Nov. 1, 2004
Providence, RI - Head Coach Dave Amato, entering his 22nd year at the helm of the Brown wrestling program, has high expectations for the upcoming season. With the healthy return of several veterans as well as a nationally ranked freshmen class, Brown is in the position to be one of the top teams in the EIWA. The Bears will be captained by sophomore Mike Pedro, who is coming off an injury that sidelined him for the majority of last season. Returning from last year's starting rotation will be juniors Dan Appello, Mike Ashton, David Saadeh, Mike Savino and Lee Beane along with sophomore Doran Heist.
Sophomore Nathan Myers and freshmen Ben Cannon and Jeff Schell will challenge for the 125 lb. starting position. Myers saw limited action last season, posting a 2-4 record as a rookie. A native of Warwick, RI, Myers was a two-time Rhode Island State Champion as well as a New England Champion in high school. Schell comes to Brown from Bloomsburg High School where he was a three-time third place finisher at the Pennsylvania State Tournament. Schell also placed second at the Junior Nationals. Cannon had a highly successful high school career where he was the Michigan State Champion.
Appello returns to the mat with ample experience for Brown, maintaining a starting role at 133 since his freshman season. He finished last season with a 15-16 mark, highlighted by a third place finish at the Cortland Open. Appello also went 2-2 at the EIWA Championships. Also wrestling at 133 this season will be junior Greg Pace, who started for the Bears last season at 125, posting an 11-14 record with a 2-2 showing at the EIWA's.
Ashton will likely return to his starting role at 141 this season after going 9-11 overall last season, including dual meet wins against Princeton. As a rookie, he posted a 6-4 mark. Sophomore Jordan LaFollette will test Ashton for the starting role while the addition of freshmen Ross Johnson and Mark Savino will give the Bears added depth at 141. LaFollete saw action in 13 matches as a freshman last season, posting a 6-7 record, including a 3-1 mark at the Keystone Invite. Savino, the 2004 New Jersey State Champion, joins his brother Mike on this year's squad. Johnson hails from Conrad, MT, where he placed second at the state tournament.
Junior Tim Smith will wrestle at 149 while junior Shawn Cully will join Smith in the second semester. Smith won the Roger Williams Invitational title at 149 last season, closing out the year with a 7-5 overall record. Cully returns with a 12-13 career record after sitting out last season.
Coach Amato will have four options at 157 this season with the return of senior Mike Savino, juniors Sean Hopkins and David Saadeh, and sophomore Shawn Kitchner. Saadeh and Savino will likely share time at the starting spot after January when Savino will rejoin the team. Saadeh recorded back-to-back winning seasons in 2002-03 and 2003-04 at 149. As a rookie in 2002-03, he had the best winning percentage of all Brown freshmen, posting a 13-8 record for a .619 winning percentage. Last season Saadeh captured the Roger Williams Invitational Title at 149, going a perfect 4-0. He finished the year with a 10-7 overall mark. Savino, a two-year starter, racked up 15 wins last season, going 15-12 overall at 157. He placed fifth at the Keystone Invitational, going 4-2, followed by a 3-2 showing at the Las Vegas Invitational. Hopkins recorded four wins in five matches last season. Kitchner went 8-6 last season, including four wins by fall.
The starting role at 165 will be up for grabs with senior Heath Lohrman, junior Radu Brestyan and sophomore Harrison Moskowitz vying for the top spot. Lohrman returns for his final year with the Bears after going 6-4 last season at 165. He was also impressive during his rookie campaign, posting a 10-4 record in 2001-02. The Bears welcome back Brestyan, who took the last two seasons off. As a rookie in 2001-02, he posted a 3-5 record. Moskowitz saw limited action last season.
Pedro will anchor the 174 spot this season. Brother of two-time Olympic medalist and former Brown wrestler Jimmy Pedro, Mike started off the year with a 9-2 record last season, including a 2-0 stint at the Las Vegas Invitational. Freshman Joe Walton, who joins the Bears this season after back-to-back fifth place finishes at the Ohio State Tournament, will also wrestle at 174.
Heist, who had a successful sophomore campaign last season, going 9-5 overall at 184, will compete for the starting role this season with the departure of NCAA Qualifier Nick Ciarcia `04. Joining Heist at 184 will be freshman James Smith was a fifth place finisher at the California State Tournament, wrestling for Miramonte High School.
A duo of talented freshmen will make up the Bears' 197 class, Leo Saniuk attended Copley High School in Ohio and was a two-time second place finisher at the state tournament. In addition, Saniuk finished eighth at the Senior Nationals. Matt Waller was a two-time Iowa State Tournament qualifier, wrestling for Roosevelt High School. Junior Peter Gladish, coming off an injury suffered early last season, hopes to be back with the team second semester.
A starter at heavyweight since his freshman year, Beane returns to the mat for his third season. After placing fifth at the EIWA Championships in 2003, Beane posted a 9-18 record last season, including a fourth place finish at the Keystone Classic. Capping off Brown's nationally ranked freshmen class is Michigan State heavyweight champion Levon Mock.