It was another successful Saturday for the wrestling team at the Fall Brawl Tournament hosted by Ursinus College.
Ten wrestlers placed in the top three spots for their own weight classes. Graduate student Dan DiColo, senior Justin Bonitatis, sophomore Jim Somma, and freshman Brian Broderick won four matches to take the title in their weight classes. Bonitatis met fellow Lion and senior Al Wonesh in the finals while Somma wrestled freshman Anthony Damico.
“I love wrestling (Bonitatis),” Wonesh said. “Every time it’s always a close, tough match. We learn a lot from each other, and the competitiveness pushes us to unimaginable levels. We train so hard together, so we look forward to tearing through tournaments and beating each other up in the finals.”
Bonitatis is already 5-0 on the season. After suffering from an injury inbetween seasons, Bonitatis has showed full signs of recovery.
The same can be said for Wonesh, who had a case of mono during preseason training. He chose not to wrestle last season in order to be eligible during his fifth and final year of school next season. But that hasn’t derailed his focus in the slightest. Wonesh became an all-american in track and field this year, setting a school record in 400-meter hurdles.
Sophomore Dan Herr and junior Ed Broderick joined Wonesh and Damico at second place in their weight classes, winning three out of their four matches for the day. And after falling into the consolation brackets for their weight classes, juniors Mike Denver and Adam Koziol pressed forward to take third place. Koziol, who wrestled last year as a heavyweight, is quickly taking strides in the 197-pound weight class. Last week he pinned Norwich’s Michael Monica and this week has improved his record to 3-2.
“Tournaments are much different in my mind,” Koziol said. “There’s a lot less pressure on the individual matches compared to a dual meet. Everybody isn’t focused on you.”
But the wrestling team has been the source of a lot of pressure early this season. After their 600th win, which was also head coach David Icenhower’s 500th win, along with their impressive showing at Ursinus, the Lions now have to tackle back-to-back home meets this Wednesday and Thursday.
“Doing well at Fall Brawl is what’s going to carry us through these upcoming meets,” Koziol said. “Everyone finally got a chance to wrestle hard matches against new guys. We’ve been wrestling with each other for so long and now its time to compete with other teams.”
Wonesh added, “It was an amazing feeling being able to finally compete against other schools after a year and a half off the mat. As soon as I step foot into the locker room I feel the energy radiating from the team. I hope the school can come out and watch us do what we do best.”
The Lions take on Hunter College at 3 p.m. on Wednesday and New York University at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Both matches will take place in Packer Hall.