By Chas Dorman
As the 2012-13 wrestling season draws near, head coach Rob Eiter has added seven wrestlers to his program as the Penn Quakers look to regain top standing in both the Ivy League and EIWA.
Last March, Penn saw its 62nd EIWA champion crowned in graduated senior Bryan Ortenzio at 133 pounds. Ortenzio was joined in the finals by Micah Burak, who reached the championship bout at 197 pounds for the third consecutive season. He was once again edged in the final by Cornell’s Cam Simaz – the eventual national champion – but Burak built on his performance at the conference meet to reach the big podium at the NCAA Championships, finishing in seventh place and becoming Penn’s 26th NCAA All-American.
Burak will be joined by a stable of wrestlers boasting impressive prep records who are primed to carry on the tradition of Penn Wrestling. The seven wrestlers hail from six different states – wrestling hotbeds such as Pennsylvania, Iowa, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and California – and feature six true freshmen and one transfer from Binghamton. Four of the seven have claimed high school state championships – earning top spot in state tournaments in Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia. In addition, the group has returned from Beast of the East, Super 32, Powerade and The Clash with titles and high finishes to go with All-American honors in both freestyle and Greco Roman at Fargo and FILA Cadet and Junior tournaments.
“We travelled the country to put together a recruiting class that will build on the successes we have had these past few years,” head coach Rob Eiter said. “We pride ourselves on developing a roster of great wrestlers who are also great students. Each of the seven men set to join us excels in both areas and we are excited to watch them develop over the next four years.”
Meet the Penn Wrestling Class of 2016
Ray Bethea – 157/165
Trenton, N.J./Trenton Central
High School: Four-year letterwinner and three-time captain … 2012 New Jersey state champion at 152 pounds – the first in the history of Trenton Central … Finished senior season with a 37-0 record, graduating with a 132-11 career record … 2011 New Jersey sixth-place finisher … Four-time county and district champion … 2012 NJSIAA Region 7 champion … Three-time Neptune Classic champion (2010-12) … National Honor Society member.
Personal: Son of Gloria and Alexander Bethea … One of seven Bethea brothers who grew up wrestlers … Older brother, Canaan, is a junior at Penn and competes at 174/184 … Older brother, Jaaziah, is a senior at George Mason University … Older brother, Erin, wrestled at Penn and graduated in 2005 … Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Eric DeVos – 133/141
Okoboji, Iowa/Waverly-Shell Rock
High School: Four-year letterwinner … Team captain his senior season … 2010 Iowa state champion at 119 pounds … 2012 Iowa state runner-up at 126 pounds … 2011 Iowa state third-place finisher at 119 pounds … 2009 Iowa state runner-up at 112 pounds … Two-time Minnesota state champion at 103 pounds (2007-08) … Graduated with a career high school record of 270-17, ranking inside the Top Ten all-time among Iowa high school wrestlers … Two-time Fargo All-American, finishing third at 112 pounds (Cadet) and eighth at 119 pounds (Junior) … Twice named All-Tournament at the Clash … Fifth place at 2010 Super 32 at 119 … Honor Roll student all four years.
Personal: Son of Heather Miller and Jason DeVos … Enrolled in the College of Arts and Science.
Eric Friedman – 125
Baltimore, Md./St. Paul’s
High School: Four-year letterwinner … Served as team captain … Four-time Maryland state champion finishing his career with a state title at 126 pounds … Graduated with a career record of 187-30 … Four-time placewinner at National Preps … Finished second at National Preps in 2009, third in 2011 in fourth in both 2010 and 2012 … Twice named conference’s Most Outstanding Wrestler (2009, 2012) … Second place finisher at 2008 FILA Cadet Nationals in freestyle … Fifth at 2010 FILA Cadet Nationals … Sixth place at National Junior freestyle in 2010 … Seventh place (2008) and Fifth place (2009) finishes at National Cadet freestyle ,,, National Spanish Honor Society member … National Society of High School Scholars member … Cum Laude Society member … Editor in Chief of St. Paul’s literary magazine.
Personal: Son of Donna and Gary Friedman … Enrolled in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Casey Kent – 165
Norristown, Pa./La Salle College H.S.
High School: Four-time letterwinner … Served as team captain … Four-time Pennsylvania State Tournament qualifier … Finished third at PIAA states twice (2010 – 152 pounds; 2012 – 152 pounds) … 2012 PIAA Southeast Regional champion … Second at the Powerade Tournament … Fourth at Beast of the East … Four-time Philadelphia Public/Catholic League champion … Fargo runner-up in Greco Roman … Named PA Wrestling Coaches All-Academic three times.
Personal: Son of Gina and David Kent … Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Brooks Martino – 149/157
Haymarket, Va./Robinson Secondary
High School: Four-time letterwinner … Twice served as team captain … Graduated with a career record of 160-28 … Two-time Virginia AAA state champion … Three-time Northern Region champion … Three-time district champion … Twice placed at the Beast of the East … Finished seventh at Ironman … Mount Mat Madness champion … Twice named Washington Post first-team All-Met … Dave Schultz Award winner for Virginia from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame … National Honors Society and National Science Honor Society member.
Personal: Son of Kim and Chris Martino … Older brother, Beau, is a member of the wrestling team at Brown … Older brother, Gregg, wrestled at New York University … Enrolled in the College of Arts and Science as a chemistry major.
Adam Morris – 165/174
Mechanicsburg, Pa./Wyoming Seminary
2011-12 (At Binghamton): Did not compete, serving redshirt season … CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award recipient … Named to Binghamton’s AD Honor Roll.
High School: Four-year letterwinner … Twice served as team captain … Prep Nationals All-American while at Wyoming Seminary, finishing fifth … Placed second and third at PIAA state championships … Twice sectional placewinner at Mechanicsburg High School … Graduated high school with a 134-37 career record … High Honor Roll student.
Personal: Son of Carol and Mark Morris … Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
A.J. Murabito – 141
High School: Served as team captain … Three-time SCVAL team champions (2010-12) … 2012 California state qualifier … 2011 SCVAL junior state champions … 2012 Bay Area All-Star … Honor Roll student.
Personal: Son of Kathleen and Alfred Murabito … Enrolled in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.