put together a 3-4 record.
“Certainly having wrestled in only one dual versus the seven Lehigh has competed in makes a big difference,” said 13th-year Navy head coach Bruce Burnett. “It impacts how you start the match and that sets the tone. I believe our kinds are confident that they can crank it up a notch and wrestle their best for one match as opposed to eight in a day as we have sometimes had in the tournaments we’ve competed in this season. We’ve had strong practices this week in trying to get ready for a tough seven-minute match come Saturday.”
The Midshipmen are coming off a 12th-place showing (out of 25 teams) at the prestigious Southern Scuffle held Jan. 1-2 at UT Chattanooga that featured five of the top eight schools in the country. Six Navy wrestlers advanced to the second day of action with just two placing among the top eight. Rookie 157-pound Bobby Burg (Gasport, N.Y.) took seventh with a 7-6 win over The Citadel’s Mathew Frisch, while senior 184-pound Mason Bailey (Fairmont, W.Va.) finished eighth after dropping a 6-3 decision to Missouri’s John Eblen.
Navy has been solid in its upper weights this season, anchored by seniors Bobby Barnhisel (River Forest, Ill.), Oscar Huntley (Stafford, Va.), Dan Miller (Berlin, Md.) and Bailey.
“Our seniors have done a great job with their leadership this season and it’s shown in their training and on the mat,” said Burnett. “I think the younger wrestlers that train with and against them are better because of it. They tend to feed off each other.”
Ranked 13th and boasting a 22-4 record this season, Barnhisel has been outstanding in his final season at 157 pounds. He won 19 of his first 20 matches of the year, including the first 14. Along the way he has taken tournament titles at the Eastern Michigan Open, the Roadrunner Open and the Navy Classic, while placing fourth at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
Barnhisel, who has faced just one ranked wrestler this season, will have his greatest challenge to date on Saturday when he faces third-ranked Joey Napoli of Lehigh, who has amassed a 10-2 mark, including a 6-1 dual record.
Bailey has produced a 21-9 record this season with five of his nine losses to nationally-ranked foes. Ranked 20th at 184 pounds entering the weekend, he, too, will have a tall task in front of him. All-American Robert Hamlin is the nation’s third-ranked wrestler with a 10-2 mark and a 5-1 dual record.
Since pushing up from 174 pounds to 197 at the end of November to help fill a void in the lineup, Huntley has produced a 6-4 record, dropping all four of his matches to opponents ranked in the top 20. He recorded a 2-2 record at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, was 3-2 at the Southern Scuffle and edged out George Mason’s Matt Meadows in a dual match.
Miller just missed out in his bid to place at the Southern Scuffle, dropping a 3-1 decision to Penn State’s James Lawson in sudden victory that would have propelled him into a place-winning match. Miller has produced a 13-8 record this season and has won four of his last six bouts.
Meanwhile, Navy fans will get their first opportunity to see freshman sensation Mathew Miller (Edgewood, Md.) who is ranked 14th in the nation at 174 pounds and has raced out to a 14-2 mark. Miller won the first 11 matches of his career and claimed individual crowns at the Eastern Michigan Open and the Roadrunner Open. He dropped his first bout of the year to now third-ranked Robert Kokesh en route to a fourth-place finish at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
Miller will battle 13th-ranked Nathaniel Brown on Saturday. Brown has posted an 8-4 record, including a 4-3 mark in dual meets.
Sophomore Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Va.) has also enjoyed a standout season at 165 pounds where he has produced a 17-8 record. He won the season-opening Eastern Michigan Open, while placing second at the Roadrunner Open, fifth at the Navy Classic and sixth at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
The Mountain Hawks, who are receiving votes in the USA Today/NWCA/Amateur Wrestling News Div. I Coaches Poll, enter the weekend with a 3-4 record, taking wins over Binghamton (23-16), Bloomsburg (18-12) and Hofstra (34-7). Their losses have been at the hands of No. 1 Penn State (29-6), No. 20 Penn (24-12), No. 4 Iowa (26-9) and No. 8 Cornell (20-13). Meanwhile, four of the Mountain Hawks’ 10-man lineup is ranked among the nation’s top 20.
