Even without two national champions from the previous season, the wrestling team is hungry for more success in the 2012-13 season.
Bolstered by the NCAA championships won by Seth Ecker ’12 and graduate student Jeremy Stierly last spring, the Blue and Gold know they can contend on the national stage. Though the efforts of those two former wrestlers helped lead the Bombers to a 14–2 dual meet record and a fifth-place finish at the national tournament, an experienced class remains on the South Hill.
The Bombers return three wrestlers who are currently ranked in the top 10 in Division III. Sophomore Alex Gomez, who won 16 matches in his first season, is ranked 6th nationally in the 133-pound weight class. Senior Derek Brenon is 4th on the list in the 157-pound weight class and senior Jules Doliscar has the Bombers’ highest national ranking — 3rd in the nation at 174 pounds.
Doliscar collected an overall record of 33–2 in his first year as a Bomber. The senior is no stranger to expectations — he was the top-ranked national wrestler for 174 pounds during the regular season before the Division III National Championships. Doliscar said it was frustrating to lose in the NCAA’s after being ranked first all season.
“I still have another year to be the best and prove why I deserve to be there,” Doliscar said. “It was a great experience being on that stage, and if I get there again, I’ll definitely know what to expect.”
With a group of veterans setting their sights on returning to the national championships, Head Coach Marty Nichols said his top performers took notice of how Ecker and Stierly trained last season and have stepped into the leadership roles of the team.
“The [wrestling team] has gotten together and been working real hard in the weight room and in the other things they need to do to get ready,” Nichols said.
The Blue and Gold have added five freshman wrestlers who were all two-time place winners in their respective states. The team will need freshman Dan Glinko, to fill a void left in the upper weights in the 184-pound weight class. Junior Shane Bartrum, who is returning from season-ending ACL surgery, will also help with the upper weights at 197 pounds.
Nichols said Bartrum has taken all the precautions in his recovery and brings back valuable experience to the South Hill squad this season.
“He’s done everything he was supposed to do, and he looks real comfortable out there and ready to get back into the ring again,” Nichols said.
The depth of the squad will also play to the Bombers’ advantage this season. Nichols said the team’s seven dual meets and six competitions on the schedule are helpful because they allow him to put as many wrestlers in competition as possible.
“We want to get these other guys some match experience during the season and get some rest for our top guys,” he said.
Glinko, a two-time New Jersey place winner in high school, said he was excited to join a program that will give him a chance to compete but ultimately work toward the goal of getting to the national stage in the coming years.
“When you have guys who you see just won a national championship, it gives you something to look up to and hope to get to that stage one day,” Glinko said. “I want to go out there and learn from the upperclassmen who have been through the program the past few years.”