Navy Wrestling Opens Season Saturday at Home
The Navy wrestling program will open its 110th season of competition this Saturday when it plays host to Delaware Valley and Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology at Alumni Hall in Annapolis. Utilizing a pair of mats, the Mids will divide into two squads (Blue and Gold) and will face both foes at 2:00 pm and 3:30 pm. Navy will wrap up the day of action by conducting its annual Blue-Gold Challenge Matches beginning at 5:00 pm.
All four of Navy’s 2017 NCAA qualifiers are ranked among the numerous preseason polls.
Three-time NCAA qualifier Jadaen Bernstein (Glen Gardner, N.J.) returns for his senior season and will continue his quest to not only become an All-American, but also win a National Championship at the 174-pound weight class. A year ago he put together a 31-10 record and came up just a match short of garnering All-America honors. He enters the season needing just 11 wins to become only the 14th wrestler in program history to earn 100 victories. Bernstein is ranked by all six major wrestling media outlets - #8 by Intermat, #9 by FloWrestling, #8 by TrackWrestling, #8 by The Open Mat, #7 by WIN Magazine and #11 by Amateur Wrestling News.
Senior 184-pound Michael Coleman (Hudson, Ohio) overcame an elbow injury last November to close out the year with a runner-up finish at the EIWA Championship and his first appearance at the NCAA Championship. He produced a 22-9 record and enters his final season with a 52-34 mark. He is ranked among all six polls, including a #10 ranking by TrackWrestling (15/12/10/11/12/13).
Fellow senior 197-pound Steban Cervantes (Chula Vista, Calif.) amassed a 24-13 record a year ago and received an at-large berth to compete in what was his first NCAA Championship. Cervantes was limited his sophomore year with a shoulder injury, but came back strong as one of the Mids’ starters as a junior. He, too, is ranked in all five polls, including #12 by TrackWrestling (15/13/12/18/18/16).
Sophomore 141-pound Jared Prince (Safety Harbor, Fla.) returns after a spectacular rookie season saw him post a 27-9 overall record and an undefeated 7-0 mark in dual competition. The 27 wins were the most by a Navy freshman since Luke Rebertus won 36 matches in 2008-09. Additionally, the 27 wins are tied as the fifth most in program history at 141 pounds and the most since Brad Canterbury won 28 in 2006-07. He enters his second season ranked among the nation’s top 10 in four polls and top 12 in the other two (8/8/10/12/11/9).
Who Else Is Back
In addition to its four returning NCAA qualifiers, Navy also returns senior team captain Corey Wilding (149 / Pittsburgh, Pa.), who walked on to the team as a freshman and has been in the starting lineup since his rookie campaign. Senior Zack Davis (Granger, Ind.) was an NCAA qualifier in 2016 at 133 pounds, but a year ago wrestled among three different weight classes. He looks to settle in at 157 pounds this winter where he will be challenged by freshman Quentin Hovis (Poway, Calif.). Drew Daniels (Overland Park, Kan.) returns for his senior season as the starter at 165 pounds, while sophomore Andrew Piehl (Rogers, Minn.) will look to battle junior Thomas Ott (Lewes, Del.) for the heavyweight spot. Brant Leadbeter (Owings, Md.) and Cody Lambert (Tulsa, Okla.) were starters at 125 and 133 pounds a year ago, however, two freshmen at each weight class have stood out in the early weeks who could potentially vye for those starting spots.
Annual Blue-Gold Challenge Matches
The Blue-Gold Challenge Matches have been a long-standing tradition of Navy wrestling. This year’s matches will feature six freshmen, five sophomores, three juniors and eight seniors (two weight classes for the Navy blue squad has an either/or at 157 and 285 pounds). The Navy Blue squad is young, yet talented, while the Gold team is comprised of nearly all upperclassmen including nationally-ranked 174-pound Jadaen Bernstein and 197-pound Steban Cervantes.
This year’s lineup is as follows: 125 Logan Treaster vs. Aslan Kilic; 133 Jonathan Gabriel vs. Cody Trybus; 141 Kyle Trybus vs. Nicholas Gil; 149 Corey Wilding vs. Connor Prince; 157 Quentin Hovis or Casey Cowan vs. Zack Davis; 165 Drew Daniels vs. Jonathan Carrera; 174 AJ Alford vs. #8 Jadaen Bernstein; 184 #15 Michael Coleman vs. Alex Benoit; 197 Joshua Roetman vs. #15 Steban Cervantes; 285 Andrew Piehl or Austin Faunce vs. Thomas Ott.
The Mids open the tournament portion of their schedule on Nov. 11 when they make the trek to Ypsilanti, Michigan to compete at the Eastern Michigan Open. The following weekend, Nov. 19, the Mids return home to play host to the annual Navy Classic.
### Go Navy ###