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Wrestlers of the Week named by college wrestling conferences



Annoucements made week beginning Feb. 20

Watts named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week

Michael Watts of the Univ. of Michigan has been named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week.

Michael Watts, Michigan, FR, 125, Riverton, Utah/Riverton
Watts, a true freshman, got the momentum rolling early for the Wolverines in their weekend duals against top-ranked Minnesota and No. 17 Indiana, earning back-to-back wins at 125 pounds as U-M captured its third straight Big Ten dual-meet title. Last Friday, Watts used a pair of third-period takedowns to take control against Minnesota's Travis Lang and claim an upset 9-6 decision. Against the Hoosiers on Sunday, Watts boasted a dominant 13-1 major decision against Blane Culp behind three takedowns and five back points. Finding his groove heading into the postseason tournaments, the Wolverine has won four straight matches.

McCormick named Big 12 Wrestler of the Week

DALLAS - Tyler McCormick (Missouri) has been named Big 12 Wrestler of the Week for his performance during meets from Feb. 14-20. McCormick receives recognition for the first time in his career.

Tyler McCormick (Missouri), So., 133 Pounds, Leawood, Kan.
The No. 8 Tiger wrestling squad earned a 37-6 victory over Chattanooga in the first of two duals. McCormick, ranked No. 16 nationally, upset No. 7 Matt Keller. A sophomore from Leawood, Kan., he faced a one-point deficit after the opening three minutes, then chose down to start the second period and escaped with 39 seconds left to tie the score at two. McCormick turned his opponent to his back with just five seconds left in the bout and won the match with a two-point nearfall, 4-2. In the second match of the day, he defeated Chris Bencivenga of UNC Greensboro by decision, 8-4.

Jones named ACC Wrestler of the Week

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Virginia's Brent Jones was named this week's Atlantic Coast Conference Wrestler of the Week after leading the Cavaliers to a 24-14 victory over Maryland on Feb. 17. The Cavaliers finish the regular season with a 4-1 conference record.

Freshman Brent Jones posted the only fall of the meet between the Cavaliers and Terrapins at 197 pounds, as Virginia rallied from a 14-12 deficit to earn a 24-14 victory over Maryland. Jones earned his eighth fall of the season after pinning Jerry Afari of Maryland in 37 seconds. The native of Burke, Va., finished the regular season with a 20-11 record and a 3-2 mark versus ACC competition. The Cavaliers return to action when they take part in the 2006 ACC Wrestling Championship on March 4.

Michalak named MAC Wrestler of the Week

Central Michigan's Wynn Michalak has collected his third MAC Wrestler Of The Week honor. The nation's No. 1 197-pounder led CMU to its eighth consecutive MAC Title.

MAC WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
Wynn Michalak - Jr./So. - 197 pounds - Central Michigan - Caro, Mich. - Caro
Michalak improved to 27-1 this season with a pair of falls over the weekend as the Chippewas locked up their eighth consecutive regular season MAC title. Against Ohio on Friday night, he pinned Nick Terbay 2:07 into the first period. On Sunday, he pinned Kent State's Ardian Ramadani at the 2:25 mark. CMU led just 17-12 with two matches remaining when Michalak took the mat, and he had to recover from an early takedown to score a reversal and the eventual pin. Michalak has 13 pins this season, tying him for eighth on CMU's single-season list, and 24 pins in his career, the ninth-most at CMU.

Other Nominees:
Kyle Cerminara - Sr. - 197 pounds - Buffalo - Lewiston, N.Y. - Lewiston-Porter
Cerminara, who had broken three school records already this season, posted a 14-2 major decision against Slippery Rock's Andrew Joseph, helping the senior break the school's career record for dual meet wins with his 51st. The 197-pounder has broken the school's career dual meet takedowns record, career wins record and also posted a school-best 34-match winning streak this season.

