SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Plymouth State University had four wrestlers earn All-New England honors on Sunday and the Panthers finished in ninth place as a team at the New England Wrestling Association's 32nd Annual Championships, hosted by Western New England College.
Sophomore 157-pounder Mike Willey (Tewksbury, Mass.) and freshman 165-pounder Seth Carter (Hudson, N.H./Alvirne) each captured fourth place in their respective weight class to earn All-New England accolades. Sophomore 125-pounder Josh Huber (Hampton, N.H./Winnacunnet) and senior 133-pounder Freddie Wilkinson (Quogue, N.Y./Riverhead) each finished in sixth place in their weight class to also receive the final All-New England spots.
Wilkinson becomes a three-time All-New England selection after placing fifth and sixth at 125 pounds in 2007 and 2008, respectively, and Willey becomes a two-time All-New England honoree after placing fifth at 157 last year.
Williams College successfully defended its team title, scoring 128.5 points while producing just one individual champion. Springfield (100.5), Johnson & Wales (95) and Wesleyan (95) were the top contenders but could not knock off the defending champion and pre-meet favorite. PSU accumulated 42.5 points to finish ninth, trailing eighth-place Roger Williams (46) and just ahead of WNEC (41).
Willey (near right) received a first-round bye and won his first bout on Saturday, but was defeated in overtime in his next match, 3-2. Willey earned a backdraw victory but his title run ended with a loss to Carl Breitenstein of Williams. Willey completes the season with an 18-8 mark and a 41-17 career record.
Carter (far right) also received a first-round bye in the competition and recorded a victory in his first match. He went to overtime in his next bout but was defeated by Wesleyan's Josh Berkovic. Carter defeated a Coast Guard wrestler in the back draw but ended up in fourth place after a loss to Bridgewater State's Ethan Raymond. Carter wraps up a solid freshman campaign with a 21-12 record.
Huber (far left), the top seed at 125, won his first two bouts of the tournament but was upset in his next two to fall out of contention for a title. The Panther sophomore completes the season with a 27-6 record, which improved his career mark to 39-10.
Wilkinson (near left), who wrestled most of his career at 125 pounds, was defeated in the opening round at 133, but rebounded with a pair of backdraw victories to remain alive. He was eliminated with consecutive losses on Sunday, finishing the season with a 21-12 record and completing a successful career with a 73-52 mark.
Prior to Sunday's night's championship round, PSU head coach Tommy Prairie was introduced as one of the newest members of the NEWA Hall of Fame members. Prairie is a former three-time First Team All-American wrestler at Williams College.
Plymouth State completed the dual meet season with a 9-9-1 record, and the ninth-place finish was two spots better than last year's 11th place.
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