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2015-16 Cardinal Wrestling Returns Experienced Lineup and New Talent

Photo by Amber Dimitroff '16
Photo by Amber Dimitroff '16

Wesleyan wrestling welcomes thirteen experienced wrestlers returning for the upcoming season.  They include:

  • 133 Frank Crippen '17 23-10 record last season
  • 141 James Hamilton '16 6-6 last year, 25 and 22 wins as a frosh and sophomore
  • 149 Carter Armendarez '18 2 times top 12 in CA, 10-10 last year @157, bumped him to 165 for later part of last year
  • 149 Robert Rosenberg '17 12-12 record last year
  • 157Chris Siracusa '16 22-14 last season
  • 157 Zach Bloom '18 8-8 last season
  • 165 Keonmin Hwang '16 10-16 last season
  • 174 Taran Carr  '16 15-10 last year, 21-15 previous year, top 8 in region 2014
  • 184 Dominic Pirraglia '18 18-10 last season, NYS qualifier
  • 197 Isaiah Bellamy '18 22-6 last season, 4th place NE region

A very talented and hard-working group of new Cardinals will really bolster the team's opportunity to compete and win.  Many of these new Cardinals will see significant mat-time and compete for a starting spot right away. 

  • 125 Zack Murillo '19 120-33 overall record, New England Champion 2015, 5th 2014, Fargo Nationals-Freestyle and Greco 2nd in 2014

  • 125 Dylan Jones '19 85-21 overall record, 2 times Oregon state placer 3rd 2015 & 7th 2014, 3 times league champ, 4 times finalist, 4 times region placer including a region champ as a senior

  • 133 Shane Ross '19 109-18 overall record, 5th and 2nd at TX State Championships, 3 times state qualifier, 3 times district champ, 2 times regional finalist

  • 141 James Matias '19 125-28 overall record, 3 times league finalist, 3 times All Suffolk County, NY state qualifier

  • 141 Jonathan Oh '19 63-33, 32-4 senior record, CT state champ

  • 149 Nick Taylor '19 64-31, 2 times district 17-4th place, NJ

  • 165 Roy Forys '19 141-24 overall record (most in Becton HS history) 3 times NJ state qualifier, region champ, 2 times region runner-up, 2 times top 12 in state, 4 times county placer

The Cardinals have been nationally ranked among the top 30 Division III squads at the end of the season four times in the last six years, including a best-ever 11th-place ranking following the 2012-13 season. The 2011-12 squad ranked 29th, as did the 2010-11 team. The 2009-10 Cardinals finished 26th in the national poll.

The highly regarded 2012-13 squad, ranked 10th in the country, was invited to compete in the prestigious National Dual Championship in Springfield, Ill., where the team finished sixth among 16 competing teams, nearly all of which were ranked among the top 30 in the country. It was only the second time in the history of the event that a New England squad placed in the top eight. Wesleyan hosted and won the final New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Championship in 2012, its second New England title with the first coming in 1984. Wesleyan now competes in the Northeast Regional Tournament for NCAA individual qualification. The 18 teams in the regional include the 15 NEWA squads along with Ithaca, Cortland and Oneonta.  During the regular season, the NEWA still holds its own dual-match championship tournament and Wesleyan had a string of four straight years in the top three, including a title in 2011 (third in 2010, first in 2011, third in 2012 and third in 2013).

During the 2012-13 season, 149-pounder Howard Tobochnik '13 wrapped up his career with a trip to the NCAA Division III tournament as he posted 119 career wins, a Wesleyan record.  He received Wesleyan's Roger Maynard Award as the top senior male scholar-athlete at the college. He also ranked seventh nationally for pins that year with 15, while 141-pounder Nick Scotto '13 led the nation (all divisions) with 21 falls.  Two other members of the class of 2013 boast over 100 career wins with 174-pounder Kyle Roosa '13 collecting 108, along with a trip to Nationals in 2012 behind a NEWA title, and Jefferson Ajayi '13 coming up with 106 as a two-time NCAA qualifier and Wesleyan's most recent All-American, placing seventh nationally at 184 pounds in 2013.

The Cardinals had three all-Northeast Region wrestlers including Ryan Sblendorio '15 at 174 as he went 4-1 to finish third and qualify for the NCAA Championships. He was seeded fifth at the regional. This is Wesleyan's eighth season over the past decade of sending a competIsaiah Bellamynational tournament.

At 197 pounds, Isaiah Bellamy '18 came within a whisker of joining Sblendorio with a trip to Nationals but lost in sudden-victory overtime in the third-place match.  Bellamy finished his freshman campaign with a 22-6 record and will be a force in the region and at the national level in 2015-16 as a sophomore. Bellamy has All-American and National Champion talent.   Ed Pierce '17 finished his sophomore campaign at 24-12 with six technical falls and seven pins, ranking him 10th in the nation for tech falls among NCAA Division III wrestlers in 2014-15.

Wesleyan also boasted two Scholar All-Americans.  As a team, Wesleyan finished in 11th place as a Scholar All-American Team.  This was Wesleyan's 10th top-eleven finish as a Scholar All-American Award winner in the last 15 years.

It is going to be fun to see how our talented freshman transition from high school to college wrestling. There is tremendous potential in the freshman groupDylan Joneshere are two talented guys in Zack Murillo and Dylan Jones.  It iIsaiah Bellamye this weight competing, as Wesleyan has a strong tradition of 125 lb. excellence. At 197, our top wrestler Isaiah Bellamy just missed the big dance, the NCAAs, by a takedown.  He is hungry and will use last year's experience to help guide him to be an All-American this season. 

The team hFrank Crippenq8">Shane Rossat each weight: look for 133 Frank Crippen and Shane RossJames Matiasrter Armendarezames's ? James Hamilton and James Matias, 149, Carter Armendarez and RChris Siracusa/hwang_keonmin_5y3r">Keonmin Hwangrg, 157, Chris Siracusa ? a hungry senior, 165 Keonmin Hwang ? the haTaran Carrer and most improved wrestler on the team, 174 TaDominic Pirragliahy at a weight he is really excited about, 184 Dominic PirrRoy Forysard nosed, talented, ready to go, newcomer 165 Roy Forys ? football in the fall then transitioning to wrestling, very accomplished from NJ, excited to see what he can do.

The team has talent, great camaraderie, and great attitudes. When there is talent that works hard and great attitudes, then success is right around the corner. The team is excited to get underway and begin its journey.

The Cardinal Wrestling Team comes firing out of the gates every year with the Roger Williams Tournament. The first semester season consists of team tournament competition. The team will compete in three tournaments total getting great competition from not only New England, but also other regions such as New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.