Under the direction of Head Coach Daryl Arroyo, the Pride is seeking its sixth NEWA title in the past seven years, and is within range of doing so, although it will be a tall task. Six of the 10 Springfield wrestlers who began the meet are still competing. (Note that these championships were previously referred to as the New England College Conference Wrestling Association (NECCWA) championships.)
Johnson & Wales leads the team title after Day 1 with 86 points. Rhode Island College is second with 83, followed by Williams (70.5), Springfield (69.5), Bridgewater State (69), Roger Williams (68.5), Plymouth State (51), host Southen Maine (47), Wesleyan (33.5), Coast Guard (29.5), Norwich (28), WNEC (19.5), MIT (12.5), WPI (11), and Trinity (9).
Entering Day 2, two Springfield wrestlers are one of two wrestlers considered to be in the driver's seats of their respective weight classes. Still unbeaten entering the day are senior Jake Tyler (Gouverneur, N.Y.) at 165 pounds and senior Elliot Smith (Richville, N.Y.), the defending New England champion, at 184 pounds.
Those two are assured of finishing among the Top 6 individuals, and are therefore assured of being All-New England. The other four still alive for Springfield include senior Jamie Sgaglione (No. Massapequa, N.Y.) at 141, senior Chris DeBlock (Sparta, N.J.) at 149, senior Greg Dussol (Amston, Conn.) at 197, and junior Chris Brown (East Hartford, Conn.) at heavyweight. Those four have lost once thus far during this competition.
Springfield's other four competitors all lost twice on Day 1, and were thus eliminated. They included freshman Casey Leslie (Middletown, Conn.) at 125, freshman Blaze Chatham (Walkill, N.Y.) at 133, senior Erik Delehanty (Clinton, Conn.) at 157, and freshman Anthony Scarpetti (Lititz, Pa.) at 174. Leslie, Chatham, and Delehanty all won one match on Saturday.
All 10 New England Champions, plus a few wild card picks, will move on to compete at the NCAA Division III Nationals at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on March 7-8.
Team Scores After Day 1
Johnson & Wales 86
Rhode Island Colege 83
Bridgewater State 69
Roger Williams 68.5
Plymouth State 51
Southern Maine 47
Coast Guard 29.5