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Found 10 results

  1. By STEVE KRAH stvkrh905@gmail.com Riley Lefever could win wrestling matches 1-0 or 2-0. But what’s the fun it that? On his way to a fourth national championship, the Wabash College senior was named NCAA Division III’s most dominant wrestler by averaging 5.79 points per match during the 2016-17. To punctuate his fourth crown, he scored a pin in the 197-pound finals to help the Little Giants place third in the team standings. Lefever left the meet in LaCrosse, Wis., with the National Wrestling Coaches Association Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Meet Award. “I like to push the pace,” Riley said. “Once you wear them down, it’s going to be easier to get to the legs. “That’s the way I approach wrestling, wear them down, push the pace and score a lot of points.” Riley often finishes in a decisive way. “He’s got a lot of horsepower,” Wabash head coach Brian Anderson said. “He’s big with cradles, bundling them up.” Lefever, who was an IHSAA state runner-up at 170 for Carroll High School (Fort Wayne) as a senior in 2013, became the first national championship in Wabash history as a freshman (Chris Healey placed second for the Little Giants in 2005) and went on to go 129-0 against D-III competition during his collegiate career while joining Augsburg's Marcus LeVesseur (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007) as the division’s only four-time champions. Overall, Riley was 158-6 (38-0 as a freshman, 37-3 as a sophomore, 44-0 as a junior, 39-3 as a senior). “His aggressive style and his approach to never stop scoring, it is exhausting to his opponents,” Anderson said. “He is a great example of wrestler who likes breaking people on the mat.” In putting away Ithaca College senior Carlos Toribio in 4:52, Lefever took his foe from his feet to his back — something he’s done countless times in drills and matches. After taking each of his first three titles — all at 184 — Lefever trained with a purpose during the summer and came back better for the intercollegiate season. Competing against grapplers in higher divisions, Riley won the Iowa State University/Harold Nichols Open and placed second at the Eastern Michigan University Open at the beginning of his senior season. For his last college go-round, Riley was bigger and was even tougher on his feet. “I talked to Coach Anderson and wanted to do what is best for the team,” Riley said. “I knew I got a little bigger. I saw it as just another challenge, facing bigger guys and wearing them down. “I want to move guys around, snap them to the mat and score.” As it had been at 184, getting those big guys off their feet was the focus. “Takedowns, that’s where most matches are won,” Riley said. So, he worked on singles, doubles, ankle picks and more. His lunch break was often coupled with watching video of the sport’s finest and how they execute moves. “The best wrestlers are moving all the time and finding those angles,” Riley said. “It’s fun wrestling to watch.” As a Little Giants assistant, Reece Lefever got to watch Riley make history from the corner of the mat. “It was pretty awesome,” Reece said. “Riley likes to have fun and get after it. Winning 1-point matches isn’t as fun as scoring a ton of points. That’s what the fans like to see, too. He put on a show for people.” Kent and Nancy Lefever’s sons earned eight All-American honors on the mat for Wabash — four for for Riley, three for Reece and one for Conner (twin to Reece). In 2015, all three brothers were in the D-III national finals with Riley (184) and Conner (174) winning and Reece (157) placing second. Reece was the first Little Giant to achieve All-American status three straight seasons. Conner, a volunteer assistant at Wabash, says it’s his little brother’s drive that takes him to the top of the podium. “He wants to get better,’ Conner said. “He’s not satisfied with just winning. He wants to dominate.” Reece and Conner sparred with Riley a couple times a week during his tournament run. A few years ago, there was a chance of taking little brother down once in awhile, “I could hang with him,” Conner said. “Since he went up and weight class and gotten so much better, it’s tough to keep up with him.” Conner has watched Riley consistently put it on opponents. “Riley likes to lift the guys and slam them down hard,” Conner said. “As a fan, it’s fun to watch the guys who can take anybody down at will. “He breaks them down mentally.” Anderson has watched the twins show the younger brother the way and seen him take the program to new heights. “(Conner and Reece) are perfect examples of how you need to live your life, stay on the tracks with your training and always do one more thing in pursuit of a national title,” Anderson said. “Conner attained it and Reece just missed it. “The whole Lefever family and guys on those teams, these are the groups that took it up a notch and believe they were good enough to challenge for national trophies.” The bar has been set higher in Crawfordsville and Conner knows where the credit lies. “Riley changed the whole atmosphere of Wabash wrestling,” Conner said. “Nobody believed anyone could win a championship. “That’s how we’ve been able to make that big improvement.” And to think his mat career almost ended before it really got started. “I played soccer and planned on playing soccer instead of wrestling, but I was practically dragged to practice by my brothers, teammates,” Riley said. “My parents made me go.” Riley, who placed sixth at the Carroll Sectional as a 125-pound freshman with an 11-18 record, counts his brothers as his biggest influence. “I get to train with them everyday,” Riley said. “They were studs when I was growing up. They pushed each other. “I still work on technique with them and they are the main reason I came to Wabash.” Riley wrestled with Conner and Reece for three years at Carroll. “Those are memories I’ll never forget,” Riley said. The brothers are also products of the Roadrunner Wrestling Club. Besides the Lefevers, college All-Americans from that Garrett-based organization are Travis Barroquillo (three times) and Matt Hurtford (twice). After thriving in the competitive atmosphere at Wabash, Riley intends to continue his mat career and Anderson will still be there to guide him. “My ultimate approach is that I will feed them as fast as they want to eat,” Anderson said. “You have different levels of committed athletes in your program. Riley is one of the most elite. He is hungry for opportunities. I’ve made sure he’s being challenged as much a humanly possible. That that will continue. I will work to help him.” Anderson sees a possible World University Games or U.S. Open appearance for Riley this summer and he could wind up at a Regional Training Center or the U.S. Olympic Training Center. “He definitely has the ability and the build where he can do it,” Reece said. “He can get pushed by guys his size and at his level.” In May, Academic All-American Riley is scheduled to graduate from Wabash as an English major and History minor. He is scheduled to marry longtime girlfriend Madison in August. When he hangs up his shoes, Riley said he plans to be a wrestling coach.
