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For Immediate Release: November 12, 2009
Contact: John Hartrick (hartrick@binghamton.edu)
Phone: 607-777-6800

All-American Patterson, elite newcomers have BU wrestling stirring
Bearcats have most talented lineup in program's Division I tenure

VESTAL, N.Y. -- Fourth-year Binghamton wrestling coach Pat Popolizio has assembled arguably the most talented roster in Binghamton's Division I tenure. With reigning All-American and national champion hopeful Josh Patterson leading the charge, the 2009-10 Bearcats may be poised to jump into the top tier of the Colonial Athletic Association and send multiple wrestlers to the NCAA Championship.

"This will be our first year with experience, leadership and a lot of young, great talent," Popolizio said. "We have been fortunate enough to get several top notch recruits over the last few years and are excited to see them in a Bearcat singlet."

Talk of the Bearcats must start with Patterson, who returns for his senior season and a chance to continue carving his legacy. Last winter, the 184-pounder became the program's first All-American when he won five matches to place seventh at NCAAs. Patterson led the entire nation in wins (46) and pins (22) and owns a remarkable 55-8 career dual match record. He enters 2009-10 with 95 career wins - just 13 wins shy of breaking the school's all-time wins record held by three-time All-American and Division III national champion Mark Gumble (1984-88).

"Josh's talent and experience have made it a realistic goal for him to become our first-ever NCAA Division I champion," Popolizio said. "He has shown the way to the younger generations of Bearcats that you can win at a very high level here at Binghamton."

But unlike previous years, Patterson is surrounded by talent up and down the lineup - albeit young talent - and if the team avoids injuries, it should be the strongest dual meet lineup BU has showcased in its nine-year Division I history.

125 pounds
The Bearcats are loaded with young talent at 125 with former Illinois state champion and Olympic ladder member Jimmy Chase the most decorated. Chase was a three-time state placewinner at Glenbard North High and took fourth at the 2008 Olympic Trials. He is an accomplished Greco-Roman wrestler who finished fifth at the 2009 Junior World Championship this past summer in Turkey. Chase was the CAA's selection to the Preseason All-Freshman team, voted on by the member coaches.

"Jimmy has won at a very high level in high school and internationally and we expect the same results at the college level for us," Popolizio said.

In addition to Chase, freshmen James Inghram and Dan Riggi are beginning promising collegiate careers. Inghram is a three-time Ohio state placewinner who went 139-32 in four years at University High. He was state runnerup and placed third two other years. Riggi racked up 177 career wins in five stellar seasons for Scotia-Glenville High.

"Both James and Dan had outstanding high school wrestling careers and they bring many accolades with them to Binghamton," Popolizio said. "Most likely James will redshirt and continue to develop into a future leader of our team."

133 pounds
This weight class provided just one second-semester dual win in 2008-09 but should be bolstered by redshirt freshman Garrett Morabito, a former state champion at nearby Susquehanna Valley High. Morabito lost just 15 matches in his scholastic career and will push senior incumbents Mike Kleeman and Robert Slavin for mat time. Both Kleeman and Slavin are scholar-athletes with strong work ethics. Slavin won 11 matches before Kleeman earned the starting spot for the CAA Championship.

141 pounds
Junior two-time conference placewinner Anwar Goeres has a firm hold of this weight class and also has high expectations. Goeres won 19 matches last season - seven by pin. He placed third at the CAA Championship and is the No. 1 rated wrestler in the CAA entering the season.

"Anwar has shown he can beat high-level opponents," Popolizio said. "He needs to be able to do this week-in, week-out on a consistent basis to finish his growth as a top-level competitor. He has made progress toward this over the summer and in preseason."

Sophomore Anthony Jerome and freshmen Genta Murayama and Dan Gorman should continue to develop in the practice room and sophomore transfer Eric Kleeman could also see time. Jerome captured the Alfred State Open and won 12 matches during his redshirt season last winter.

149 pounds
Much-heralded local recruit Donnie Vinson opens his collegiate career after easing in with a redshirt season in 2008-09. Vinson gained the highest ranking of any BU freshman when he was slotted No. 13 in the InterMat Preseason Poll. His big-match experience belies his freshman status. Vinson was a two-time state runnerup, Cadet National Freestyle champion, high school All-American and this past summer, placed eighth out of 33 at the Junior World Grego-Roman Championship in Turkey. Last year, he won two collegiate invitationals and went 24-2 in redshirt competition. He is ranked No. 2 in the CAA preseason poll and will be a legitimate NCAA qualifier right out of the gate.

