April 18, 2005

2004-2005 Season Review

Back in October I wrote a post about Messiah Wrestling through the years, starting with my first year there. I wrote, "Who knows what the future will bring?" for 2005. Well, now we know.

The preseason didn't get off to a very good start, as the most talented freshman recruit managed to not be even close to his desired weight before dropping off the team well before the first match. Undaunted, the team pressed on without filling the 125 weight class until getting a midseason transfer who will be ok if he stays away from the sixth year seniors.

Having all the weight classes filled is oftentimes half the battle in division III, so they were well prepared for the heart of the dual meet season. The team finished with a respectable 12-10 record, beating the teams they were supposed to (except Gettysburg). They finished in the middle the pack in most tournaments while always having some high placewinners.

The highlight of the year came when Tim Pentz collected career win #100, becoming the tenth Falcon to achieve that distinction, though unfortunately the first to do so without reaching the national tournament (it should be noted that it is more difficult now than in the past to qualify).

The lowlight came at the MAC tournament where the team, despite finishing in 3rd place, failed to qualify anyone to the national tournament for the first time in at least a decade, though the foundation for the future is in place with up and coming future stars like Derek Ricker, Matt Gorkos, and Josh Cragg.

Back in October I tried to figure out which of the teams since 2000 was the best. The 2000 team remains on top with two All-Americans (including a national champ) two tournament wins and only two losses. I said that I wasn't sure which team was second best, but the 2005 team is not it, though the season was hardly a failure, as only the vagaries of NCAA qualifier allocations kept at least two deserving Falcons from the Show. I look forward to seeing what they can accomplish in the next year or two.

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