2012-13 Presidents' Wrestling Season Preview
The Washington & Jefferson wrestling team aims to return to the top of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference standings entering the 2012-13 season under second-year Head Coach Tommy Prairie.
The Presidents made positive strides during Prairie’s first season as they had two PAC champions crowned for the first time since 2010 and junior Josh Etzel (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) became first W&J wrestler since 2003 to compete at the NCAA Division III Championships.
Etzel leads a group of 13 returnees to the roster after claiming the 141-pound title at the NCAA Midwest Regional and posting a record of 24-5. Etzel, who recorded three falls and four victories by major decision, enters his junior campaign with 31 career victories. In addition to his excellence on the mat, Etzel was selected as a Scholar All-American by the National Wrestling Coaches Association as well as a CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District At-Large honoree.
A group of five seniors will provide W&J with veteran leadership. Chris Leva (Perrineville, N.J./Notre Dame) earned 12 of his 26 career victories last fall between the 141-, 149- and 157-pound weight classes, while Eric Kohr (Ellicott City, Md./River Hill) posted seven wins (two falls) at 184 pounds. Also returning are 2010 and 2011 PAC Champion Robbie Mies (Boonsboro, Md./Williamsport), Nick Sewell (New York, N.Y./Blair Academy) and James Vautier (West Mifflin, Pa./West Mifflin).
Mies has rejoined the team after not wrestling during the 2011-12 season and will look to win the 197-pound PAC title for the third time in his career. Mies is the 22nd wrestler in program history to own a pair of PAC titles and is just one fall shy of tying Ed Morasczyk ‘75 for sixth place in W&J history at 25. Mies led the team with 15 falls in 2010 and was second with 22 individual victories.
Sophomores Josh Tropp (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) and Theron Mitchell (Mount Joy, Pa./Lancaster Catholic) lead a solid group of underclassmen returning to the Presidents’ squad. Tropp accumulated 10 victories as a freshman at 133 pounds, while Mitchell produced eight victories during his rookie season.
Prairie has added a 15-member freshman class to his roster that includes a number of wrestlers that he expects to have an immediate impact. As many as 10 newcomers are expected to vie for a starting spot in the Presidents’ regular rotation.
W&J begins its season on November 3rd at the King’s Monarch Invitational in Wilkes Barre, Pa. The Presidents will host the seventh annual Washington & Jefferson Open a week later at the Henry Memorial Center.