  2. By STEVE KRAH stvkrh905@gmail.com Riley Lefever could win wrestling matches 1-0 or 2-0. But what’s the fun it that? On his way to a fourth national championship, the Wabash College senior was named NCAA Division III’s most dominant wrestler by averaging 5.79 points per match during the 2016-17. To punctuate his fourth crown, he scored a pin in the 197-pound finals to help the Little Giants place third in the team standings. Lefever left the meet in LaCrosse, Wis., with the National Wrestling Coaches Association Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Meet Award. “I like to push the pace,” Riley said. “Once you wear them down, it’s going to be easier to get to the legs. “That’s the way I approach wrestling, wear them down, push the pace and score a lot of points.” Riley often finishes in a decisive way. “He’s got a lot of horsepower,” Wabash head coach Brian Anderson said. “He’s big with cradles, bundling them up.” Lefever, who was an IHSAA state runner-up at 170 for Carroll High School (Fort Wayne) as a senior in 2013, became the first national championship in Wabash history as a freshman (Chris Healey placed second for the Little Giants in 2005) and went on to go 129-0 against D-III competition during his collegiate career while joining Augsburg's Marcus LeVesseur (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007) as the division’s only four-time champions. Overall, Riley was 158-6 (38-0 as a freshman, 37-3 as a sophomore, 44-0 as a junior, 39-3 as a senior). “His aggressive style and his approach to never stop scoring, it is exhausting to his opponents,” Anderson said. “He is a great example of wrestler who likes breaking people on the mat.” In putting away Ithaca College senior Carlos Toribio in 4:52, Lefever took his foe from his feet to his back — something he’s done countless times in drills and matches. After taking each of his first three titles — all at 184 — Lefever trained with a purpose during the summer and came back better for the intercollegiate season. Competing against grapplers in higher divisions, Riley won the Iowa State University/Harold Nichols Open and placed second at the Eastern Michigan University Open at the beginning of his senior season. For his last college go-round, Riley was bigger and was even tougher on his feet. “I talked to Coach Anderson and wanted to do what is best for the team,” Riley said. “I knew I got a little bigger. I saw it as just another challenge, facing bigger guys and wearing them down. “I want to move guys around, snap them to the mat and score.” As it had been at 184, getting those big guys off their feet was the focus. “Takedowns, that’s where most matches are won,” Riley said. So, he worked on singles, doubles, ankle picks and more. His lunch break was often coupled with watching video of the sport’s finest and how they execute moves. “The best wrestlers are moving all the time and finding those angles,” Riley said. “It’s fun wrestling to watch.” As a Little Giants assistant, Reece Lefever got to watch Riley make history from the corner of the mat. “It was pretty awesome,” Reece said. “Riley likes to have fun and get after it. Winning 1-point matches isn’t as fun as scoring a ton of points. That’s what the fans like to see, too. He put on a show for people.” Kent and Nancy Lefever’s sons earned eight All-American honors on the mat for Wabash — four for for Riley, three for Reece and one for Conner (twin to Reece). In 2015, all three brothers were in the D-III national finals with Riley (184) and Conner (174) winning and Reece (157) placing second. Reece was the first Little Giant to achieve All-American status three straight seasons. Conner, a volunteer assistant at Wabash, says it’s his little brother’s drive that takes him to the top of the podium. “He wants to get better,’ Conner said. “He’s not satisfied with just winning. He wants to dominate.” Reece and Conner sparred with Riley a couple times a week during his tournament run. A few years ago, there was a chance of taking little brother down once in awhile, “I could hang with him,” Conner said. “Since he went up and weight class and gotten so much better, it’s tough to keep up with him.” Conner has watched Riley consistently put it on opponents. “Riley likes to lift the guys and slam them down hard,” Conner said. “As a fan, it’s fun to watch the guys who can take anybody down at will. “He breaks them down mentally.” Anderson has watched the twins show the younger brother the way and seen him take the program to new heights. “(Conner and Reece) are perfect examples of how you need to live your life, stay on the tracks with your training and always do one more thing in pursuit of a national title,” Anderson said. “Conner attained it and Reece just missed it. “The whole Lefever family and guys on those teams, these are the groups that took it up a notch and believe they were good enough to challenge for national trophies.” The bar has been set higher in Crawfordsville and Conner knows where the credit lies. “Riley changed the whole atmosphere of Wabash wrestling,” Conner said. “Nobody believed anyone could win a championship. “That’s how we’ve been able to make that big improvement.” And to think his mat career almost ended before it really got started. “I played soccer and planned on playing soccer instead of wrestling, but I was practically dragged to practice by my brothers, teammates,” Riley