USMMA Preview

USMMA Mariners
Head Coach: Greg Ilaria
Years at School as head coach: 4
Career Record at school: 41-11
Assistant Coaches: Beau Bruno

2010-2011 Dual Meet Record: 14-2 (1st Centennial, 8th NCAA)
2010-2011 National Qualifiers and All-Americans: 125 Jordan Alfaro, 149 Martin Bell, 157 Dan Twito (1st), 165 Vincent Renaut (7th), 184 Scott Lowe, 285 Judd Connell (8th)
Returning Qualifiers and All-Americans (any year): 149 Bell, 141 James Beshada (’08, ’09 qualifier)

Top returning starters:
141 James Beshada – Sr 2x NCAA Qualifier,  2011 Centennial runner up
149 Martin Bell – Sr 2011 NCAA Qualifier
184 Erik Schott – SR  27 – 7 last season, 3rd Centennial at 197

Top incoming wrestlers:
133 – Mike Milanese – FR (Suffolk County NY place winner 150 HS wins)
141 – Buddy Watson – FR 3x CO State finalist, 2010 champ 155-15 HS record
149 – Matt Hiltz – FR 8th place National Prep
157 – Brandon Yeik – FR 3x WA State finalist, 2x Champ, 113–6 HS record
165 – Connar Zimmerman – FR 2x MD State finalist, 2011 Champ, 127–31 HS record
165 – Josh Miller – SO 2x WY State champ
174 – Kyle Diesel – FR – NY State Runner up, 178 -35 HS Record
174 – Ryan Smith – SO – NJ State Place winner (did not wrestle in 2011)

Season outlook:
After a fourth consecutive Centennial championshipt and a second straight year with an NCAA champ (trivia fact: both USMMA champs beat the same wrestler in the finals), the outstanding class that was mainly responsible for that run has now moved on, save for 2x qualifier James Beshada at 141. The 2011-2012 version of the Merchant Marine team is going to put a lot of freshmen and prior year backups on the mat in an attempt to win a fifth conference championship. New York runner up Kyle Diesel will step right into the 174 weight class vacated by his graduated brother, while state champs Brandon Yeik and Connar Zimmerman could also step into the spots formerly held by 2011 champ Twito and 2010 champ Renaut. It will be a young team, but there is enough talent there to make a fifth straight championship a possibility.