FRANKLIN SPRINGS, GA. - Newberry won nine of 10 matches to take down the Lions of Emmanuel, 41-6. In the process the Wolves picked up yet another share of the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division II Wrestling League championship in Franklin Springs on Friday night.
The Wolves (12-7, 5-1 ECAC) finished tied atop the standings with UNC Pembroke to share the league crown. This marks the third ECAC title for the team. Newberry went 6-0 in conference play during the 2015-16 season and 5-1 in each of the last two years.
Austin Neal headed the group with a win by fall in just a little under four minutes against Alberto Perez. Nolan Whitely followed suit with an impressive win of his own. Currently ranked ninth in the latest Super Region 2 rankings, Whitely pummeled his counterpart in a 18-2 tech fall victory.
Although early in the dual, clutch performances helped Newberry to build its sizable advantage. Dylan Carlile was no competition against Guyton, Ga. native, Isiah Royal, who collected a 11-3 major decision win. In a close match, Tyler Wicken escaped Jay Sheppard to add to Newberry’s already inflating score.
Senior Alex Rice picked up where he left off, finishing Kevin Almond in 1:57 at 165 lbs. Joey Rocca had a close call at 174 lbs., but stayed strong and powered through to seal the 3-2 decision victory. The Wolves would remain dominate the remainder of the night.
Austin Crocker picked up a 14-3 major decision win, while Nick Weldon kept his opponent scoreless with an impressive 16-0 tech fall. With seven pins already under his belt this season, it was not surprise that Patton Gossett would pick up his eight. Thus far this season, he has gone 8-0 in falls with his fastest being in 13 seconds.
With the conference championship, Newberry saw four wrestlers go undefeated in conference action:
- Nolan Whitely at 133 lbs. - 5-0
- Austin Palmer at 157 lbs. - 4-0
- Alex Rice at 165 lbs. - 5-0
- Patton Gossett at 285 lbs. - 6-0
The Wolves will return to competition at the Super Region 2 Tournament in Findlay, Ohio on Feb. 23 and 24. The Division II National Tournament will take place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on March 9 and 10.