said. “My parents made me go.” Riley, who placed sixth at the Carroll Sectional as a 125-pound freshman with an 11-18 record, counts his brothers as his biggest influence. “I get to train with them everyday,” Riley said. “They were studs when I was growing up. They pushed each other. “I still work on technique with them and they are the main reason I came to Wabash.” Riley wrestled with Conner and Reece for three years at Carroll. “Those are memories I’ll never forget,” Riley said. The brothers are also products of the Roadrunner Wrestling Club. Besides the Lefevers, college All-Americans from that Garrett-based organization are Travis Barroquillo (three times) and Matt Hurtford (twice). After thriving in the competitive atmosphere at Wabash, Riley intends to continue his mat career and Anderson will still be there to guide him. “My ultimate approach is that I will feed them as fast as they want to eat,” Anderson said. “You have different levels of committed athletes in your program. Riley is one of the most elite. He is hungry for opportunities. I’ve made sure he’s being challenged as much a humanly possible. That that will continue. I will work to help him.” Anderson sees a possible World University Games or U.S. Open appearance for Riley this summer and he could wind up at a Regional Training Center or the U.S. Olympic Training Center. “He definitely has the ability and the build where he can do it,” Reece said. “He can get pushed by guys his size and at his level.” In May, Academic All-American Riley is scheduled to graduate from Wabash as an English major and History minor. He is scheduled to marry longtime girlfriend Madison in August. When he hangs up his shoes, Riley said he plans to be a wrestling coach. Click here to view the article
  3. Brought to you by EI Sports By JEREMY HINES jerhines@cinergymetro.net To say Wabash College’s wrestling program is like a family might be an understatement. Wabash has five wrestlers who have qualified for this weekend’s Division III Nationals, three of which are brothers. The Little Giant’s are hoping those brothers can catapult the team to their best ever finish in the National Championship. “Last year we finished ninth as a team, which was our best finish ever,” Wabash assistant coach Danny Irwin said. “Without a doubt we feel like we should do much better this year, just based on our seeds. All five guys are capable of getting on top of the podium.” Wabash is led by the Lefever brothers, who wrestled for Fort Wayne Carroll in high school. Twins Reece and Conner are seniors. Reece is the No. 2 seed at 157 pounds. Conner is the top seed at 174 pounds and younger brother Riley, a sophomore, is a returning champion who is the No. 1 seed at 184 pounds. Wabash freshman Devin Broukal and junior Ethan Farmer, both from Bloomington South High School, have also qualified for Nationals, but are unseeded. Riley won Nationals last season. Wrestling didn’t always come easy to the youngest Lefever brother, however. In high school he finished his freshman season with a dismal 11-18 record. He improved by his sophomore year, finishing 26-15. As a junior things really started to click. Riley was 38-3 his junior year, wrestling at 160 pounds. In his senior season Riley finished 46-1 and was a state runner up. “I didn’t really start to enjoy wrestling until my freshman year,” Riley said. “That’s when I found my love for the sport. I started wrestling all year around with my brothers. Because of that, I really started to improve pretty quickly.” The Lefevers are each others’ biggest supporters, but they are also highly competitive with one another – especially Conner and Reece. “With Riley being the little, big brother (he’s younger, but physically bigger) he doesn’t get into it as much as Reece and Conner do,” Irwin said. “I think those two would just assume kill each other then let the other guy win. We have to break them up all the time for the good of the team." “But as much as they fight, I don’t think anyone could be as supportive to each other as they are.” Conner admits that Riley is the toughest of the three right now, mainly because of his size. “Riley would beat the crap out of us,” he said. “He throws us around like rag dolls. We have had a lot of time to throw him around like that, until he got in college. We don’t like it, but it is what it is.” All three brothers credit their parents, Kent and Nancy, for pushing them to get better in the sport. “I know the way we were raised has had a big impact on how we wrestle,” Reece said. “My parents sent us to camps. They were always willing to spend the time and money it took to get us to tournaments and camps. They always made sure they gave us every opportunity in wrestling.” Even now, Kent and Nancy do not miss any matches. They travel all across the country to see their three boys compete. All three are hoping to take home a National Championship. They know that if they do, Wabash will place higher than it ever has before. “They all three can win,” Irwin said. “And hopefully get us some bonus points in the mix. If they do that, that will put us in contention for a National title.” Wabash finished the season with a 12-2 mark and was fourth at the National Duals. “We all love this school,” Reece said. “The team camaraderie is very good. We are all close friends and we all want our team to succeed. We are definitely a family at Wabash.”
