LYCOMING, PA. – Many people spend the holiday season enjoying feasts of delicious foods, but this was not the case for most Heidelberg University wrestling team. Besides spending a short time at home with family and loved ones, the Heidelberg grapplers have been on campus, working hard in preparation for the 25th Annual Budd Whitehill Division III Wrestling Duals hosted by Lycoming College (PA.).
The two-day dual match tournament featured six teams ranked in the top 25 by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, including Ohio Athletic Conference foe, Ohio Northern University.
Heidelberg squared off with the State University of New York at Oswego in their first dual match of the day. Heidelberg dominated the match surrendering only one victory and rolling to a final of 31-3.
Senior 125-pounder Delian Schneider (Tiffin/Columbian) and sophomore 184-pounder Brennan Kelly (Clinton Township, MI./De La Salle) both recorded major decisions while senior 197-pounder Andy Lovins (Clinton Township, MI./Lake Shore) scored a 16-1 technical fall.
With the victory over the Lakers, the Student Princes were set to battle the 14th ranked Little Giants from the Wabash College (IN.) in their final match of the day.
The Little Giants took 125 and 133-pounds from the Student Princes until junior 141-pounder Chris Osborne (McComb) collected a 10-5 decision over his Wabash counterpart.
The Little Giants stole 149 and 157-pounds before senior 165-pounder Justin Wharton (Oregon/Clay) and junior 174-pounds Jeremy Stepp (Cinncinati/Princeton) earned back-to-back victories for the Berg. But with losses at 184-pounds and heavyweight even a Lovins victory at 197-pounds could not prevent the Little Giants from besting the Berg 21-14.
On Saturday morning the Student Princes strapped on their headgear to square off against Williams College (MA.). If the Berg were to emerge victorious they would face the winner of the Ohio Northern, Thiel dual match.
Despite taking four consecutive matches from the Williams at 165, 174, 184 and 197-pounds, the Ephs bested the Berg 22-19, eliminating them from competition.
The Berg immediately sacrificed six points to Williams, giving up a forfeit at 125-pounds. A Colin McDermitt (Lima/Shawnee) decision at 133-pounds would cut the Williams lead in half, but the Ephs took the next three weight classes from the Student Princes.
A decision from Wharton at 165-pounds and Kelly at 184-pounds along with a Stepp major decision at 174-pounds and a Lovins pin at 197-pounds the Berg tied the match with freshman heavyweight Nino Majoy (Huron) still to wrestle.
However, the Wabash heavyweight would be too much for the freshman as Majoy lost by decision, 8-2.
Individually, Andy Lovins, Jeremy Stepp and Justin Wharton were the only Student Princes to leave Lycoming unblemished with three victories. Osborne was the only other Berg wrestler to finish the weekend with a winning record.
The Heidelberg men and coach Shuck will return to Tiffin to prepare for the gauntlet of OAC dual matches set to begin on Tuesday, January 15 as the Student Princes host the Yellow Jackets of Baldwin Wallace. Wrestling is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. under the spotlight in Seiberling Gymnasium.