CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University wrestling team hosts Williams College Friday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. in Glenbrook Gym in the final home match for the Spartans in 2017-18.
Before the match, team manager Kimberly Jackson and co-captain Jared Costa will be honored in a Senior Night presentation. According to Castleton head coach Scott Legacy, Jackson provided stability to the program through her efforts in coordinating road trips, videos, and home events as well as providing constructive suggestions for the team. In two seasons, Costa has posted a 49-15 overall record at Castleton while providing leadership and experience to the team right from the start, plus he excels academically, earning the NWCA Scholar All-American Award last year.
The Spartans, ranked eighth regionally by the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA), are 11-8 in dual matches after going 1-2 at the Castleton quad match last Saturday, defeating Plymouth State (44-8) but losing to Springfield (28-15) and Johnson & Wales (41-6). After the cancellation of Wednesday's match at Norwich, Castleton has one final chance to surpass last year's dual match win total, but the Spartans have guaranteed themselves a winning record in dual contests in just their second year of varsity competition.
A bright spot for Castleton last Saturday was the performance of Max Tempel, who won all three of his matches at 141 pounds to earn NEWA Wrestler of the Week honors. After two pins, Tempel, now ranked first at 141 pounds in the region by the NEWA, beat returning All-American and nationally ranked Joe Ferinde of Johnson & Wales in a 6-4 decision to improve to 40-10 overall this season.
Jesse Webb, ranked third in the region among heavyweights, is second on the Spartans in total victories with 32 against just six losses, earning two more wins last week. After pinning Derek Sardella of Plymouth State with 23 seconds remaining in the first period, Webb defeated Jonah Aurelio of Johnson & Wales, at the time ranked ninth nationally, in a 2-1 decision.
Three other Castleton wrestlers remain in the top six in the region in their respective weight classes. Cedrick Stephens is ranked fifth at 197 pounds with a 25-6 overall record, including a 14-3 mark in dual matches. Nick Camacho is ranked sixth at 133 pounds with a 26-14 overall record, and Costa is ranked sixth at 165 pounds with a 22-7 overall mark so far this season.
Williams, ranked 10th in the region by the NEWA, brings a 6-10 dual match record into Friday's contest, but the Ephs have lost five consecutive duals. Three Williams wresters are ranked regionally by the NEWA, led by Matt Morris at 125 pounds, currently ranked fourth with a 21-9 overall record.
Brendon Seyfried is ranked fourth at 149 pounds with a 17-6 overall record, but he did compete at 157 pounds in the Jan. 21 dual against Trinity. At 141 pounds, Joseph Rossetti is ranked sixth by the NEWA with a 14-7 overall record.
Last season in Williamstown, Mass., Williams took the early lead and then held on to defeat Castleton, 23-19. Costa earned a major decision victory at 165 pounds, while Nick Scott won the heavyweight bout with a 2-0 decision. The Ephs clinched the team victory thanks to a 7-3 decision win by Ben Morton at 133 pounds.
After Friday's match, members of the Castleton wrestling team will next compete in either the NEWA Futures Tournament at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I., Feb. 18, or in the NCAA Northeast Regionals at WPI Feb. 24-25.