NASHVILLE – Heidelberg University wrestling coach Tony Patrizi must have been a good boy in 2014. Santa Claus and the Student Princes delivered four wins to the first-year coach at the Gator "Boots" Duals on Saturday. Two of the wins, both against nationally-ranked opponents, came down to the final bout of the match.
At 285, Nino Majoy won all four of his matches, including two wins that were do-or-die matches. Richard Dowdley's unbeaten season continued with three wins on the afternoon. Additionally, Joe Brodman was undefeated on the day, winning three matches and taking a forfeit.
MATCH ONE: Heidelberg 18 #3 Delaware Valley 16
Squaring off against #3 Del Valley, the Student Princes won six of the 10 weight classes en route to the upset. After the Rams started with a pin, HU's Joe Brodman and Justin Kihn tied the match with wins at 133 and 141.
At 197, third-ranked Aaron Karns gave Delaware Valley the lead with a 12-3 major decision over Ricky Bruce.
Down 16-15, Heidelberg turned to the fourth-ranked Majoy, who was facing top-ranked Zach Roseberry. Trailing 2-0 heading into the third period, Majoy scored an escape and a takedown and took a 3-2 lead. Roseberry tied the match with an escape, but Majoy earned a point for riding time and clinched victory for the Student Princes.
MATCH TWO: Heidelberg 42 Washington & Lee 7
Halfway through the match against former Heidelberg head coach Nathan Shearer, the Student Princes had claimed 29 out of a possible 30 points. Three weight classes were forfeited to The Berg. At 141, Kihn pinned Zachary Pipin in 90 seconds. Next, Damon Cheek won with a 16-0 tech fall at 149.
W&L took their only two wins at 184 and 197.
Majoy rounded out the match with a disqualification win at 285.
MATCH THREE: Heidelberg 20 #25 Elmhurst 16
The #25 Blue Jays opened with a bonus-point win at 125, a major decision over Derek Thomas. Brodman responded with a major decision of his own, knocking down Tyler Espino, 17-3.
After Kihn fell at 141, Cheek and Fahrer followed with wins to give the Student Princes a 10-7 lead.
Elmhurst retook the lead with a pin at 165.
Down 13-10, Kelly tied the match with a 10-8 sudden victory win in overtime over Mitch Morris. Dowdley followed with a 14-3 major decision win over Bobby Schillinger.
Matt Shurina lost at 197, which chopped Heidelberg's lead to 17-16. Shurina fell behind 7-0 in the first period, but nearly fought all the way back.
Majoy secured the match for Heidelberg with a 2-0 win over Zach Urbanski.
MATCH FOUR: Heidelberg 25 Ferrum 12
Ferrum started off with a bang, earning a first period pin to go ahead 6-0. Brodman responded with his third win of day, a 3-2 win that featured a third period takedown.
A win at 141 pushed Ferrum's lead back out to six before a five-match run gave Heidelberg control of the match.
At 149, Cheek won a defensive battle, squeaking out a 1-0 win. In the exact opposite type of match, Fahrer followed with a pin at 157. Fahrer's win over Damon Minor sat at 11-6 before the fall, which came at 4:41.
Banko won at 165 and pushed the HU advantage to 15-9. Kelly won his second consecutive sudden victory match at 174, using another takedown in the first overtime period.
Dowdley put the match out of reach for Heidelberg with a major decision, a 13-5 win over Corbin Ramos.
After Ferrum won at 197, Majoy closed out the event with a 2-0 victory.
Head coach Tony Patrizi on the upset wins: "One of the things we've been working really hard at is achieving our small goals ... If we can do the little things on our own, it will take care of the team. And as a team, we did the little things ... we still have some things to work on but we got some big wins out of a lot of guys, and those guys that didn't win did their job and worked hard at it and we got huge wins."
Patrizi on coaching in day-long team duals: "It's difficult to maintain that kind of enthusiasm ... it's mentally and physically draining ... especially when our team was split [with the second team wrestling at the same time]. Overall, we had a great finisher with Nino Majoy ... everybody worked to achieve their individual goals and made it exciting."
2015 begins with the NWCA National Duals in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on January 9-10.