Feb. 22, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Navy wrestling team will close out the regular season Sunday afternoon with the annual Star Match against arch rival Army. The Midshipmen will look to capture their 13th consecutive win over the Black Knights when the two programs square off at Christl Arena beginning at 4:00 pm.
For those fans who are unable to attend Sunday’s match, a live video stream will be available via Knight Vision, the Black Knights’ subscription-based multimedia platform, on Army’s web site at www.goARMYsports.com(.)
Navy has been the dominant team in the series, boasting a 46-5-5 series advantage including a 24-4-3 record in matches staged at West Point. Unbeaten during head coach Bruce Burnett’s 13-year tenure, the Midshipmen have suffered just one setback (1997, 19-12) to Army in the last 50 matches, as Navy owns a spectacular 44-1-5 record during that span.
“This is always an exciting event,” said Burnett. “I know they will be prepared and our guys have been training all year long for this time of the year. We are looking forward to what I think will be a hard-fought match with Army.”
The Midshipmen, who enter the weekend with a 5-1 dual record, are coming off the program’s 12th All-Academy Championship title where Navy won seven of the 10 individual titles and claimed the team title by nearly 40 points. There were five head-to-head matchups between Army and Navy at the All-Academy Championship with Navy taking a 4-1 mark in those bouts. One of those four wins will not happen, as neither teams is expected to wrestle their 125-pound rep this weekend.
Five of the 10 wrestlers expected to take the mat Sunday afternoon for the Midshipmen wrestled in last year’s meet, including seniors Mason Bailey (Fairmont, W.Va.), Bobby Barnhisel (River Forest, Ill.), Oscar Huntley (Stafford, Va.) and Dan Miller (Berlin, Md.). Both Huntley and Miller are undefeated against their Army foes in the annual Star Match. Huntley, the Mids’ team captain, owns a 25-8 record at 197 pounds, including a 5-1 mark in dual action. At the All-Academy Championship, he dealt Army freshman Bryce Barnes an 8-5 loss to win the crown. Meanwhile, Huntley scored a major decision (15-6) over Orion Ross at 197 pounds in the 2011 Star Match and shut out (6-0) Collin Wittmeyer a year ago at 174 pounds.
Miller, meanwhile, dealt Daniel Mills losses in back-to-back years (11-4 and 6-1), but will face a new competitor this Sunday in the form of either Collin Wittmeyer or Stephen Snyder. Miller owns a 17-11 record this season and is 4-2 in dual action. He stands fourth in the EIWA rankings.
Ranked 14th nationally at 157 pounds, Barnhisel got his first taste of the Army-Navy rivalry last year when he scored an 8-1 decision over Army’s Jimmy Rafferty. Barnhisel is one of four Navy wrestlers with more than 25 wins this season as he leads the pack with a 27-5 record, including a 3-1 mark in dual competition. Barnhisel will face either Patrick Marchetti, who he has not seen this season, or Brian Harvey, who he beat by tech fall (15-0) at the Southern Scuffle in January.
Bailey, is 1-1 against Army in Star competition, defeating Alex Smith at 165 pounds his sophomore season, while Cole Gracey pinned Bailey a year ago. The senior 184-pounder is ranked 19th nationally after putting together a 26-12 record, including a 3-3 mark in dual matches. His lone match against an Army competitor this season was a Jan. 1 battle against Collin Wittmeyer who he beat by major decision, 13-4. Wittmeyer, however, has since pushed up to heavyweight.
Junior Joe Locksmith (Kissimmee, Fla.) will make his third appearance in the Star Match when he likely will battle Tyler Rauenzahn at 141 pounds. Locksmith, who dropped a 5-1 decision to Daniel Young as a rookie and defeated Ryan Bilyeu a year ago, was tripped up by Rauenzahn, 6-4, in sudden victory in the semifinals of the All-Academy Championship. Locksmith heads into Sunday’s match with a 15-12 record and is 2-2 in dual action.
Making their Star Match debut this weekend will be sophomore Patrick Prada (Laurel, Md.) at 125 pounds, sophomore Colton Rasche (Plano, Ill.) at 133 pounds, junior Raymond Borja (Virginia Beach, Va.) at 149 pounds, sophomore Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Md.) at 165 pounds and rookie Mathew Miller (Edgewood, Md.) at 174 pounds.
