MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Several members of the Wesleyan University wrestling team earned postseason awards this week as the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) announced its end-of-the-year laurels and the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) released its academic honors. Highlighting the list for the Cardinals on the mat were First Team All-NEWA selections Devon Carrillo '17 and Isaiah Bellamy '18, and Honorable Mentions Amir Daouk '20, Zack Murillo '19, James Matias '19, Carter Armendarez '18 and Dominic Pirraglia '18. In addition, six Cardinals were named 2017-18 NWCA Scholar All-Americans, 14 were named to the Academic All-NEWA Team, and Wesleyan earned a NWCA Scholar Team award.
Bellamy had a breakout senior season. In addition to his First Team All-NEWA selection, he also received the NEWA Most Dominant Award. The senior heavyweight from Bozrah, Conn. posted a 6-1 record with three pins to place third overall at the NCAA Division III Championships en route to All-America honors. He also received the NWCA award for "Most Falls" as the senior led the country—in all divisions—with 24 total pins. Bellamy won the Northeast Regional at 285 as well and finished the year with an incredible 38-3 record.
Carrillo, in his third and final collegiate wrestling season, picked up his third All-NEWA award. A Second Team selection as a junior in 2015-16, the Middletown native has now earned back-to-back First Team laurels. Carrillo had a terrific postgraduate season in which he went 37-5 overall, won the Northeast Regional and finished eighth in the country at 197 to receive All-America honors. He also concluded the season with 22 pins, and was tied alongside Bellamy most of the year as the top-two leaders in the country in falls. In the final NCAA rankings, he finished tied for third in the country with 21 pins (one was against a Division II opponent and didn't count towards the standings). Carrillo pinned 21 Division III opponents in an incredible total time of 33:19 while Jake Evans of Waynesburg, who also finished with 21 falls, pinned his opponents in 45:06.
Daouk, Murillo, Matias, Armendarez and Pirraglia were also named All-NEWA Honorable Mention. Daouk finished the season with a 24-12 record at 125 and Murillo was 21-7 at 133. Matias, who was named to the 2015-16 All-NEWA Rookie Team, earned his second consecutive Honorable Mention with a 22-10 record at 141. Armendarez, a 2017 NCAA qualifier and Second Team selection a year ago, went 28-3 overall at 149, and Pirraglia capped off a stellar senior season with a NCAA Tournament appearance to capture his second-straight Honorable Mention. The senior co-captain finished 23-12 at 174 and placed third at the Northeast Regionals to qualify for the national postseason.
In the classroom, the Cardinals posted the fifth highest grade-point average (GPA) in New England and 19th in Division III with a 3.47 team GPA. They also had six athletes earn NWCA Scholar All-America honors— Armendarez, Bellamy, Carrillo, Daouk, Matias and Murillo—tying Johnson & Wales and York (Pa.) for the second most in the country. Only Augsburg had more with eight. For Bellamy, the honor marked the second consecutive of his career.
To earn Scholar All-America honors, nominees must have at least a 3.2 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for the previous full academic year. Transfers and freshmen are eligible if they've been in residence at their current institution beginning in the fall of 2017. On the competition side, wrestlers must be a national qualifier in 2017-18 and have a minimum win percentage of at least .500.
Additionally, wrestlers can also be considered if they placed in the top six at their respective regional tournament, a win percentage of .500 or better and competed in half of the institution's scheduled competition in NCAA championship events. A wrestler can also be considered if they have a win percentage of .670 or better and competed in half of the institution's scheduled NCAA events.
Wesleyan's six Scholar All-Americans were also named to the Academic All-NEWA Team alongside Tristan Stetson '20 (133), Jason Fong '21 (133), Andrew Hennessy '21 (133), Shane Ross '19 (141), Aaron Cranston '20 (165), Matt Winchester '18 (174), Harrison Karp '21 (285) and Krzysztof Nizielski '20 (285). To make the Academic All-NEWA Team, a wrestler must have been a major contributor to the team and have over a 3.2 GPA.