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Navy Wrestling Team Hands Out Annual Team Awards at Banquet



ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Junior Mark Conley (Exton, Pa.) was awarded the Ed Peery Award and presented with his 2001 All-American award at the 2001 Navy wrestling team banquet Tuesday night in the Chesapeake Room in Bancroft Hall. Conley, who won the 2001 Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association championship in the 141-pound weight class, wrestled his way to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championship held March 3-4 in Iowa City, Iowa. Conley posted 34 wins this season, the fourth highest single-season total in school history. The Ed Peery Award is presented to a member of the Navy wrestling team who demonstrates outstanding leadership, a hard work ethic and competitive spirit. The award is named after former Navy head coach Ed Peery, who coached the Mids from 1960 to 1987. Senior Jason Homestead (Sayville, N.Y.) was recognized as the Weems Award winner, given in memory of former Navy Lieutenant Commander George Thackray Weems to the wrestler who displays aggressiveness, determination, good sportsmanship, and team spirit. Homestead posted a 23-18 record and finished fifth at the EIWA Championship in the 133-pound weight class. The Ray Schwartz Award was presented to senior Tom Storer (Sicklerville, N.J.) for the second consecutive year. Named after former head coach Ray Schwartz, who coached the Mids from 1938 to 1960, the award is given to the wrestler who records the most pins in the least amount of aggregate time. Storer finished the season with a 30-17 record in the 149-pound weight class and amassed 11 victories via pin fall. Navy head coach Bruce Burnett announced team captain Mark Newman (Sr./Mayer, Minn.) as the winner of the Coaches Award. Newman has been a mainstay for the Mids over the past four seasons, capping an outstanding career with 29-10 record. Newman had a nine-match winning streak in January and wrestled his way to a fourth-place finish at the EIWA Championship. Michael Barikian (Fr./Stratford, N.J.) was named Most Improved Wrestler after a strong rookie season for the Mids. Barikian posted a 15-12 record and finished sixth at the EIWA Championship in the 165-pound weight class. At the Sunshine Open in West Palm, Fla., he went 6-2 to place fifth. Steve Kovach (So./Parkerburg, Pa.) was recognized for the most wins on the squad. Kovach, who won the heavyweight division at the Sunshine Open and won all four of his matches at the Lonestar Duals in Texas, posted a 38-9 record this season. Kovach's 38 wins is the second-highest single-season win total in school history and the 47 matches he wrestled in tied the single-season school mark. "We are improving and our guys keep getting better each day," Burnett said. "We have only just begun in terms of enjoying the type of success we plan on having in the future. Next season, our goal is to have nine more guys competing at the NCAA Championship than we had this year. "
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