Dec. 5, 2008
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- After a two-week layoff from competition, the Navy wrestling team will be back in action on Sunday when it sends 29 wrestlers to State College, Pa. to participate in the Nittany Lion Open. The double-elimination, non-team scored competition is slated to get underway at 8:30 am at PSU's Rec Hall. Tickets ($5 adults, $3 students) may be purchased at the door.
The Mids last competed Nov. 22 when they crowned two champions and placed 17 en route to winning the Navy Classic.
Elkton, Md., native Luke Rebertus became only the sixth Navy freshman to win an individual title at the Navy Classic and the first since Tyrone Neal in 1998 when he clipped UNC Greensboro sophomore Byron Sigmon, 3-2, at 174 pounds. Rebertus, who was the No. 3 seed, led from the opening period and never trailed in the match. The rookie has now placed in the top two in each of the two tournaments in which he has competed this season and owns an 11-1 record. Though unranked, a strong performance by Rebertus this weekend could gain national attention.
Joining Rebertus atop the podium was sophomore 149-pounder Bryce Saddoris (Spring Creek, Nev.), one of two returning NCAA qualifiers for the Midshipmen. Like Rebertus, Saddoris never trailed in his match against second-seeded Kevin LeValley of Bucknell. Saddoris, who is ranked seventh nationally, heads into the Nittany Lion Open undefeated, boasting an 11-0 record that includes title wins at the Eastern Michigan Open and now the Navy Classic.
Though senior All-American Joe Baker (Poway, Calif.) qualified for the championship bout at 133 pounds at the Navy Classic, he was unable to wrestle Bucknell's David Marble for the title due to an injury that kept him sidelines in the first few weeks of competition. Baker, though, bounced back two days later where he thumped (5-1) Ohio State's Reece Humphrey, ranked seventh in the latest poll, at the NWCA All-Star Classic held in Columbus. Ranked sixth, Baker owns a 3-0 record this season.
Heavyweight Scott Steele
(Baltimore, Md.), ranked eighth, will be back in action after having his nine-match winning streak snapped by Duke's Konrad Dudziak in the championship bout at the Navy Classic. Steele easily made his way to the title match by way of a pin against UNC Greensboro's Joe Sheffield and a 10-3 decision of Virginia Tech's David Marone. However midway through the championship match, Steele aggravated a previous injury. Though visibly in pain, Steele continued on and Dudziak took advantage late in the match. Steele was unable to gain the advantage, dropping the match, 3-2.
Additionally, making their first appearances this season will be sophomore Joey Breen (Pasadena, Md.) at 141 pounds and senior Tyler Moyer (Bremerton, Wash.) at heavyweight. Breen, who turned in 5-9 record in his rookie campaign, sustained a thumb injury during the preseason, while Moyer has been recovering from a shoulder injury. Moyer, who owns a 40-34 career record, will be wrestling at heavyweight for the first time in his career.
The following is a list of wrestlers expected to compete for the Midshipmen this weekend:
125 -- Prescott Garner, Tyler Sackett, Allan Stein
133 -- Joe Baker, Austin Clouse, Aaron Kalil
141 -- Joey Breen, Dustin Haislip, Collin Leadbeter, John Majka, Matt Pagan
149 -- Kyle O'Neill, Bryce Saddoris, Cory Vernon
157 -- Joel Ahern, Robby Neill, Glenn Shober
165 -- Mike Brant, Jason Coyne, Matt DeMichiel
174 -- Mike Billings, Luke Rebertus
184 -- Casey Caldwell, Russ Kropp, Greg Prioleau
197 -- Philip Neese
HWT -- Mike Landis, Tyler Moyer, Scott Steele
### Go Navy ###