Lions are kings of the wrestling jungle

Wrestling grinded out its annual victory over King’s College last Tuesday before earning second place at the New Standard Invitational in York, Pa., where three Lions won their weight classes and senior Dan Herr (No. 3 at 133 pounds) was named Most Outstanding Wrestler.

Herr won a pair of pins in the first two rounds and drew upon his experiences to take two tight bouts, including a dramatic 2-1 decision over No. 5 Nathaniel Giorgio in the final, for a tournament title he narrowly missed out on twice in the past two years.

Herr comes up big in his match. (Courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

“The difference in this tournament was experience and composure,” Herr said. “In a tight match, keeping yourself focused and on task is extremely important. Being named Outstanding Wrestler among the group of kids at the tournament is a huge honor. Last year, Mike Denver (eventual Division III champion for the Lions) won it and I aspire to follow in his footsteps.”

Senior John Darling (No. 4, 165) earned three wins by decision before an 8-0 major decision in the final and sealed his second consecutive title at the New Standard Invitational. Meanwhile, junior Brian Broderick (184) comfortably outscored his first three opponents 31-1 before pinning the other finalist in just 26 seconds.

Kevin Churchill (125) and PJ Schmidt (141) also placed to help the 21st-ranked Lions finish the day a handful of points behind No. 8 Ithaca and 15 above No. 20 York, Pa., a successful result that showed the team’s intense style of wrestling.

“Our team’s formula for success is simple — be mean, be focused and attack,” Herr said. “When you break your opponent’s will, the match is over.”

Earlier in the week, the Lions (2-0) stayed perfect in dual meet action by beating the slumping Monarchs of King’s College, who had been on a nine-game losing streak entering the match and have now lost the last seven meetings between the two teams by a combined score of 232-68.

A pair of successful bouts right off the bat gave the College a temporary 6-0 lead, as DiCarlo came away with a 16-11 decision and freshman Steven Churchill (133) doubled the advantage with his first competitive collegiate win.

The Monarchs quickly canceled out the College’s headway with decisions of their own in the 141-pound and 149-pound weight classes, but a rally by the Lions brought control back to the home team.

Mancella pinned his opponent at 1:18, Darling and junior Zach Zotollo (175) tacked on wins by decision, Broderick earned a technical fall and Dan Brill (197) continued his good form with a win by a major decision that relegated the Monarchs’ triumph at 285 pounds to being consolatory.

The Lions will next be training during the break to prepare for the more grueling spring schedule, where the NCAAs await.

“The plan for winter break hasn’t changed in the five years I have been here,” Herr said. “Train harder than everyone else in the country. Our goals have already been established and now it’s time to carry out the plan and really focus in. The men on the team who buy in and leave everything they have on the mat and in the wrestling room will be successful.”