Wilkes Wrestling prepares to take regionals by surprise


Courtesy of Josh Evans

After a long and tough season, Wilkes Wrestling overcame several injuries to achieve a team record of 20-5.

Wilkes Wrestling heads to the Regional Tournament in York, Pa., and the team is prepared for a series of wrestlers to potentially place in the top-three, which would allow them to wrestle next week at the National Tournament in La Crosse, WI.

Wilkes enters the tournament ranked as No. 24 in the nation. There will be as many as nineteen teams competing in the tournament. There are a handful of teams that are also ranked as well. Three teams are tied at No. 28, and those teams are Baldwin-Wallace, Oswego and RIT. No. 14 Brockport, No. 12 Lycoming and No. 2 Messiah will also be present at the tournament.

Courtesy of Josh Evans
Coaches Jamie Miller, Mitch Marcks, and Jon Laudenslager coach together at the match versus The College of New Jersey in the Marts Center.

Both Guesseppe Rea and Matthew Grossman are ranked No. 2 in their respective brackets. Rea received All-American status two years ago when he placed sixth in the 2015 NCAA National Tournament. Rea is in his fifth year after he took a red-shirt year off the program last year. Grossman returns to the Regional Tournament after not entering it last year. In his first year, Grossman took the 133-pound National Title and was the eleventh wrestler in the history of the program to claim the title.

“I think our team has the potential to accomplish great things this weekend. I think we have the capability of sending a lot of wrestlers to Nationals and I look forward to seeing what we can do. For having a very young team, we were only the fourth ever Wilkes team to win 20 matches in a year, which is something for all of us to be proud of,” said Grossman.

The Regional line-up for the Colonels starts with Guesseppe Rea at 125-pounds, Pankil Chander at 133, Matthew Grossman at 141, Kyle Medrow at 149, Nick Racanelli at 157, Michael Paskas at 165, Justin Morel at 174, Jacob Brook at 184, Jordan Nochimson at 197 and John Austin at 285.

Courtesy of Josh Evans
Wilkes Wrestling entered the Regional Tournament with a 20-5 record.

Five players have recorded more than 25 wins this season, and two have surpassed 30 wins. Some other stand-out players from the team include Chander, Medrow, Racanelli and Paskas. Racanelli was the lone wrestler last year to participate in the National Tournament.

“I’m very prepared for the Regional Tournament. I feel as if my coaches and teammates have pushed one another to be in the best shape possible for this tournament and we are going to shock a lot of people with how well we perform. As the only national qualifier from last year, I look forward to getting another shot at the podium, and I just hope this time I get to travel with my boys,” said Racanelli.

Consult www.gowilkesu.com to see how the Wilkes Wrestling team performed at the Regional Tournament. Next week, Wilkes Wrestlers will have an opportunity to wrestle on the national stage.