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Waynesburg 2016-2017 Preview

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Waynesburg WTeam: Waynesburg University
Head Coach: Ron Headlee
Years at School as Head Coach: 8
Career Record at Current School: 85-53-1
Assistant Coaches: Jeff Havelka – Assistant Coach, Gennaro Bonaventura – Graduate Assistant, John Yates – Volunteer Assistant

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2015-2016 Dual Meet Record: 6-8

Top Returning Starters:
125 – Tristan Buxton, Jr. (32-14, PAC Runner-Up)
133 – Zach Swarrow, R-Jr. (14-13, PAC Runner-Up)
141 – Filippo Crivelli, Sr. (31-13, Two-time PAC Champion)
149 – Nick Kusich, So. (11-23)
157 – Derek Hull, Jr. (9-16)
165 – Landon Lohr, Jr. (22-18, PAC Runner-up)
174 – Mike Millero, So. (18-21, PAC Runner-up)
184 – Ryan Shank, Sr. (33-11, PAC Champion)
197 – Joshua Sneeringer, So. (5-23)
285 – Jake Evans, So. (37-9, PAC Champion, 4th at Regionals)

Top Incoming Wrestlers:
Kenneth Burrs, North Hagerstown, Md. (197, two-time Maryland state qualifier, third at the 3A/4A MPSSAA state championships)
Ben Norman, Girard, Ohio (197, two-time Ohio state qualifier, 42-13 as a senior)
Adam Rigney, Mount Union, Pa. (184-197, Pennsylvania state qualifier, two-time regional qualifier, went 17-0 in matches determined by fall as a senior)
James Zeremenko, Canonsburg, Pa. (174-184, three-time WPIAL AAA qualifier, section runner-up)
David Dimun, Butler, Pa. (165-184)
Dan Verhovsek, Johnstown, Pa. (149-157, regional qualifier)
Will VanNorman, Wind Ridge, Pa. (285, regional qualifier)

Season Outlook:

With all 10 starters returning from last year’s team, Waynesburg University is looking to reclaim the Presidents’ Athletic Conference title. That task was made all the more difficult this past off-season, with Thomas More becoming the fourth member school that sponsors wrestling.

The Yellow Jackets will be led by its three returning PAC champions: senior Filippo Crivelli (141-149), senior Ryan Shank (184) and sophomore Jake Evans (285). Evans seemingly came out of nowhere to be arguably Waynesburg’s top performer in his first year with the team. He ended his season one win shy of qualifying for nationals out of what was a tough 285-pound weight class at the Mideast Regionals.

Juniors Tristan Buxton (125), Zach Swarrow (133), Derek Hull (157) and Landon Lohr (165) all improved noticeably as sophomores last winter and will all be looking for their first conference crowns. Current sophomores Nick Kusich (149-157) and Mike Millero (174) all made immediate impacts as freshmen.

The highlight of this year’s recruiting class is a fruitful effort to fill out depth charts at 174-197 pounds. First-year grapplers James Zeremenko, Adam Rigney, Ben Norman and Kenneth Burrs are all expected to battle for mat time and starting jobs at the upper weights.

Waynesburg looks to peak in the spring semester after it is expected to add as many as three team members from the Yellow Jacket football team, as well as some other fresh faces.

The Jackets open the 2016-17 campaign with their annual Orange/Black wrestle-offs on Saturday, Nov. 5.