  4. Brought to you by EI Sports By JEREMY HINES jerhines@cinergymetro.net To say Wabash College’s wrestling program is like a family might be an understatement. Wabash has five wrestlers who have qualified for this weekend’s Division III Nationals, three of which are brothers. The Little Giant’s are hoping those brothers can catapult the team to their best ever finish in the National Championship. “Last year we finished ninth as a team, which was our best finish ever,” Wabash assistant coach Danny Irwin said. “Without a doubt we feel like we should do much better this year, just based on our seeds. All five guys are capable of getting on top of the podium.” Wabash is led by the Lefever brothers, who wrestled for Fort Wayne Carroll in high school. Twins Reece and Conner are seniors. Reece is the No. 2 seed at 157 pounds. Conner is the top seed at 174 pounds and younger brother Riley, a sophomore, is a returning champion who is the No. 1 seed at 184 pounds. Wabash freshman Devin Broukal and junior Ethan Farmer, both from Bloomington South High School, have also qualified for Nationals, but are unseeded. Riley won Nationals last season. Wrestling didn’t always come easy to the youngest Lefever brother, however. In high school he finished his freshman season with a dismal 11-18 record. He improved by his sophomore year, finishing 26-15. As a junior things really started to click. Riley was 38-3 his junior year, wrestling at 160 pounds. In his senior season Riley finished 46-1 and was a state runner up. “I didn’t really start to enjoy wrestling until my freshman year,” Riley said. “That’s when I found my love for the sport. I started wrestling all year around with my brothers. Because of that, I really started to improve pretty quickly.” The Lefevers are each others’ biggest supporters, but they are also highly competitive with one another – especially Conner and Reece. “With Riley being the little, big brother (he’s younger, but physically bigger) he doesn’t get into it as much as Reece and Conner do,” Irwin said. “I think those two would just assume kill each other then let the other guy win. We have to break them up all the time for the good of the team." “But as much as they fight, I don’t think anyone could be as supportive to each other as they are.” Conner admits that Riley is the toughest of the three right now, mainly because of his size. “Riley would beat the crap out of us,” he said. “He throws us around like rag dolls. We have had a lot of time to throw him around like that, until he got in college. We don’t like it, but it is what it is.” All three brothers credit their parents, Kent and Nancy, for pushing them to get better in the sport. “I know the way we were raised has had a big impact on how we wrestle,” Reece said. “My parents sent us to camps. They were always willing to spend the time and money it took to get us to tournaments and camps. They always made sure they gave us every opportunity in wrestling.” Even now, Kent and Nancy do not miss any matches. They travel all across the country to see their three boys compete. All three are hoping to take home a National Championship. They know that if they do, Wabash will place higher than it ever has before. “They all three can win,” Irwin said. “And hopefully get us some bonus points in the mix. If they do that, that will put us in contention for a National title.” Wabash finished the season with a 12-2 mark and was fourth at the National Duals. “We all love this school,” Reece said. “The team camaraderie is very good. We are all close friends and we all want our team to succeed. We are definitely a family at Wabash.” Click here to view the article
  5. By Brent Harris Wabash captured fourth place on the final day of the 2015 National Duals, while the remainder of the Little Giant team took second place at Saturday's Spartan Mat Classic. Wabash advanced to Saturday's showdown of nationally-ranked Division III teams in the semifinals and finals of the National Wrestling Coaches Association's showcase event at the Allen County War Memorial. The Little Giants, ranked third in the latest NWCA poll, lost to second-ranked Wartburg 34-9 in the semifinals. Fourth-ranked Concordia-Moorhead edged Wabash in the finals 21-19 to take third place. Wartburg went on to defeat number-one ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater 20-13 to claim its fourth consecutive Duals title and ninth championship overall. Wabash scored three decisions against Wartburg in Saturday's semifinals, with all three wins coming from the Lefever brothers. Reece Lefever, ranked fifth at 157 pounds by the NWCA, fought to a 4-3 victory over fourth-ranked Drew Wagenhoffer in their second meeting of the season. Wagenhoffer scored a 9-6 win earlier this season against Lefever at the Concordia Open. "It's nice to avenge my only loss to another Division III competitor from earlier in the season," Lefever said. "Defeating Wagenhoffer shows I'm improving and doing the right things every day." Twin brother Conner Lefever, ranked second at 174 pounds, scored an equally impressive win with a 7-6 decision against fifth-ranked Brandon Welter. Younger brother Riley Lefever scored a 6-3 win against Devin Peterson at 184 pounds. The Little Giants battled back and forth against Concordia-Moorhead in the finals before the deciding final bout. The Cobbers opened with three consecutive wins before Nick Bova scored a pin at 2:31 of his 149-pound bout against Yonas Gebreab. Reece Lefever added four more team points to the score with an 11-1 major decision at 157 pounds versus Ben Cousins. Conner Lefever's 5-3 victory against Sebastian Gardner at 174 pounds put Wabash up a point at 13-12. Riley Lefever scored six points for the Little Giants when his opponent at 184 pounds, Dane Ringquist, was unable to continue their match due to an injury. However, the Cobbers scored nine points in the final two bouts to take the two-point victory and third place overall. "I always look forward to wrestling talented competition, and every team at the National Duals is tough," Riley Lefever said. "I don't necessarily know each and every opponent I wrestle or their ranking, but I step on the mat with the same mindset --- to beat my