Chappa Pins Down Third at Region, Leads CU to Sixth-Place Finish
Monday, February 25, 2008
Lebanon, Tenn. -- Cumberland scored 57 points for a sixth-place finish at the NAIA East Region. Freshman Joshua Chappa at 125 earned 16.5 team points to lead CU. Chappa wrestled much of the season at 133 to help the team in dual meets. He earned a third-place finish with all three of his wins coming by fall, taking his season record to 21-14. Chappa, unseeded in the tournament, pinned the No. 4 seed Caleb Myers from King College (5:23), P.J. Martinez from the University of the Cumberlands (1:16) and Tyler Savage from Notre Dame College (1:03). Chappa, a Wisconsin native, won the East Region's 'Most Falls in the Least Amount of Time' by getting three pins in 7:43. He scored more team points than five East Region champions. His three pins in the tournament take his season total to 15 and puts him within three pins of the NAIA leader for 2008, Calvin Devault from Embry Riddle. Chappa broke Cumberland University's season record of 10 pins, previously at between former All-American Stephen Westbeld and last year's heavyweight, Xavier Taylor.

Junior Jordan Powers at 184 was the only Bulldog finalist. Powers continues to prove he will contend for national honors. Unseeded in the tournament, Powers defeated No. 4 seed Neil Kemp from Lindenwood University (6-1), No. 1 seed Tanner Wolk from McKendree University (7-5) and fell short of the regional championship in a loss to No. 2 seed Rod Nuskabel from the University of the Cumberlands (9-7) in the finals. Powers had 12 team points on the day.

The Bulldogs had three more wrestlers place fifth: sophomore Kyle Studer at 197, freshman B.J. Stewart at 285 and senior Theo Dotson at 141. Studer led the way with 9.5 team points, getting a 13-4 major decision over West Virginia Tech's Jamie Salisbury and a fall in 6:54 over University of the Cumberlands' Travis Lovett. Stewart went 3-2, getting a fall in 4:12 over Joe Johnson of Missouri Baptist University, a 3-2 decision over Anthony Watson from Notre Dame College and a 6-4 win in sudden victory over No. 4 seed Frankie Morgan from King College. Stewart also went the distance with defending national champion Lance Shunia from Lindenwood, falling short with a 6-5 loss. Junior Eddie Sanchez at 149, freshman David Wiese and freshman Pat Banks each had a win. Wiese had a notable 5-4 loss to returning All-American and national runner-up David Clemens from Campbellsville, losing in the final 10 seconds of the match.

The Bulldogs wrestled eight in the regional tournament, submitting five medical waivers for junior Desean Willis at 125, freshman Mikey Davis at 141, freshman James Casadaban at 149, returning All-American sophomore Corey Bleaken at 157 and junior Luke Borneman at 174. All five will have the opportunity to wrestle in the national tournament because they made the qualification standards within the 2007-08 season.

According to CU Head Coach Jarad Swint, "We had 14 guys that made the national qualifying standards, which is the most in the school's history. After regionals, we know which 12 will go to nationals. For the guys who wrestled, we did a nice job. It has been a struggle with the injuries, but that is wrestling. We have to do what we can to get ready for nationals. I am looking forward to seeing if we can get some of these guys healthy enough to compete and represent all the hard work that they put into preparing themselves."