Wednesday, February 1, 2023

No. 19 Braves Continue to See Success on the Mat

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Caleb Grau, a redshirt freshman. PN Photos/Mahala Treish

Jovaun Johnson (right), a redshirt junior. PN Photos/Mahala Treish

By: Zachary C. Young, Editor-in Chief

40th Annual Pembroke Classic (Sun., Nov. 7)
The Braves saw 18 wrestlers make their way to the podium, including five unbeaten first place finishers: Nick Dagget (125 pounds), Jovaun Johnson (184), Jake Piccirilli (149), Zach Shaffer (285) and Bryce Walker (197)

Other top place finishers included: Will Lowery, second place in the 157 pound weight class, Garrett Hill second in the 174 pound weight class and Ryan Walker second in the 285 pound weight class, losing to teammate Zach Shaffer.

The Braves are now nationally ranked at 19 in Division II wrestling.

“We are going to be top-five this year. Quote me on that,” Piccirilli said.

Wolfpack Open (Sun., Nov. 14)
Only seven Braves attended the tournament, but Jake Piccirilli was the lone Brave to place in the top five at the Wolfpack Open, placing 4th in the 149 pound weight class.

Piccirilli lost by decision, with a score of 7-2.

Piccirilli said the level of competition at the tournament was part of the reason for him competing in the event.

“There were a lot of Division I studs that were there to kill you,” Piccirilli said.

Georgia Open (Sun., Nov. 14)
The Braves sent four wrestlers to the podium, including a first place finish from Zach Shaffer (285 pounds), enroute to an overall tournament title for the team.

Shaffer pinned his opponent in the semi-final match in just 49 seconds. During the Georgia Open, Shaffer registered a team-high five match wins.

In addition to individual success of Shaffer; Rahsaan Vereen (165) finished second in his weight class, while Anthony Carter (133) and Caleb Grau (174) finished third in their weight classes.

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