W&J Wrestling Receives Preseason Accolades
WASHINGTON, Pa. – With just over one week until the start of the regular season, the Washington & Jefferson College wrestling team received a few preseason accolades courtesy of the Division III National Wrestling Coaches Association.
Team wise, the Presidents pulled in a preseason national ranking of 14th. Wartburg College claimed the top spot on the list of 32 ranked teams.
Additionally, two Presidents were placed among the NWCA Division III Individual Rankings. Senior Josh Etzel (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) received a second-place ranking in the 157 weight class, and sophomore Jacob Spearman (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster) earned the No. 7 spot in the 125 weight class.
Last fall, Etzel compiled a 37-7 record with four falls, and wrestled his way to a sixth-place finish in the 157-pound bracket at the NCAA Division III Championships. Etzel became W&J’s first All-American since 2002. He enters his senior year with a 68-13 career record.
Spearman racked up a 28-7 record and also obtained four falls. Competing in the 125-pound bracket at the DIII Championships, Spearman became the first W&J freshman to win a match at the national championship under the tournament’s current format.
Etzel and Spearman were the first Presidents’ duo to compete at the NCAA Championships since 2003.
All three Presidents’ Athletic Conference teams are ranked in the preseason as Waynesburg is 12th, while Thiel is tied for 29th.
Washington & Jefferson begins the 2013-14 regular season next Saturday (Nov. 2) when it takes part in the King’s Monarch Invitational.