"Donnie is a phenomenal wrestler who showed great improvement throughout his redshirt year," Popolizio said. "He has set his goals very high for this year and we expect he can meet those goals at the end of the season."

Sophomore Jon Kaloust, one of the hardest workers on the team, is a solid backup.

157 pounds
A good battle between redshirt sophomore Justin Lister and junior Ryan McGarity gives Popolizio a solid 1-2 punch at this weight. Lister went 25-13 last season, including a 10-6 dual record, and finished fourth at the Penn State Open. He enters the season as the No. 2 wrestler in the CAA. Lister moves up from 149, whereas McGarity moves down after winning 19 matches at 165 a year ago. McGarity was runnerup at the Brute/BU Open and won 11 dual matches.

"Both Justin and Ryan have proven they can win at this level," Popolizio said. "They will be battling it out most of the year and 157 should be one of our strongest weights. Both of them have a lot of talent and we expect them to be leaders."

165 pounds
Sophomore Matt Kaylor jumps up two weight classes to grab the reigns here. Kaylor was solid in 2008-09, winning 25 matches and placing fourth at the CAA Championship. He will be pushed by freshman John Paris, a three-time sectional champion and All-American at Amsterdam High School.

174 pounds
Senior Anthony Esposito returns to his starting role but will be joined by junior Matt Berretta and freshman Cody Reed, a former state placewinner for nearby Walton High.

184 pounds
Three-time NCAA qualifier and reigning All-American Josh Patterson holds down the anchor here. Patterson is ranked No. 6 in the nation entering his final season and will showcase his talents in the prestigious NWCA All-Star Classic on November 22 in Fullerton, California. Patterson has also been recognized on the CAA Silver Anniversary Team. His 24-2 dual match record last season left little room for improvement.

"Josh has been working hard on his few weaknesses and seems to be primed and ready to have an even better season than last year," Popolizio said. "He has a new confidence in him, being a returning All-American, and he wants to cap his career with a national title."

197 pounds
Redshirt freshman Nate Schiedel is another impact newcomer who should earn his share of dual wins and contend for CAA honors. In his redshirt season, Schiedel won 27 matches, captured the Alfred State Open and placed third at both the Millersville and Edinboro Opens. He is a former state scholastic champion at Caledonia High. Joining Schiedel is first-year wrestler Mike McKeever, a former state runnerup in Connecticut who also redshirted last season.

"Nate is a very powerful and athletic wrestler who showed great improvement throughout his redshirt year," Popolizio said. "We expect big things from him this year."

Heavyweight
Senior Corey Waite returns for his final collegiate season and has settled into the weight class after spending much of last season down at 197. He placed fourth at the CAA Championship is the fourth-ranked wrestler in this year's preseason poll. Waite has 43 career wins and has been a solid contributor. Junior Dan Bittner won nine matches last season and will continue to work for more time.

Schedule
The 2009-10 schedule features bouts against five Top 25 teams from the 2009 NCAA Championship and two other ranked opponents. The Bearcats will face Nebraska (4th at NCAAs), Oklahoma State (12th), Old Dominion (16th), Michigan State (21st) and American (22nd) plus Hofstra (23rd in Intermat preseason poll) and Penn (24th).

The season opens with the BU Open, held in the Events Center on November 15. After the always-competitive Cornell Body Bar on November 21, BU will welcome the Journeyman Sprawl & Brawl to the West Gym. The event features 14 teams from across the country. The Bearcats will then head to Troy for the Northeast Duals, where they will face Nebraska, Northern Colorado, North Carolina and Appalachian State. Other first-semester highlights include the Penn State Open and Midlands Championship in Illinois.

Duals against longtime SUNY rival Buffalo, Penn and American plus matchups against CAA foes Hofstra, George Mason, Rider and Old Dominion will test the Bearcats. A trip out to Stillwater, Oklahoma for a February 20 encounter with the Cowboys leads into the CAA Championship, hosted by Rider on March 5-6. The NCAA Championship moves from St. Louis to Nebraska-Omaha on March 18-20.

"We have put together another tough schedule that will challenge our team all year long," Popolizio said. "Our athletes will have the opportunity to wrestle the best all season and be ready for the most important part of the year in March."

Outlook
On paper, the 2009-10 Bearcats represent the most talented team the program has seen in its Division I tenure. With Patterson and several other potential NCAA qualifiers in the fold, this well-balanced team could also see its best dual match record in recent years.

"We have plans to have our best dual meet record in our time here," Popolizio said. "We have many talented guys with experience and they all are capable of producing seasons that get them to the NCAA Championship. A few of these guys can also find themselves wrestling late in that tournament and competing for All-America honors and a national title."

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