BEREA, OHIO -- The Baldwin-Wallace College wrestling team opens its 2011-12 season with a new head coach who has expectations of building the Yellow Jacket program into one of the best in NCAA Division III.
The Yellow Jackets open the season tonight, Friday, November 11 against non-league and cross-town rival Case Western Reserve University in the Rudolph Ursprung Gymnasium of the Lou Higgins Center in Berea at 7:30 p.m. CWRU also is under the direction of a new coach.
First-year Head Coach Jamie Gibbs comes to the College after experiencing success at the University of North Carolina Pembroke for the past five seasons. While at UNC-Pembrooke, he rebuilt the wrestling program into one of the most respected in Division II. His goal is to do the same at B-W.
"I am honored to be the first full-time wrestling coach at Baldwin-Wallace College and am excited for the opportunity to continue the tradition and success that was established by coaches Summa [the legendary John Summa] and Fleming [previous coach Rich Fleming who coached the team for the past 23 years]," said Gibbs. "I am looking forward to building an Ohio Athletic Conference champion and national power in Berea."
Returning to lead this year's team are five lettermen in senior 125/ 133-pounder Jeremy Dombrady (Copley), sophomore 133-pounder Andrew Taylor (Columbus/ Worthington Kilbourne), senior 141-pounder Grant Steward (Columbus/ Worthington KIlbourne), junior 184-pounder Joe Georgian (Eastlake/ Villa Angela-St. Joseph) and senior 197-pounder 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.
Coach Gibbs will look to the youth of the team, with seven freshmen and two sophomores all making their debuts on the mat this season.
"We have a relatively young team and we will look to our upperclassmen for leadership and guidance," said Gibbs. "Our young men know that this will not be a sprint. We will work hard every day and improve as the season progresses. So far, I am pleased with the work-ethic and progress."
According to Gibbs, the B-W starting line up versus CWRU will be Dombrady at 133, Taylor at 141, freshman Sam McIntosh (South Euclid/Brush) at 149, freshman Eric Gase (Tiffin/ Calvert) at 157 pounds and freshman Alexander Cahill (Westlake) at 165, freshman Sam Recinos (Mount Pleasant, S.C./Wando) at 174, freshman Tyler Blaine (Worthington/ Kilbourne) at 184 and Tudor at 197 pounds.
Other grapplers who hope to make a contribution in 2011-12 include freshman 133/141-pounder Dylan Matz (Erie, Pa./ McDowell), freshman 125/133-pounder Anthony McKnight (Winlock, Wash./ Winlock) and current football players and 285-pounders Ryland Parnell (Akron/ Archbishop Hoban) and sophomore Addison Carbone (Hudson).
"In addition to our goal of personal and team improvement every day, we want to work as a team to grow the program and expound the virtues of the College and its great athletics traditions," said Gibbs. "We want young men to a part of something very special."
Following its match versus CWRU, the Yellow Jackets are idle until Saturday, Nov. 19 when they travel to Ashland University to compete in the 17th Annual Harris Open. The 26th Annual John Summa Memorial Tournament will take place on Saturday, February 4 in Berea and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. or Assistant SID Jeff Miller by phone at 440-826-2780 and email at email@example.com 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 athttp://twitter.com/bwathletics