After two road victories this past weekend, the College’s wrestling team has shown poise against yet another ranked opponent. The 18th-ranked Lions took on the 28th-ranked Spartans of the hosting York College on Saturday and narrowly bested them 18-17.
This victory was one of several strong performances for the Lions against the nation’s elite as they are now 5-1 against ranked opponents on the season. This 10th win for the College marks their 23rd double-digit win total in school history.
Winners for the Lions in this hard-fought battle included senior Bill Tenpenny at 141 pounds (9-2), co-captain junior Tyler Branham at 149 pounds (9-3), junior co-captain Dan DiColo at 157 pounds (10-4) and sophomore Justin Bonitatis at 165 pounds (fall, 2:50).
“I was happy with our team’s and my personal performances at the York matches,” Tenpenny said. “There’s always room for improvement, but I think we wrestled pretty tough overall.”
The final winner, which sealed the match for the College, was a 9-3 victory by sophomore Ed Broderick.
Since their loss against University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on Jan. 10th, a fire has been lit underneath the College’s grapplers as they have won each of their last three matches.
Commenting on this surge, Bonitatis said, “At the end of the match we lost on the final score, but accomplished some good things in every individual match.”
Along with their strong showing against York, the Lions also faced off against Elizabethtown and won decisively, downing the Blue Jays 25-15. Taking seven of nine matches, the College had several players go 2-0 on the day, winning against both York and Elizabethtown. These double winners included Tenpenny, DiColo, Bonatatis and Broderick. Other Lions who wrestled for a win were senior co-captain Greg Osgoodby at 174 pounds (13-3), sophomore John Barnett at 149 pounds (8-2) and freshman Scott Kelley at 184 (3-2).
The Lions will try to capitalize at home as they host Centenary College on Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. in Packer Hall.
Discussing the team’s status going into this dual meet, Bonatatis said, “As a team we are in great shape, due to the work ethic that our coaches demand from us. We are capable of being a top 5 team in the country and that is the goal we are after.”