Oct. 31, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford wrestling team has high expectations for the upcoming 2012-13 season. With 19 underclassmen on a roster of 27, the Cardinal is a young squad looking to make noise at the Pac-12 Tournament and qualify individuals for the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Under the guidance of fifth-year head coach Jason Borrelli, Stanford will challenge national contenders and continue to produce some of the top wrestlers in the nation this season.
Last year, Stanford was 8-8 in dual competition and finished third at the Pac-12 Championships in Boise, Idaho, its highest finish since the 2007-08 campaign. The Cardinal produced two Pac-12 champions in Ryan Mango (125 pounds) and Nick Amuchastegui(174 pounds) and sent the pair to the NCAA Championships in St. Louis, Mo. The Cardinal duo placed 16th overall at the championships, marking the third highest finish in school history. Amuchastegui was the runner-up for the second straight season and became just the second three-time All-American in school history. Mango took fifth place and is one of just five Cardinal wrestlers to capture multiple All-America accolades.
"I am really excited for the upcoming season," said Borrelli. "We have some older guys who have been in the lineup now for a few years along with a mix of young guys who will be new. My expectations for them are to qualify half of the lineup to the national tournament, matching the most in school history, and to finish in the Top 20 for the third straight year."
With the loss of Amuchastegui to graduation and Mango using his redshirt season in 2012-13, the Cardinal will have to depend on some of its other veterans for leadership this season. Along with Mango, at the top of that list are senior Timmy Boone and junior Bret Baumbach, who placed second at the Pac-12 Championships last season at 149 and 165 pounds, respectively.
"We have some guys that are leading by example and some that are more vocal leaders," explained Borrelli. "I would say Timmy Boone
is a vocal leader, but he is also the hardest worker, so he leads by example too. Ryan Mango
can be vocal, he does things the right way and he's proven so guys respect him. Bret Baumbach
is also in that group. The three of them are probably the most vocal on the team."
In addition to Baumbach, Boone and Mango, four other 2012 Pac-12 placewinners return for Stanford - sophomore 141-pounder Alex Manley, junior 157-pounder Garrett Schaner, junior 197-pounder Alan Yen and junior heavyweight Dan Scherer. Leading the way last season was Scherer, who tallied a 20-11 overall record and an 11-4 mark in duals while competing at heavyweight for the first time in his career. Schaner was 13-10 overall and 7-5, while Yen finished 7-7 in duals for the Cardinal.
Stanford also boasts a talented recruiting class of 11 freshmen who will all compete for time in the lineup. Five of the 11 newcomers were state champions, including Peter Galli (Maryland), Matt Garelli (Illinois), Josh Marchok (Illinois), Zach Nevills (California) and Peter Russo (Oregon). Additionally, the new faces on the Cardinal roster include Ryan Davies (Clovis, Calif.), Colton Dempsey (Greenwich, Conn.), Maxwell Hvolbek (West Hills, Calif.), Thomas Kimbrell (Kettering, Ohio), Dylan Morris (San Anselmo, Calif.) and Jim Wilson(Lodi, Calif.).
"If we are going to be a national contender we have to have our young guys step up," said Borrelli. "I'm excited for all of the young guys who are going to be in the lineup because it is their opportunity to become the future faces of the program."
The coaching staff, which includes assistants Ray Blake, Alex Tirapelle and volunteer assistant Brandon Precin, will be challenged to lead the team through one of the toughest schedules in recent memory. The Cardinal will wrestle in 22 duals and compete in some of the nation's most competitive collegiate tournaments. The dual schedule includes 15 opposing teams ranked in the preseason Top 50 of the InterMat Poll. The home opener on Nov. 9 will welcome 11th-ranked Northwestern to The Farm, its first of three duals against Big Ten foes. The team will participate at the 2012 Pac-12 Championship in Tempe, Ariz., on March 2. A strong showing at the conference meet will qualify individuals for the NCAA Championships held in Des Moines, Iowa, from March 21-23, 2013.
"This year is without a doubt the toughest dual meet schedule we've had since I've been here," said Borrelli. "Overall, what I try to do with the dual meets is challenge our guys and prepare them for the end of the year. You want to keep them on edge all year so that they are constantly preparing for tough competition. That is what is going to pay off in March."
For some bonus exposure this season, Stanford's home dual against Central Michigan on Feb. 16 will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks for fans across the country. The conference tournament on March 2 will also be shown live by the Pac-12 Networks.
