The 2018-2019 Case Western Reserve University wrestling team has high expectations as the squad enters its fourth season under Head Coach Danny Song.
In Song's first three seasons, he has produced three All-UAA wrestlers and a UAA Rookie of the Year. In 2017-18, eight members of the squad received UAA All-Academic recognition based on their cumulative grade point average.
In addition, the Spartans capped of their 2017-18 campaign by having former Spartan Nate Lewis, senior Gavin Dersh-Fisher, junior Alec Hoover and junior Andrew Hoover named as National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Division III Scholar All-Americans. The squad as a whole was also recognized with the NWCA Scholar Team Award with the nation's eighth-best grade point average.
Song's 2018-19 roster will include nine returnees and 13 newcomers for a total of 22 wrestlers.
"We have a lot of depth," said Song. "This is the largest roster in the program's history, which allows our competition in the training room to roll over into actual competition."
Headlining a group of nine returnees is junior 141-pounder Andrew Hoover who paced the Spartans during the year with 29 wins, followed by senior 197-pounder Gavin Dersh-Fisher who recorded 21 wins. Junior 133-pounder Alec Hoover was also a bright spot for the Spartans, as he totaled 21 wins, including a team-high 10 pins and one technical fall.
McNamara won 16 matches in the 285-pound weight class, including seven pins. Collier and Frisch tallied 11 and eight wins last season, respectively. Gallagher and Kent each return for their second year in the program, while Chimenti returns to the mat this season after sitting out the 2017-18 campaign.
"With nine returners, we are positioned to have a solid foundation," said Song. "Look for Alec Hoover, Andrew Hoover and Dersh-Fisher to pick up where they left off last season. McNamara, who earned UAA Freshman of the Year honors in 2017, is also ready to finish his career on a high note, while Frisch and Collier return to the lineup after season ending injuries last year."
In addition to the nine returnees, Song welcomes 13 newcomers to the program, including freshmen Brandon Barton, Brandon Callow, Trevor Chippas, Jack Chipps, Duncan Clayton, Manhattan Gatton, Patrick Hebreard, Adam Kates, Milan Kinzy, Cade Lueker, Aidan McCooey, Kyle Roberts and Grant Robinson.
The Spartans will open intercollegiate competition on Sunday, November 11th as they host the 2018 Ohio Intercollegiate Open. From there, CWRU will head to Berea, Ohio for the BW Invite on Saturday, November 17th, before wrapping up the fall semester with an invitational meet at the Rochester Institute of Technology on Saturday, December 1st.
"Looking ahead at the Ohio Open, our home-opener will be a high caliber event as over 250 wrestlers are scheduled to compete," said Song. "We will have wrestlers competing from Divisions I, II and III, which will serve to be a great test for our athletes early in the season."
CWRU will resume its season at the Waynesburg Invite in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania on January 5th, before returning to Horsburgh Gymnasium for a tri-meet against Lourdes University and Thiel College on Wednesday, January 9th at 6:00 p.m. The Spartans will then hit the road two meets, before returning to Cleveland to host the Si Ostrach Meet on Saturday, January 19th, where the team will face Waynesburg, Washington & Jefferson and Trine. CWRU closes out the month of January with the Pete Willson Invitational hosted Wheaton College.
In February, the squad will host Defiance and KSU-Tuscawaras on Saturday, February 2nd. The tri-meet will also serve as senior day for the Spartans. CWRU faces John Carroll University in Aurora, Ohio on Wednesday, February 6th, before preparing to host the University Athletic Association Championships on Saturday, February 9th. From there, the Spartans will compete at the NCAA Central Regional in Crawfordsville, Indiana for the right to participate in the NCAA Championships. Any qualifying wrestlers will advance to the NCAA Championships at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, Virginia on March 8th-9th.