Bulldog Wrestlers Finish 11th at ONU
Monday, December 17, 2007
Ada, OH -- The Cumberland University wrestlers finished up the semester with an 11th-place showing at the 27th Annual Ohio Northern Invitational. The tournament included 18 colleges that could enter their entire roster in the tournament; nine of these teams are ranked in the top 20 nationally in their respective NAIA, NCAA II and NCAA III divisions. Twenty-eight individuals on these teams are currently nationally ranked in the top eight in their respective divisions.

Cumberland is currently ranked 17th as a team in the NAIA national poll with three ranked wrestlers in freshman Joshua Chappa seventh at 125, sophomore Corey Bleaken fifth at 157 and junior Jordan Powers eighth at 184. The tournament had a total of 283 participants. In the tournament, the semifinals losers automatically wrestled for third because of the size of the tournament. The Bulldogs finished with 53.5 points, while Limestone College won the tournament with 128.5 points.

Senior All-American Theo Dotson, who wrestled his first competition of the season at the 141-pound weight class, looked very strong taking the ONU tournament title at 141. Dotson dropped down to 141 after last year's eighth-place All-American performance at 149. Dotson, the fifth seed in the tournament, went 5-0 on the day. Dotson had a big win by decision in the semifinals against Doug Surra of West Liberty State University, who is currently ranked third in the NCAA II national poll. Dotson's team points led the Cumberland second team to a 19th-place finish out of over 50 point-scoring teams.

Freshman Mikey Davis had the next highest placing for the Bulldogs, taking fourth at 141 by going 3-2. In the quarterfinals, Davis avenged a loss from the dual meet a week ago by defeating Kyle Norred from Campbellsville University, who is currently ranked fourth in the NAIA east region.

Junior Desean Willis at 125 placed sixth, going 4-1 before medical forfeiting his last match. Willis lost his quarterfinal match and came back with two more wins to finish his day.

The Bulldogs wrestled 15 wrestlers in the tournament. As a team, they had 10 pins in the tournament. Freshman Kerry Dowell at 149 and Chappa at 133 each had two pins on the day. Dowell finished one match from placement going 3-2, and Chappa was 2-2, taking his pin total to 10 at the half-way point in the season. Chappa's 10 pins puts him in a three-way tie for the school's single-season record with All-American Stephen Westbeld and last year's heavyweight Xavier Taylor.

Powers at 184 went 3-1 before medical defaulting out of the tournament. Others picking up wins were sophomore Kyle Studer at 197 (2-2), red-shirt freshman James Casadaban at 149 (1-0, before becoming ill and defaulting out of the tournament), junior Eddie Sanchez at 141 (1-2), sophomore Stephen Medina at 165 (1-2), sophomore Kurt Hamilton at 174 (1-2) and freshman Calvin Grammer at 285 (1-2).