Jermail Porter - R-Fr. - 285 pounds - Kent State - Akron, Ohio - Firestone
Porter (19-9, 3-2 MAC) went 2-0 on the weekend with a 5-2 upset of Central Michigan's Bubba Gritter, who was ranked #1 in the latest MAC Poll. Porter also recorded his sixth pin of the season Saturday night at Ashland. He planted Joe Reamer 1:58 into the first period

Josh Wooton - Sr. - 141 pounds - Northern Illinois - Urbana, Ohio - St. Paris Graham
Wooton picked up three victories over the weekend. His 15-3 major decision over Eastern Michigan's Nick Conklin helped the Huskies finish tied for second in the MAC regular season after their 28-6 over the host Eagles. Wooton also earned two technical fall victories on Sunday (Feb. 19). His 21-4 win against Casey Carrino was part of the 41-6 Huskie thrashing of Eastern Illinois and his 24-8 win over Richard Lohr helped NIU defeat Northern Colorado 32-9. Over the weekend Wooton outscored his opponents 60-15 during his three matches.

Morrison and Oplinger named CAA Co-Wrestlers of the Week

LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ (February 21, 2006) - TJ Morrison of Rider University and Jon Oplinger of Drexel University have been named the Colonial Athletic Association Wrestlers of the Week, and Bryan LaShomb of Old Dominion University is the CAA Rookie of the Week, for all competition February 14-20.

Co-Wrestler of the Week (2/21)
TJ Morrison - Rider - Sophomore - 197 lbs - Mechanicsburg, PA/Cedar Cliff
Morrison, a sophomore 197 from Mechanicsburg, PA (Cedar Cliff), won all three of his CAA dual meets last week to improve to 8-1 in the CAA, 17-3 in duals and 26-6 overall. Morrison upset the 20th ranked wrestler in the nation from Hofstra, and won a major decision in a CAA win at Sacred Heart.

Co-Wrestler of the Week (2/21)
Jon Oplinger - Drexel - Sophomore - 197 lbs - Bath, PA/Northampton
Oplinger, a sophomore 197 from Bath, PA (Northampton), won both of his matches last week for Drexel, including a major decision over the 16th ranked wrestler in the country from Lehigh. The victory was his fifth in a row since returning from a knee injury, and the 20th of the season.

Rookie of the Week (2/21)
Bryan LaShomb - Old Dominion - Freshman - 125 lbs - Chesapeake, VA/Great Bridge
LaShomb, a freshman 125 from Chesapeake, VA (Great Bridge), went 2-0 last week with a pair of major decisions. LaShomb now leads ODU with seven major decisions this year while improving to 13-5 in duals, 21-13 overall.

Naig named Iowa Conference Wrestler of the Week

Jacob Naig, Wartburg College, Emmetsburg, Iowa/Emmetsburg
Naig, a sophomore, was named Dick Walker Outstanding Wrestler at the IIAC Championship after winning the 149-pound title as the third-seed. He went 3-0 with a technical fall and a major decision at the Championship. In the quarterfinals, he won by technical fall over #6-seed Andrew Sloan of Loras (16-0, 2:59). Naig defeated the #2-seed Kyle Forness of Buena Vista by major decision in the semifinals (10-2). In the Championship match, he won by decision over the defending Conference and national Champion, #1-seeded Matt Pyle of Luther (9-4). Pyle and Forness were ranked first and fourth nationally, respectively. He was also named the IIAC Male Athlete of the Week)

Wipperfurth named NSIC Wrestler of the Week

Joel Wipperfurth of Southwest Minnesota State Univ. has been named Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Wrestler of the Week. A 197-pound senior from Lodi, WI, Wipperfurth pinned Josiah Bush of Minnesota State Univ. Moorhead in his only match last week Wipperfurth trailed 7-2 after one period before scoring a takedown and pin.

College conferences that wish to have their Wrestlers of the week published on TheMat.com should send their selections to Gary Abbott at gabbott@usawrestling.org. These athletes will be honored weekly in a combined story.
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