Rasche, who is 17-10 this season, scored a 6-2 victory over Army senior Jordan Thome in the finals of the All-Academy Championship, while Walsh pinned Paul Hancock in under two minutes to also capture an individual title at the service academy tournament. Walsh, meanwhile, stands just outside of the top 20 rankings with his 25-8 record.
Army (7-6, 3-2 EIWA), who last defeated Navy on Feb. 22, 1997, has been idle since sweeping EIWA rival American (34-8) and nonconference foe Boston University (22-18) on Feb. 10. Junior 165-pounder Paul Hancock, who boasts a 12-1 mark in dual matches, leads Army with 27 wins, nine major decisions and 13 bonus-point victories. Senior 133-pounder Jordan Thome leads the Black Knights with nine pins and ranks third on the team with 20 victories. Freshman Bryce Barnes ranks second on the club with 22 wins. Barnes also lists among the team leaders with five pins, three major decisions and 10 bonus-point victories.
Navy leads the annual Army-Navy series this season with a 9-8-1 (.528) record, while also leading the Star Series, 8-6-1 (.567). The following teams have the distinction of winning N-Stars for the Midshipmen this year (in chronological order) — Men’s Cross Country, Women’s Cross Country, Women’s Soccer, Men’s Swimming & Diving, Women’s Swimming & Diving, Football, Women’s Indoor Track & Field, Men’s Indoor Track & Field.
In addition to the Army-Navy wrestling match this weekend, the two schools will be battling it out in men’s gymnastics on Saturday at West Point beginning at 1:00 pm.
Projected Navy Lineup
• 125 - Pat Prada - So. (15-9, 0-4) - OR- Jericho Urmenita - Jr. (12-13, 0-2)
• 133 - Colton Rasche - So. (17-10, 3-3) -OR- Dakota Beach, Fr. (2-4, 0-0)
• 141 - Joe Locksmith - Jr. (15-12, 2-2) -OR- Alex Johnson - Jr. (17-7, 2-0)
• 149 - Raymond Borja - Jr. (18-5, 3-1) -OR- Ben Hunter - Jr. (6-5, 1-1)
• 157 - #14 Bobby Barnhisel - Sr. (27-5, 3-1) -OR- Bobby Burg - Fr. (11-7, 2-0)
• 165 - Peyton Walsh - So. (25-8, 6-0) -OR- Matt Jackson - Sr. (12-7, 0-0)
• 174 - #12 Mathew Miller - Fr. (21-4, 4-2) -OR- William Miller - Fr. (16-8, 0-0)
• 184 - #19 Mason Bailey - Sr. (26-12, 3-3) -OR- James Mannier - Jr. (17-9, 0-0)
• 197 - Oscar Huntley - Sr. (25-8, 5-1) -OR- Luke Schaeffer - Fr. (3-6, 0-0)
• 285 - Dan Miller - Sr. (17-11, 4-2) -OR- Brendan Kahle - So. (7-10, 0-0)
Projected Army Lineup
• 125 - Hunter Wood - So. (11-22, 3-8) - OR- Nathan Santhanam - Jr. (1-4, 0-2)
• 133 - Jordan Thome - Sr. (20-14)
• 141 - Tyler Rauenzahn - Jr. (14-10, 3-4) - OR- Connor Hanafee - Sr. (17-11, 5-3)
• 149 - John Belanger - Jr. (12-7, 5-2) - OR- Daniel Young - Sr. (13-11, 1-3)
• 157 - Patrick Marchetti - Sr. (16-11, 1-2) - OR- Brian Harvey (13-17, 4-4)
• 165 - Paul Hancock - Jr. (27-9, 12-1)
• 174 - Cole Gracey - So. (14-7, 7-2)
• 184 - Ryan Tomkins - Jr. (13-11, 4-3) - OR- Travis Mallo - Fr. (4-11, 2-4)
• 197 - Bryce Barnes - Fr. (22-15, 9-4) - OR- Robert Doyle - Sr. (7-9, 0-1)
• 285 - Collin Wittmeyer - Sr. (18-14, 2-3) - OR- Stephen Snyder - So. (9-17, 0-6)
### Go Navy ###