BEREA, OHIO -- The Baldwin-Wallace College wrestling team was picked to finish fifth by the Ohio Athletic Conference wrestling coaches in both the OAC Dual Meet and Championship polls.
In the Dual Match poll, B-W and Wilmington College tied for fifth with seven points each. In the OAC Championship Tournament poll, B-W was ranked fifth with eight points. The University of Mount Union topped each poll.
"We embrace the ranking that we were given and based on our finish last season and I think the poll positions are fair," said first-year Head Coach Jamie Gibbs. "But, as we always say, it's not where you start. It's where you finish. We will look to get better each and every day, working harder than our competition to have the best season possible."
Last year, the Yellow Jackets finished the 2010-2011 season with a 10-9 overall record, third in the OAC with a 4-2 dual match mark and a fourth place showing at the 25th Annual John Summa Memorial Tournament in Berea. In addition and highlighting that season was defeating OAC and Cleveland cross-town rival John Carroll University for the second straight season and besting six-time defending OAC-champion Heidelberg University.
But much has changed since the end of last season.
Enter Gibbs, who begins his first season at the helm with a goal of taking the Yellow Jackets to the top of the OAC and Division III.
"Both B-W and the OAC have a rich and strong tradition in wrestling," said Gibbs. "We begin our first season looking to improve every day. We will work hard, recruit solid students who are interested in B-W and its rigorous academic programs and want to dedicate and commit themselves to building a championship program. We look forward to the challenges ahead."
Returning to lead this year's team are five lettermen, senior 125-pounder Jeremy Dombrady (Copley), sophomore 133-pounder Andrew Taylor (Columbus/ Worthington Kilbourne), senior 141-pounder Grant Steward (Columbus/ Worthington Kilbourne), junior 165-pounder Joe Georgian (Eastlake/ Villa Angela St. Joseph) and senior 197 Ryan Tudor (Patsakala/ Watkins Memorial).
A year ago, Dombrady had a 21-17 record with five pins and tied for the team lead with 24 near falls. Taylor split time between the 133, 141 and 149-pound weight classes and had a 20-17 mark as a freshman with six pins and was among the leaders in takedowns. Steward had his best season yet and was 18-21 overall with three pins. Georgian split time between 184 and 197 pounds and fashioned a 19-13 mark with three pins. Tudor was the backup at 285 pounds and was 6-10 overall.
The Yellow Jackets open the season on Friday, November 11 when they host cross-town and nonleague rival Case Western Reserve at 7:30 p.m. in the Rudolph Ursprung Gymnasium inside the Lou Higgins Center in Berea. It is one of four home meets this season, including the 26th Annual Summa Tournament on Saturday, February 4, 2012. The 2012 OAC Championship Tournament is on February 25 at Heidelberg University in Tiffin.
FOR MORE B-W Sports Information, please contact Sports Information Director Kevin Ruple by telephone at 440-826-2327 and e-mail at email@example.com. or Assistant SID Jeff Miller by phone at 440-826-2780 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org Fans can access the latest B-W athletics information at www.bw.edu/athletics and we invite you to join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bwyellowjackets and Twitter at http://twitter.com/bwathletics.