opponent physically and mentally in order to score as many points possible. Looking back, you can always learn things from any match, but you learn more when you wrestle tougher opponents." "While we would have preferred placing higher, we're happy to have improved from our fifth-place finish last year," Conner Lefever said. "All of the teams here are top-notch. We lost against two of the best teams in the nation. We look to get better so we can avenge these losses later in the season." Wabash head coach Brian Anderson echoed his senior wrestler's comments. "We learned quite a bit from last year's fifth-place finish and used that to perform better this year. While it's nice to know this year's team produced the highest finish in Wabash history at the National Duals, I know we are not satisfied with the overall result. "This was a big weekend for many reasons but most important was putting these guys in the toughest situation possible to know exactly where we are at as a team. We know our weaknesses and our strengths after the last two days of battle which we will use to keep building toward our goals in March as individuals and as a team. Several different individuals stepped up in each of the duals, however all three Lefevers showed why they will be contending for individual national titles at the end of the year." While several of the Wabash wrestlers competed at the National Duals in Fort Wayne, another portion of the Little Giant team wrestled at the Spartan Mat Classic at Manchester University. The Spartans won their home tournament with a total of 131 points, while Wabash took second with 87.5 points in the five-team event. Pat Parham won the 149-pound individual title with a 3-0 record, opening with a pin at 2:04 against Manchester's Ryan Gossett. Parham fought to a 2-1 victory against Luis Godines from Mount St. Joseph University in round two before defeating teammate Mack Neal in the final by a score of 8-3. Neal took second with a 12-2 major decision over Paul Mikesell from Manchester before his loss to Parham in the finals. Jeremy Chen scored a 12-0 major decision against Gossett in the finals to take fifth place. Christian Rodriguez won the 157-pound weight class with a 9-2 win over Alex Arney from Manchester before picking up a 5-4 victory over fellow Wabash wrestler Chance Brown in the finals. Brown advanced to the finals after scoring a 5-4 victory against teammate Jeff Mucha in the semifinals. Mucah took fifth place, scoring a pin a at 48 seconds in first match of the day against Joe Kammerer from Mount St. Joseph before adding a pin at 2:35 in the final versus Arney. Jacob Cottey won a round-robin matchup at 133 pounds with three victories. He scored an opening round 4-2 decision over Chase Wilson from Manchester, followed by a pin at 4:48 versus Brennen Storey of Manchester in round three. A final pin round five gave Cottey the first place finish. Robbie Carter posted a pair of wins in the weight class to finish fourth overall. He pinned Storey at 3:45 in the second round before handing Cottey his only loss by a score of 5-2 in round four. Mak Maldonado earned a third-place finish at 174 pounds, opening the tournament draw with a pin at 3:21 versus Taylor Ferrill from Manchester. After a two-point loss in the semifinals, Maldonado rallied for a 16-1 technical fall against Jack Knoll of Heidelberg before a forfeit by teammate Luke Davis provided the final victory. Davis advanced to the finals after a 9-5 win against Ferrill and an 8-6 decision over teammate Grant Gough in the consolation semifinals. Gough won his opening bout by a major decision of 13-2 against Knoll, then defeated him for a second time in the finals by a score of 7-0 to finish fifth. Corey Hawk added a third-place finish in the round robin 141-pound weight class after scoring an 18-1 technical fall in the opening round versus Clayton Capes from Manchester. Nolan Fenwick won 7-6 in the consolation semifinals at 197 pounds on the way to a fourth-place finish. The Little Giants return to action Saturday when Wabash will serve as host for the annual Max Servies Duals. Competition begins at 9 a.m. at Chadwick Court.
  6. By Brent Harris Wabash captured fourth place on the final day of the 2015 National Duals, while the remainder of the Little Giant team took second place at Saturday's Spartan Mat Classic. Wabash advanced to Saturday's showdown of nationally-ranked Division III teams in the semifinals and finals of the National Wrestling Coaches Association's showcase event at the Allen County War Memorial. The Little Giants, ranked third in the latest NWCA poll, lost to second-ranked Wartburg 34-9 in the semifinals. Fourth-ranked Concordia-Moorhead edged Wabash in the finals 21-19 to take third place. Wartburg went on to defeat number-one ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater 20-13 to claim its fourth consecutive Duals title and ninth championship overall. Wabash scored three decisions against Wartburg in Saturday's semifinals, with all three wins coming from the Lefever brothers. Reece Lefever, ranked fifth at 157 pounds by the NWCA, fought to a 4-3 victory over fourth-ranked Drew Wagenhoffer in their second meeting of the season. Wagenhoffer scored a 9-6 win earlier this season against Lefever at the Concordia Open. "It's nice to avenge my only loss to another Division III competitor from earlier in the season," Lefever said. "Defeating Wagenhoffer shows I'm improving and doing the right things every day." Twin brother Conner Lefever, ranked second at 174 pounds, scored an equally impressive win with a 7-6 decision against fifth-ranked Brandon Welter. Younger brother Riley Lefever scored a 6-3 win against Devin Peterson at 184 pounds. The Little Giants battled back and forth against Concordia-Moorhead in the finals before the deciding final bout. The Cobbers opened with three consecutive wins before Nick Bova scored a pin at 2:31 of his 149-pound bout against Yonas Gebreab. Reece Lefever added four more team points to the score with an 11-1 major decision at 157 pounds versus Ben Cousins. Conner Lefever's 5-3 victory against Sebastian Gardner at 174 pounds put Wabash up a point at 13-12. Riley Lefever scored six points for the Little