Johnson & Wales Preview

Johnson and Wales brings a young team to the mats this year, as only three of last year’s starters return.  However, all three will be serious contenders for the NEWA championship.  All-Americans Jerome Owens at 174 and Bryan Lenhardt at 184 lead the team in 2008-2009, and Mike Bastante just missed the NCAA tournament at 125 last year.  2007 NEWA placewinner Stephen Eberle is another returning starter at 141 lbs.  JWU wrestles one of the toughest schedules of all the NEWA schools and gets a lot of competition outside of their region.  They placed 8th in the National Duals, won the NEWA duals, and placed 2nd in the NEWA championships on their way to an 18 win season.  This year, the three top wrestlers will be supported by half a dozen New Jersey state qualifiers and a few state placewinners including 2x Maryland placer Justin Faithful who will try to replace NEWA 285 lb. runner-up Sean DeDeyn who has transferred to Rutgers.

Team: Johnson and Wales University
Head Coach: Lonnie Morris (Rhode Island College `94)
Years at School as head coach: 12th
Career Record at school: 140-86-2
Assistant Coaches: Brian Allen, James Gilbert, Christopher Wells

2007-2008 Dual Meet Record: 18-7-1
2007-2008 National Qualifiers and All-Americans: Jerome Owens (8th/174), Bryan Lenhardt (6th/184), Diego Crespo (NQ/197)
Returning Qualifiers and All-Americans: Owens and Lenhardt

Top returning wrestlers: 174 Jerome Owens All American 1st NEWA, 184 Bryan Lenhardt All American 3rd NEWA, 125 Michael Bastante 2nd NEWA, 141 Stephen Eberle 6th  NEWA 2007

Top incoming wrestlers: 141 Jeffrey McKinnon NE Placer, 285 Justin Faithful 2x MD placer, 133 Nick Cucciniello (William Penn transfer); NJ State Qualifiers: James Soprano, Brian Conley, John Donaleski, Skyler Egelken, Jon Flegal, Johnathan Hernandez