Flames wrestlers sweep past JMU, Bridgewater, VMI
February 16, 2013 | Lynchburg, Va.
Competing in its first home meet of the year, Saturday afternoon at the new Schilling Center, Liberty University's wrestling team swept three of the same opponents it will be hosting on the same mats in the Mid-Atlantic Conference tournament on March 2.
The Flames (13-5) overwhelmed James Madison University 36-10 before defeating Bridgewater College 37-18 and flattening Virginia Military Institute 50-6, picking up six wins by forfeit against the Keydets (1-14).
"They were good teams, strong teams, but we were better conditioned," said Liberty assistant coach Scott Clymer, filling in for head coach Jesse Castro, who was on a recruiting trip to watch the Virginia Independent Schools state tournament near Richmond. "Our positioning and persistence were way stronger and it was a little too much for them to handle."
He said several wrestlers who hadn't been available in recent meets came through and competed well for the Flames, even in some losses.
"Trevor McGlynn got disqualified for being too aggressive," Clymer said of his 157-pound match against VMI's Spencer Buettner. "The ref threw them both out, but Trevor was just an animal."
At 165 pounds, Mark Busse, who placed at last year's NCWA Nationals, showcased technically superior moves in defeating the Dukes' Joe Miller, 9-2.
Then, at 174, Jonathan Perkins and Keyshaun Ward both exceled, with Perkins earning a 2-0 decision over JMU's Faith Ntiundi and needing just 42 seconds to pin VMI's Maxwell Cromier. Ward scored two major decisions — 9-1 over Bridgewater's Scott Fike before bumping up to 184 and recording a 10-1 triumph over VMI's Skyler Kepley.
Liberty 235-pound senior Andrew Wilson, last year's national runner-up at heavyweight, wrestled one of the best matches of the day, a third-period pin of Bridgewater's Aaron McMillion.
"Andrew Wilson looked great at 235," Clymer said. "He's kind of been our workhorse all year long. He's solid and doesn't make mistakes, and he's always going for more points. He has a hunger and a drive you kind of wish you could put into every one of our wrestlers."
Finally, at heavyweight, Josh Travers, a mid-semester transfer from California who has moved into Wilson's spot, came from behind with an escape and takedown to score a 6-4 win over Bridgewater's Daniel Siler before picking up his second forfeit win against VMI.
"He's been working out with Andrew Wilson a lot," Clymer said. "He's putting everything he has into it and the results are finally showing."
Clymer, the Flames' defending NCWA 141-pound national champion, believes Liberty will be ready to defend its MAC title and qualify as many individuals for nationals as possible in two weeks.
"The team's coming together at the right time of the year," he said. "We've got qualifiers coming up and they guys are just clicking, coming back from some injuries. The pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together at the perfect time."
Mid-Atlantic Conference teams expected at Liberty on March 2 are Apprentice School, last year's tournament runner-up, Bridgewater, Clemson, East Carolina, East Tennessee, JMU, Longwood, Middle Tennessee State, South Carolina, Southern Virginia, Tennessee Temple, Tennessee at Knoxville, VMI, and William & Mary.
The top five individuals in each weight class advance to the March 14-16 nationals in Allen, Texas. Last year, the Flames won the MAC tournament and sent 14 wrestlers to nationals in Daytona Beach, Fla., where they placed third as a team.
Liberty 36, JMU 10
125 — Jeremy Beale (L), by forfeit
133 — Josh Sanders (L), by forfeit
141 — Michael Linza (J) m.d. Carey Caprio, 14-3
149 — Peter Crawford (L) d. Will Hagz, 4-2
157 — Marcus Miller (L) d. Trey Gregory, 4-1
165 — Mark Busse (L) d. Joe Miller, 9-2
174 — Jonathan Perkins (L) d. Faith Ntiundi, 2-0
184 — Stefan Haas (J) d. Caleb Jackson, 5-2
197 — Austin Fallon (J) d. Jacob Hood, 13-7
235 — Andrew Wilson (L), by forfeit
285 — Josh Travers (L), by forfeit
Liberty 37, Bridgewater 18
125 — Beale (L) A.J. Dobzeniek, 8-5
133 — Double forfeit
141 — Travis Hearld (B) p. Caprio, 0:50
149 — Crawford (L) by forfeit
157 — Miller (L) by forfeit
165 — Darrick Gore (B) p. Justin Smith, 0:49
174 — Keyshaun Ward (L) m.d. Scott Fike, 9-1
184 — Josh Sturgill (L), by forfeit
197 — Ryan Rowe (B) p. Jacob Hood, 0:57
235 — Wilson (L) p. Aaron McMillion, 6:18
HWT — Travers (L) d. Daniel Siler, 6-4
Liberty University 50, VMI 6
125 — Beale (L), by forfeit
133 — Sanders (L) m.d. Charles Gray, 8-0
141 — Sanders, by forfeit
149 — Crawford (L), by forfeit
157 — Miller (L), by forfeit
165 — Spencer Buettner (V) d. Trevor McGlynn, 5-0
174 — Perkins (L) p. Maxwell Cromier, 0:42
184 — Ward (L) m.d. Skyler Kepley, 10-1
197 — Joseph Karey (V) d. Sturgill, 5-2
235 — Wilson (L), by forfeit
285 — Travers (L), by forfeit