Giants when his opponent at 184 pounds, Dane Ringquist, was unable to continue their match due to an injury. However, the Cobbers scored nine points in the final two bouts to take the two-point victory and third place overall. "I always look forward to wrestling talented competition, and every team at the National Duals is tough," Riley Lefever said. "I don't necessarily know each and every opponent I wrestle or their ranking, but I step on the mat with the same mindset --- to beat my opponent physically and mentally in order to score as many points possible. Looking back, you can always learn things from any match, but you learn more when you wrestle tougher opponents." "While we would have preferred placing higher, we're happy to have improved from our fifth-place finish last year," Conner Lefever said. "All of the teams here are top-notch. We lost against two of the best teams in the nation. We look to get better so we can avenge these losses later in the season." Wabash head coach Brian Anderson echoed his senior wrestler's comments. "We learned quite a bit from last year's fifth-place finish and used that to perform better this year. While it's nice to know this year's team produced the highest finish in Wabash history at the National Duals, I know we are not satisfied with the overall result. "This was a big weekend for many reasons but most important was putting these guys in the toughest situation possible to know exactly where we are at as a team. We know our weaknesses and our strengths after the last two days of battle which we will use to keep building toward our goals in March as individuals and as a team. Several different individuals stepped up in each of the duals, however all three Lefevers showed why they will be contending for individual national titles at the end of the year." While several of the Wabash wrestlers competed at the National Duals in Fort Wayne, another portion of the Little Giant team wrestled at the Spartan Mat Classic at Manchester University. The Spartans won their home tournament with a total of 131 points, while Wabash took second with 87.5 points in the five-team event. Pat Parham won the 149-pound individual title with a 3-0 record, opening with a pin at 2:04 against Manchester's Ryan Gossett. Parham fought to a 2-1 victory against Luis Godines from Mount St. Joseph University in round two before defeating teammate Mack Neal in the final by a score of 8-3. Neal took second with a 12-2 major decision over Paul Mikesell from Manchester before his loss to Parham in the finals. Jeremy Chen scored a 12-0 major decision against Gossett in the finals to take fifth place. Christian Rodriguez won the 157-pound weight class with a 9-2 win over Alex Arney from Manchester before picking up a 5-4 victory over fellow Wabash wrestler Chance Brown in the finals. Brown advanced to the finals after scoring a 5-4 victory against teammate Jeff Mucha in the semifinals. Mucah took fifth place, scoring a pin a at 48 seconds in first match of the day against Joe Kammerer from Mount St. Joseph before adding a pin at 2:35 in the final versus Arney. Jacob Cottey won a round-robin matchup at 133 pounds with three victories. He scored an opening round 4-2 decision over Chase Wilson from Manchester, followed by a pin at 4:48 versus Brennen Storey of Manchester in round three. A final pin round five gave Cottey the first place finish. Robbie Carter posted a pair of wins in the weight class to finish fourth overall. He pinned Storey at 3:45 in the second round before handing Cottey his only loss by a score of 5-2 in round four. Mak Maldonado earned a third-place finish at 174 pounds, opening the tournament draw with a pin at 3:21 versus Taylor Ferrill from Manchester. After a two-point loss in the semifinals, Maldonado rallied for a 16-1 technical fall against Jack Knoll of Heidelberg before a forfeit by teammate Luke Davis provided the final victory. Davis advanced to the finals after a 9-5 win against Ferrill and an 8-6 decision over teammate Grant Gough in the consolation semifinals. Gough won his opening bout by a major decision of 13-2 against Knoll, then defeated him for a second time in the finals by a score of 7-0 to finish fifth. Corey Hawk added a third-place finish in the round robin 141-pound weight class after scoring an 18-1 technical fall in the opening round versus Clayton Capes from Manchester. Nolan Fenwick won 7-6 in the consolation semifinals at 197 pounds on the way to a fourth-place finish. The Little Giants return to action Saturday when Wabash will serve as host for the annual Max Servies Duals. Competition begins at 9 a.m. at Chadwick Court. Click here to view the article
  7. There is nothing quite like a little homecoming especially when you are away at college. While the three Lefever brothers didn't get some of ole Nancy's home cooking or their laundry done they got to wrestle in front of a big crowd one last time in their home gym. Back where it all started all three had dominating wins with the twins(Reece at 157 and Conner at 174) both earning pins, while returning national champion Riley had a major decision. Those three wins helped the Little Giants cruise to a 33-7 victory over the visiting Olivet Comets. The night started out with former Perry Meridian Falcon Jacob Cottey taking the mat and losing a tough 7-2 match after getting the first takedown. At 133lbs, Chandler Moore had an impressive 11-5 decision in his first collegiate action. He narrowly missed the major giving up a late reversal. With the team score knotted at 3, Michael Venezia came away with a 9-1 major decision for Wabash’s first lead of the night. From there, another Perry product, Nick Bova squeaked out an 8-7 victory on riding time at 149lbs. At 157lbs, returning two-time All-American Reece Lefever had very little trouble disposing of his Comet opponent in just under two minutes. With Wabash up 16-3 the victories kept pouring on with Ethan Farmer tilling up an 11-3 victory at 165lbs. The 174lbs match was supposed to be one of the better ones of the night with two top 5 ranked wrestlers butting heads. However, Conner Lefever didn’t waste much time and disposed of Nicholas Allen in 1:33 to confirm his higher ranking and get a little edge on twin brother Reece. After an undefeated freshman season Riley Lefever took the mat looking to build upon his success. He garnered four first period takedowns en route to a 16-4 major decision. At 197lbs, Wabash’s Brett Thumm overcame a 6-2 first period deficit to win 11-9 on a late takedown and nearfall. Olivet’s Jesse Judge cruised to a 11-1 major decision at heavyweight to give Olivet their second win on the night. 