For Immediate Release: November 17, 2006
Contact: John Hartrick (
Phone: 607-777-6800

BU wrestling will lean on Patterson brothers as 2006-07 season begins
First-year head coach Popolizio returns three starters, eight letterwinners

VESTAL, N.Y. - Binghamton wrestling will continue its rebuilding process under first year head coach Pat Popolizio when the team opens its 2006-07 season at the Navy Classic on Saturday. Popolizio has a young lineup that is also a bit thin in terms of depth, but BU does return three starters and several accomplished newcomers.

"With such a young team, we are looking to improve every practice and competition," Popolizio said. "We have a lot of young talent who are eager to show their abilities on the national level."

Heading that list are the brothers Patterson - Nate, Josh and Michael. Nate is a sophomore and returning starter at 149 pounds. Josh, the program's top recruit, will begin a promising collegiate career at 174 pounds, and Michael has returned to Binghamton after two years away and wrestle at heavyweight.

Nate Patterson (Ontario, N.Y.) enjoyed a solid freshman season last winter, winning 19 matches and placing fourth at the Colonial Athletic Association Championship. He won seven dual matches and reached the round of 16 at the East Stroudsburg Open.

"Nate is coming off a successful true freshman season and we are looking forward to him improving that this year. We think he can become our first Division I All-American."

Josh Patterson (Ontario, N.Y.) enjoyed a decorated high school career at Wayne Central, where he won a state championship and a senior national championship. Patterson earned six letters and was a two-time state champion. He was selected to the CAA All-Freshman Team.

"Josh has a legitimate shot to become a Division I All-American this year," Popolizio said. "We expect very big things from him in his collegiate career."

Michael Patterson (Ontario, N.Y.), the oldest of the Patterson brothers, is getting back his form after two years away from the mat. He will occupy the wrestling weight class beginning in the spring semester, and will be competitive at the CAA Championship.

Sophomore Sam Sirota (Tully, N.Y.) returns as the starter at 165 pounds, where his experience will benefit the young team.

The Bearcats' season features three open tournaments, 13 duals plus the CAA Duals, the Northeast Duals and the season-culminating CAA Championship, March 2-3 in Fairfax, Va.

"We will face a lot of competitive opponents this year and we are looking to upset a lot of teams that won't see us coming," Popolizio said. "We will be heavy underdogs in most of our matches, but with the hard work we have been putting in, we will be ready for the challenge. Our goal is to have our best performance at the CAA tournament, and have guys wrestling Saturday at the NCAA Championship."

A breakdown of the lineup by weight class is below.

125 Pounds
Mike Kleeman
Mike Day
Corey Sullivan

133 Pounds
Kareem Naguib
Robert Slauin

141 Pounds
Brandon Toro-Segarra
Pat Sandberg
Anthony Howe

149 Pounds
Nate Patterson
Kyle Fried

157 Pounds
Bret Terry
Aaron Stayer
Chris Klucka

165 Pounds
Sam Sirota

174 Pounds
Josh Patterson

184 Pounds
Corey Waite

197 Pounds
Ed Backus

Mike Patterson

Coach Popolizio on the newcomers...

On Backus -
"Ed is looking to prove himself this year in the CAA. He is an engineering major and balances his time very well. That is the type of discipline that excels at the Div I level.

On Fried - Another great surprise transferring out of Div III powerhouse Brockport University. His experience at the college level is a great asset to our room. He is looking to crack the line-up at 149 or 157.

On Kleeman -
"He was a sectional finalist in the toughest section in the State. He is looking to improve on that here at the Div I level."

On Terry - "Was an Ohio all state wrestler last year. Has been improving rapidly over the preseason and is looking to get a lot of mat time this season.

On Toro-Segarra - "He has been a very pleasant surprise to this Binghamton program. He was a sectional place winner from Brentwood High school, and is looking to prove himself on the Div I level."

On Waite - "Another New York stand out in our line-up. He has been improving steadily in the preseason. He will make an impact in the CAA this year competing for a conference title."
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