The William Penn wrestling season kicked off October 29 with the annual Grandview tournament in Des Moines and continued on November 11 at Waldorf for the first duel of the season.
Sophomore, John Altieri, from Warwick, Rhode Island, placed 6th in his weight class of 125 at the highly competitive tournament. Logan Loftus, Tommy Rios, Dane Jones and Matthew Cuthbert all came away with a win as well. Collin McConnell, Wyatt Schlotter and Darquell Pierre, all freshman, all notched their first collegiate win. At Waldorf, the Statesmen came out with the win by a score of 38-9.
The young team is full of talent and although it is a building season there is several more experienced wrestlers in the mix as well. “We also have three seniors who are back in the lineup after redshirting last year. They are Brad Watson (who has been a national qualifier), Jeremy Walters and Nick Wise. Having them back in the lineup will definitely add some leadership to our team,” said head coach Eric Reed.
All eyes are on John Altieri, however, as he looks to improve from last season, return to nationals and improve his NAIA preseason ranking of 9th in the nation for his weight class of 125 lbs. Altieri was 2-3 during the season opener at Grandview and won by fall over his opponent at Waldorf. Altieri’s goal for the season is simple: “win a national title.”
Coach Reed is in his ninth season as head coach and said, “the squad has looked good so far. Sometimes these first few meets are kind of tough on the guys with getting down to weight the first few times, and this year is no exception. Once they get their weight under control, I think we will see a lot of improvement.”
Recently added to the coaching staff is Josh Swanson, a Penn alum and former Statesmen wrestler.