125- Michael Schmidt (Olivet) over Jacob Cottey (Wabash 133- Chandler Moore (Wabash) over Matt Darling (Olivet) 141- Michael Venezia (Wabash) over Dominick Trevino (Olivet) 149- Nick Bova (Wabash) over Kyle Witgen (Olivet) 157- Reece Lefever (Wabash) over Ross Pennock (Olivet) 165- Ethan Farmer (Wabash) over Frederick Findeisen (Olivet) 174- Conner Lefever (Wabash) over Nicholas Allen (Olivet) 184- Riley Lefever (Wabash) over Justin Johnson (Olivet) 197- Brett Thumm (Wabash) over Thomas Hall (Olivet) 285- Jesse Judge (Olivet) over Conner Smith (Wabash)
  8. There is nothing quite like a little homecoming especially when you are away at college. While the three Lefever brothers didn't get some of ole Nancy's home cooking or their laundry done they got to wrestle in front of a big crowd one last time in their home gym. Back where it all started all three had dominating wins with the twins(Reece at 157 and Conner at 174) both earning pins, while returning national champion Riley had a major decision. Those three wins helped the Little Giants cruise to a 33-7 victory over the visiting Olivet Comets. The night started out with former Perry Meridian Falcon Jacob Cottey taking the mat and losing a tough 7-2 match after getting the first takedown. At 133lbs, Chandler Moore had an impressive 11-5 decision in his first collegiate action. He narrowly missed the major giving up a late reversal. With the team score knotted at 3, Michael Venezia came away with a 9-1 major decision for Wabash’s first lead of the night. From there, another Perry product, Nick Bova squeaked out an 8-7 victory on riding time at 149lbs. At 157lbs, returning two-time All-American Reece Lefever had very little trouble disposing of his Comet opponent in just under two minutes. With Wabash up 16-3 the victories kept pouring on with Ethan Farmer tilling up an 11-3 victory at 165lbs. The 174lbs match was supposed to be one of the better ones of the night with two top 5 ranked wrestlers butting heads. However, Conner Lefever didn’t waste much time and disposed of Nicholas Allen in 1:33 to confirm his higher ranking and get a little edge on twin brother Reece. After an undefeated freshman season Riley Lefever took the mat looking to build upon his success. He garnered four first period takedowns en route to a 16-4 major decision. At 197lbs, Wabash’s Brett Thumm overcame a 6-2 first period deficit to win 11-9 on a late takedown and nearfall. Olivet’s Jesse Judge cruised to a 11-1 major decision at heavyweight to give Olivet their second win on the night. 125- Michael Schmidt (Olivet) over Jacob Cottey (Wabash 133- Chandler Moore (Wabash) over Matt Darling (Olivet) 141- Michael Venezia (Wabash) over Dominick Trevino (Olivet) 149- Nick Bova (Wabash) over Kyle Witgen (Olivet) 157- Reece Lefever (Wabash) over Ross Pennock (Olivet) 165- Ethan Farmer (Wabash) over Frederick Findeisen (Olivet) 174- Conner Lefever (Wabash) over Nicholas Allen (Olivet) 184- Riley Lefever (Wabash) over Justin Johnson (Olivet) 197- Brett Thumm (Wabash) over Thomas Hall (Olivet) 285- Jesse Judge (Olivet) over Conner Smith (Wabash) Click here to view the article
  9. Wrestling | 11/5/2014 5:17:00 AM | Brent Harris Wabash is ranked third nationally in the 2014-15 preseason rankings released by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. While appreciative of earning a place in the top-three positions, this Little Giant team has only one spot that on their mind --- finishing as national champions. "I think the number-three ranking says we're doing the right things as a program," Wabash head coach Brian Andersonsaid. "Our expectation this year is to get a qualifier to nationals in all 10 weight classes. If we do that and compete the way I expect us to, we could bring a very special trophy back to this school. We need to stay focused on our efforts week in and week out by making progress individually. If we do that, everything else will take care of itself." Wabash received 28 total points in the preseason poll conducted the NWCA. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater was the top selection with 31 points. Messiah College earned 29 points for second. Delaware Valley College sits in fourth with 27 points, followed by Coe College in fifth with 21 points. The Little Giant wrestling team's social media efforts continue to be rewarded, as well. Wabash ranks 22nd in the first NWCA/Elite Level Sports Marketing Best of Brand Rankings. Last year Wabash sent six wrestlers to nationals, including four returning competitors who are listed in the top-10 individual rankings to open the season. Tommy Poynter is ranked ninth at 125 pounds to open the year. Conner Lefever is listed third at 174 pounds. Reece Lefever, who earned All-America honors for the second consecutive season with a fourth-place finish at 157 pounds, is ranked third in that weight class to open the season. Riley Lefever claimed the first national championship for a Wabash wrestler by winning the 184-pound weight class in his freshman season. He earned d3wrestle.com Freshman of the Year honors and is picked number one in the preseason rankings at 184 pounds. "Having four returning wrestlers who competed at nationals sets a great tone for our team," Anderson said. "The other wrestlers on our team realize qualifying for nationals is an attainable goal." Wabash finished ninth overall in the team scoring at last year's national championship meet. Reece Lefever knows this year's preseason ranking is more tribute than reality. "It's cool to be ranked third and receive that type of recognition for what we accomplished last year," Reece Lefever said. "But our goal this year is not to get third, it's to finish first. That's what we're training for this season. We know we wrestle against top-level