Seniors Brian Dempsey and Keith Bjorhus celebrated their last regular season match as the Lions beat Wilkes University by the score of 27-10 on senior night, Feb. 8, at Packer Hall.
The seventh-ranked Lions finished the season with a record of 14-2 in dual meets with the win over the 30th-ranked Colonels.
“I think this season has been a real up-and-down season,” Bjorhus said. “We’ve had a bunch of different guys in the lineup. Whoever we have in, we have confidence in everyone in the team.”
“The team wrestled well all year, but definitely improved from the beginning to the end,” junior Joey Galante said. “We improved by becoming more mature and wrestling smarter.”
Dempsey came back from a 4-1 deficit to force overtime and scored a takedown to win his final home match. The senior rallied past Wilkes freshman Felipe Quieroz by the score of 6-4 at 125 pounds, giving the College a 3-0 lead. Dempsey closes the season with a 27-4 record and a career mark of 105-36.
Sophomore Ray Sarinelli added to the Lions’ lead at 133 with a 15-2 major decision over Colonels freshman Shaun Farnham.
Wilkes got on the scoreboard as sophomore Adam Penberthy defeated Lions freshman Chris Prihoda by the score 10-4 at 141.
The Lions posted four straight victories to seal the victory against the Colonels. Sophomores Lenny Goduto at 165 and Jeff Harrington at 174, and freshman John Biango at 149 posted victories in their respective weight classes to put the College ahead.
Ranked first in his weight class, Galante added to the lead as the Lions junior earned a 5-2 decision against freshman Justin Barowski at 157 pounds. Galante finishes the regular season with a record of 24-3.
Wilkes cut the lead to 22-10, as senior Rex Harris and junior Brandon Kelly posted two straight victories. Harris posted a 6-3 victory over Lions freshman Greg Osgoodby at 184 pounds to earn his 29th victory of the season. Kelly scored a 13-1 major decision over sophomore Brett Jankos at 197.
Bjorhus won his final home match as he defeated junior Keith Altiery at 285 pounds, scoring an 18-3 technical fall win in 4:46. Bjorhus is now 17-1 for the season and 87-26 for his career.
The action continues Feb. 18 when the team heads to York College for the Metropolitan Conference Championships. Going into the championship, the Lions feel that they have a good chance of repeating last year’s championship win.
“I think we definitely have the strongest team. I think last year we had five champions,” Bjorhus said. “We plan to have some of the same success this year as we had last year.”
“We should win the team title and take all 10 guys to nationals,” Galante said. “If we wrestle the way we are capable of, then there is no reason that all of our guys should not get through and go on to nationals.”