The Midshipmen hold a slight 47-45 series advantage and have won two of the last three matches wrestled in Annapolis. A major decision by Aaron Kalil over Mitch Berger sealed the 19-15 win by Navy over the 12th-ranked Mountain Hawks in 2011, while the Mids claimed wins in seven of the 10 matches in 2007 to earn a 26-12 win over No. 23 Lehigh.
“I think our guys are more comfortable being able to wrestle and without a doubt we will have more support here at Alumni Hall than if we were traveling up to Lehigh. I know the guys are looking forward to a great challenge that Lehigh presents and will be looking for our fans to get behind them.”
Admission to Saturday’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.
Saturday’s match will also be streamed online via Navy All-Access at www.NavySports.com(.) There is no charge to watch this match.
Projected Navy Lineup
• 125 - Patrick Prada - So, Laurel, Md. (15-5, 0-0) -OR- Jericho Urmenita - Jr, Auburn, Wash. (10-10, 0-1)
• 133 - Colton Rasche - So, Plano, Ill. (13-7, 1-0) -OR- Quentin Leadbeter - So, Owings, Md. (8-8, 0-0)
• 141 - Joe Locksmith - Jr, Kissimmee, Fla. (12-9, 1-0) -OR- Alex Johnson - Jr, Memphis, Tenn. (15-7, 0-0)
• 149 - Zach Basich - Sr, Wheeling, W.Va. (10-7, 0-0) -OR- Ben Hunter - Jr, Harrisonville, Mo. (6-4, 1-0)
• 157 - #13 Bobby Barnhisel - Sr, River Forest, Ill. (22-4, 1-0) -OR- Bobby Burg - Fr, Gasport, N.Y. (9-7, 0-0)
• 165 - Peyton Walsh - So, Glen Allen, Va. (17-8, 1-0) -OR- Jake Schalles - Sr, Orlando, Fla. (5-7, 0-0)
• 174 - #14 Mathew Miller - Fr, Edgewood, Md. (15-2, 1-0) -OR- William Miller - Fr, Chinook, Mont. (16-8, 0-0)
• 184 - #20 Mason Bailey - Sr, Fairmont, W.Va. (21-9, 1-0) -OR- James Mannier - Jr., Troy, Ohio (17-9, 0-0)
• 197 - Oscar Huntley - Sr, Stafford, Va. (17-7, 1-0)
• 285 - Dan Miller - Sr, Berlin, Md. (13-8, 1-0) -OR- Brendan Kahle - So, Abingdon, Md. (7-10, 0-0)
Projected Lehigh Lineup
• 125 - Alex Abreu - Sr, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (2-8, 1-6)
• 133 - Randy Cruz - Fr, Bethlehem, Pa. (19-7, 0-1)
• 141 - #18 Anthony Salupo - So, Lakewood, Ohio (6-4, 3-3) -OR- Laike Gardner - Fr, Biglerville, Pa. (4-5, 2-3)
• 149 - Shane Welsh - Sr, Burrell, Pa. (7-5, 3-4)
• 157 - #3 Joey Napoli - Jr, Boiling Springs, Pa. (10-2, 6-1)
• 165 - Brian Brill - Fr, Lock Haven, Pa. (10-4, 0-0) -OR- Albert Woody - Jr, Pikesville, Md. (5-5, 0-1)
• 174 - #13 Nathaniel Brown - So, Lewisburg, Pa. (8-4, 4-3)
• 184 - #3 Robert Hamlin - Sr, Jonesville, Vt. (10-2, 5-1)
• 197 - John Bolich - Fr, Willow Grove, Pa. (4-5, 3-4)
• 285 - Jack Delia - Fr, Lebanon, N.J. (2-7, 2-5)
Camper Reunion 1
• 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 2013 summer.
NFCU Day 1
• All NFCU members receive the group ticket rate by showing their NFCU debit card or checks.
Chamber of Commerce Day
• 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.
Boys and Girls Club Day
• Free admission for all Boys and Girls Club members by showing their membership card.
Elementary and Middle School Day
• All elementary and middle school kids receive $3 admission to the match.
• JROTC members may attend the match at a discounted price if purchased in advance. ($3 ticket)
• 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.
Family Day Out
• For $22, a family receives four tickets, four hot dogs, and four Coca-Cola products.
• Check the Navy Athletics Facebook page and twitter feed for a special wrestling deal!
### Go Navy ###