competition every week. That will help us get ready for nationals this year, as well." Reece's twin brother, Conner, and younger brother, Riley, understand the tone the veteran members of the team need to provide to the team if the Little Giants are going to achieve their goal of ten qualifiers. "I'm trying to lead by example this year," Conner Lefever said. "I'm not the type of guy who talks a lot, but I want to work hard in practice and do the extra things that are necessary to qualify for nationals and earn a place on the podium as a national champion." "Our motto this year is 'One Vision'," Riley Lefever added. "The fact we're ranked third changes nothing. It's definitely a sign of respect for what we accomplished as a team last season, but this is a new season. The coaches have stressed having the veteran wrestlers work with the younger wrestlers to show them the level of effort it takes to earn that place at nationals." Poynter expects nothing to be easy this season as he charts a course to return to nationals and a chance to earn All-America honors and a national title in his senior season. "I need to keep working hard this year just like I did last year," he said. "I'm working to be a good student-athlete here at Wabash, represent the College and our team both academically and on the mat. I feel a tremendous responsibility. I am trying to do all the right things to show hard work and perseverance can help achieve those goals." The path back to nationals starts next Thursday when the Little Giants face Olivet College. The dual meet will take place at Carroll High School in Fort Wayne at 7 p.m. Prior to the official start of the season, the Little Giants will compete in the annual Red-White duals Friday night at 6:30 p.m.
  10. Wrestling | 11/5/2014 5:17:00 AM | Brent Harris Wabash is ranked third nationally in the 2014-15 preseason rankings released by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. While appreciative of earning a place in the top-three positions, this Little Giant team has only one spot that on their mind --- finishing as national champions. "I think the number-three ranking says we're doing the right things as a program," Wabash head coach Brian Andersonsaid. "Our expectation this year is to get a qualifier to nationals in all 10 weight classes. If we do that and compete the way I expect us to, we could bring a very special trophy back to this school. We need to stay focused on our efforts week in and week out by making progress individually. If we do that, everything else will take care of itself." Wabash received 28 total points in the preseason poll conducted the NWCA. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater was the top selection with 31 points. Messiah College earned 29 points for second. Delaware Valley College sits in fourth with 27 points, followed by Coe College in fifth with 21 points. The Little Giant wrestling team's social media efforts continue to be rewarded, as well. Wabash ranks 22nd in the first NWCA/Elite Level Sports Marketing Best of Brand Rankings. Last year Wabash sent six wrestlers to nationals, including four returning competitors who are listed in the top-10 individual rankings to open the season. Tommy Poynter is ranked ninth at 125 pounds to open the year. Conner Lefever is listed third at 174 pounds. Reece Lefever, who earned All-America honors for the second consecutive season with a fourth-place finish at 157 pounds, is ranked third in that weight class to open the season. Riley Lefever claimed the first national championship for a Wabash wrestler by winning the 184-pound weight class in his freshman season. He earned d3wrestle.com Freshman of the Year honors and is picked number one in the preseason rankings at 184 pounds. "Having four returning wrestlers who competed at nationals sets a great tone for our team," Anderson said. "The other wrestlers on our team realize qualifying for nationals is an attainable goal." Wabash finished ninth overall in the team scoring at last year's national championship meet. Reece Lefever knows this year's preseason ranking is more tribute than reality. "It's cool to be ranked third and receive that type of recognition for what we accomplished last year," Reece Lefever said. "But our goal this year is not to get third, it's to finish first. That's what we're training for this season. We know we wrestle against top-level competition every week. That will help us get ready for nationals this year, as well." Reece's twin brother, Conner, and younger brother, Riley, understand the tone the veteran members of the team need to provide to the team if the Little Giants are going to achieve their goal of ten qualifiers. "I'm trying to lead by example this year," Conner Lefever said. "I'm not the type of guy who talks a lot, but I want to work hard in practice and do the extra things that are necessary to qualify for nationals and earn a place on the podium as a national champion." "Our motto this year is 'One Vision'," Riley Lefever added. "The fact we're ranked third changes nothing. It's definitely a sign of respect for what we accomplished as a team last season, but this is a new season. The coaches have stressed having the veteran wrestlers work with the younger wrestlers to show them the level of effort it takes to earn that place at nationals." Poynter expects nothing to be easy this season as he charts a course to return to nationals and a chance to earn All-America honors and a national title in his senior season. "I need to keep working hard this year just like I did last year," he said. "I'm working to be a good student-athlete here at Wabash, represent the College and our team both academically and on the mat. I feel a tremendous responsibility. I am trying to do all the right things to show hard work and perseverance can help achieve those goals." The path back to nationals starts next Thursday when the Little Giants face Olivet College. The dual meet will take place at Carroll High School in Fort Wayne at 7 p.m. Prior to the official start of the season, the Little Giants will compete in the annual Red-White duals Friday night at 6:30 p.m. Click here to view the article
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