The following is a look at the 2012-13 Cardinal by weight class:
With two-time All-American Ryan Mango moving up a weight class and redshirting this season, redshirt freshman Evan Silveris primed to take over the starting spot at 125 pounds. He is coming off a first-place finish at the University Nationals last spring at 55 kg in the Freestyle category. He also finished seventh at the Final Junior Nationals. He wrestled unattached last season, compiling a 9-8 record with four falls. He was a four-time Maryland state champion at Blaire Academy, where he was the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the nation at 112 pounds coming out of high school.
True freshman Peter Russo will likely compete for the Cardinal at 133 pounds. A native of Newberg, Ore., Russo was a two-time state champion and holds the Newberg High School record for career falls (106). Sophomore Alex Manley, who wrestled at 141 pounds for Stanford last season, will challenge for a spot in the starting lineup. Manley placed sixth at last year's Pac-12 Championships. True freshman Matt Garelli, a native of Elmhurst, Ill., will add depth to the weight.
Sophomore Josh Lauderdale has dropped down a weight class this year and will be Stanford's starter at 141 pounds. He finished 3-12 a year ago, competing at 149 and 157 pounds. Pushing Lauderdale for time will be Matt Garelli and Maxwell Hvolbek. Garelli is a two-time state champion out of Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Ill. Hvolbek, a native of West Hills, Calif., was a member of the Blair Academy (NJ) squad which took home two national titles.
Senior Timmy Boone will begin the 2012-13 season as the starter at 149 pounds. He was the runner-up at the Pac-12 Championships last season and contributed 21 dual points to the team. Junior Donovan Halpin will also vie for time at 149 pounds and freshman Colton Dempseywill add depth to the weight class. Halpin has experience at the collegiate level, while Dempsey is a two-time prep All-American.
Garrett Schaner will likely open the season as Stanford's starter at 157 pounds. He placed third at the Pac-12 Championships last season and finished the year with a 13-10 overall record and 26 dual points. Another veteran, junior Kyle Meyer, will also push for time in the lineup. True freshmen Peter Galli and Jim Wilsonwill add depth to the weight class. Meyer, Galli and Wilson could all compete at 165 pounds for the Cardinal as well.
Junior Bret Baumbach will begin the year as the Cardinal starter at 165 pounds. He was the runner-up at the Pac-12 Championships last season, compiling an 11-10 overall record and 19 dual points. Junior Kyle Meyer and freshmen Peter Galli and Jim Wilsoncould all see time at 157 or 165 pounds during the season.
The loss of senior Nick Amuchastegui leaves a gaping whole in the Cardinal lineup at 174 pounds. It will be filled by a true freshman with Thomas Kimbrell, Ryan Davies and Dylan Morris all competing for the spot. Kimbrell is out of Kettering Fairmont High School where he holds the record for career wins (145) and takedowns (446). Davies, a native of Clovis, Calif., was a part of the state championship Clovis High School team, where he finished fourth at the state tournament in 2012. Morris hails from Redwood High School in Larkspur, Calif., where he was a four-year letterwinner and finished seventh at the state tournament as a senior. Freshman Zach Nevills, another Clovis High School product, will also compete for time in the lineup.
Junior Alan Yen will drop down a weight class and start for the Cardinal at 184 pounds. Yen has gained experience over the last two season, capturing fourth place at the Pac-12 Championships last year. Adding depth to the weight are freshman Zach Nevills and redshirt freshman Mark Phillips. Nevills was a state champion as a senior and a part of two team state titles at Clovis High School.
Redshirt freshman Michael Sojkawill get the nod at 197 pounds to open the season. Sojka competed at the Fila Junior Nationals last spring, taking home a third-place finish at 96 kg in the Greco-Roman category. He was a two-time state champion out of Winnebago High School in Winnebago, Ill.
Junior Dan Scherer will open the year as Stanford's heavyweight. He was 20-11 overall last season (11-4 in duals) and placed third at the Pac-12 Championships. Scherer will be challenged by sophomore Brendan Ter Wee and redshirt freshman Dahlton Brown. True freshman Josh Marchok will add depth to the weight for the Cardinal. Marchok was a two-time Illinois state champion out of Schaumburg, Ill., where he was a five-time All-American and three-time all-state honoree.