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Waynesburg 2017 Preview


Team: Waynesburg University
Head Coach: Ron Headlee
Years at School as Head Coach: 9
Career Record at Current School: 96-67-1
Assistant Coaches: Gennaro Bonavetura (Assistant Coach), Colton Shorts (Graduate Assistant), John Yates (Volunteer Assistant)

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2016-2017 Dual Meet Record: 11-14

2017 NCAA Qualifiers: Shaun Wilson (8th, 149), Ryan Shank (184), Jacob Evans (7th, 285)

Returning NCAA Qualifiers: Jacob Evans

Top Returning Starters:
125 – Tristan Buxton, Sr.; Going into third year as a starter … Returning PAC Champion … PAC Wrestler of the Week … 87-26 collegiate record.
157 – Landon Lohr, Sr.; Going into third year as a starter
165 – Dan Verhovsek, So.; Going into second year as a starter … Returning PAC runner-up … PAC Rookie of the Week … Member of Waynesburg football team
174 – Derek Hull, Sr.; Going into third year as a starter
197 – Kenneth Burrs, So.; Returning PAC Champion … Placed fourth at NCAA Division III Mideast Regional, coming one win shy of qualifying for nationals
285 – Jake Evans, Jr.; Two-time PAC Champion … 2017 PAC Outstanding Wrestler … NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Champion … Placed 7th at NCAA Division III National Championships … Set program record for wins in a season in 2016-17 (49-5) … 30-1 in matches decided by pin

Top Incoming Wrestlers:
Caleb Baxter (165/174); Butler, Pa. / Butler H.S.
2016 Section Champion
Three-time WPIAL qualifier
2017 PIAA AAA state qualifier
Back-to-back 30-plus win seasons.
20-0 in matches determined by pin in the last three seasons.

R.J. Hall (157); Washington, Pa. / Chartiers-Houston H.S.
Two-time section runner-up
Four-time WPIAL qualifier
2017 WPIAL champion
Two-time PIAA Class AA SW regional qualifier
2017 PIAA AA state qualifier
37-7 as a senior

Josh Kuslock (133/141); Hickory, Pa. / Chartiers-Houston H.S.
Two-time section champion
2017 WPIAL runner-up
Three-time PIAA AA SW regional qualifier
2017 PIAA AA state qualifier

Mike Mahon (174-184); Pittsburgh, Pa. / Fox Chapel H.S.
2017 section champion; Finished top four in the section all four years
Four-time WPIAL qualifier
Two-time PIAA AAA state qualifier
117-48 high school record

Tony Mastrangelo (133); Canonsburg , Pa. / Canon-McMillan H.S.
Twice finished in the top four of the section
Two-time WPIAL qualifier

Sean McGing (133); Bronx, N.Y. / Mt. St. Michael H.S.
Placed third at Dave Ironman Invitational
Accomplished Greco-Roman wrestler

Colin Funkhouser (184); McKees Rocks, Pa. / Montour H.S.
Section runner-up
Three-time WPIAL qualifier”

Season Outlook:
With six returning starters back from 2016-17 and a large, talented recruiting class to add depth and fill a major need at 133 pounds, the Waynesburg University wrestling team is preparing to defend its Presidents’ Athletic Conference title.

A pair of Yellow Jacket starters, senior Tristan Buxton (125) and junior Jake Evans (285) have their sites set on reaching 100 victories this winter, with Buxton already boasting 87 collegiate wins and Evans notching 86 in just two seasons. Seniors Landon Lohr and Derek Hull provide valuable starting experience in the middle weights, while sophomores Dan Verhovsek and Kenneth Burrs look to build at successful freshman campaigns at 165 and 197 pounds, respectively.

As previously alluded to, 133 pounds was problematic for the Jackets, who, because of multiple circumstances, was left vacant for the entire second semester. Veteran head coach Ron Headlee and his staff addressed the hole in the lineup by bringing in multiple newcomers who will be competing for the job.

Speaking of rookies, there are 13 new Jackets on the preseason roster. Included in that baker’s dozen are four PIAA qualifiers. Waynesburg is also excited to welcome back former starters D.J. Grindle (141-149) and Mike Millero (174-184), who missed all of last year with injuries.

After holding its annual Orange/Black Wrestle-offs, Waynesburg gets the 2017-18 season rolling on Wednesday, Nov. 8, with a dual match against Division II opponent Shippensburg.