Huber, Willey record top Panther performances
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Plymouth State University wrestling team finished in sixth place out of 18 schools Saturday at the 21st Annual Doug Parker Invitational Tournament, hosted by Springfield College. The Panthers were third among the 13 New England schools in the tournament.
SUNY Brockport won the team title with 102.5 points, with Centenary (N.J.) finishing runner-up with 96 and host Springfield in third overall and the top New England team with 87.5. Roger Williams (78.5) and SUNY Oswego (74) rounded out the top five, with PSU next with 72.5 points.
Junior Josh Huber (Hampton, N.H./Winnacunnet) led the way for the Panthers, winning the championship at 125 pounds and receiving the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler Award. Huber (right) went 5-0 in the tournament with one pin, defeating New England’s seventh-ranked wrester11-4 in a quarterfinal bout and winning the championship with a medical forfeit over SUNY Brockport sophomore Tyler Marlow, who is ranked sixth nationally at 125 pounds. Ranked No. 2 in New England, Huber is now 6-0 this season and 45-10 in his career.
Junior Mike Willey (Tewksbury, Mass.) also had a strong tournament for the Panthers in the 157-pound weight class. Willey (left) won his first three bouts before suffering a loss in the semifinal round, and then rebounded with a pin and a tough 2-1 decision in the wrestleback rounds to capture third place in the tournament at 157. Ranked No. 1 in New England, Willey finished 5-1 in the tournament and is 46-18 in his career.
Sophomore Femi Wheeler (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) captured five straight victories in the wrestlebacks at 141 pounds, after suffering a key first-round loss to Rhode Island College’s Mike Trasso, 9-6. Trasso and Wheeler and ranked third and fourth in New England at 141 pounds. Wheeler regrouped with the five consecutive wins, the last one by fall, before dropping his second match, to finish the tournament with a 5-2 record.
Juniors Rob Phillips (Brick, N.J.) and Chris Rideout (Londonderry, N.H.) were solid Panther contenders in the 184 pound weight class. Phillips posted a 4-2 record after winning his first bout and collecting three consecutive decisions in the back draw, and Rideout was 3-2 with a first-round victory and a pin and a decision in the wrestleback. Sophomore Seth Carter (Hudson, N.H./Alvirne) captured his first two matches before a loss, and won an additional bout in the wrestlebacks.
A total of 20 Panther wrestlers competed in the event. Five others won twice each and finished with 2-2 records – freshman Mike Trask (Merrimack, N.H.) at 133 pounds, freshman Joe Sargenti (South Windsor, Conn.) at 141, sophomore Cody Oliverio (Brick, N.J.) at 149, sophomore James Matlack (Hamilton, N.J.) at 157, and junior Jake Gagnon (Manchester, N.H./Memorial) in the heavyweight division.
The Panthers, who defeated Norwich in their only dual match to date, will host Rhode Island College at Foley Gymnasium on Wednesday, Dec. 1 (7:00 p.m.), one of only two home appearances this season.
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