TIFFIN— With a 46 man roster and four returning starters, head coach Tony Patrizi and the rest of the team have set high expectations for the season both on and off the mat. The team goal on the mat is to win a regional team title. Off the mat the team works hard to have a combined GPA of a 3.0.
With a full recruiting cycle under his belt, Patrizi is enthusiastic about the 15 new student-athletes and how they will mesh with the returners.
"We are very pleased with all the men we've brought in...they are a very talented freshmen class," said Patrizi. "They've worked very hard to compete in practices."
The preseason workouts culminated in last Saturday's wrestle-offs. Out of that, Patrizi has announced starters for the first varsity dual against Indiana Tech.
- 125: Tyler Price
- 133: Brandon Conrad
- 141: Justin Kihn
- 149: Damon Cheek
- 157: Amier Cobb-Bradley
- 165: Aaron Banko
- 174: Tyler Hammack
- 184: Patrick Brown
- 197: Rickey Bruce
- 285: Kyle Jenkin
Senior Tyler Price, a returning starter at 125, finished last season with an overall winning record of 16-15 and an OAC record of 2-3.
Captain Justin Kihn will be returning at the 141 weight class. Kihn finished last season with a 20-12 overall record and was 4-1 in the OAC, earning second team All-OAC honors.
Senior, Damon Cheek will be returning at 149 for the third year in a row. Cheek finished with an overall record of 25-11 and went 1-3 in the OAC; he was named NWCA Scholar All-American.
Taking over at 184 will be Pat Brown, a sophomore who had an overall record of 11-7 (6-1 at 184) and recorded a 2-0 OAC record. Brown will look for continued success following in Richard Dowdley's footsteps.
Returning at 197 is Rickey Bruce. The sophomore finished the season with an 11-16 record and went 1-1 in the OAC.
"We've had some pretty intense practices so far," said Patrizi. "We want to wrestle hard the entire season. We'll be wrestling a lot this season, so whether they're first team or third team the guys are going to get a lot of opportunities to compete."
The Heidelberg wrestling team will start their season at home on Nov. 7 against Indiana Tech and Henry Ford. Starting at 6 p.m. the second and third string teams will wrestle side-by-side, giving 30 student-athletes the opportunity to wrestle. The varsity dual is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. under the spotlight in Seiberling Gymnasium.
PRESEASON OAC DUAL MEET POLL: Heidelberg was selected to finish 3rd in the Ohio Athletic Conference in the preseason coaches poll. For the complete OAC release, click here.