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|Division II announces regional wrestlers of the year; national winner to be named Wednesday|
By Various Conferences
EDMOND, Okla. – Two seniors, a junior and a freshman have been selected as the regional representatives for the NCAA Division II Wrestler of the Year award that will be announced Wednesday by the NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches Association.
Named as regional wrestlers of the year were senior 174-pounder Mike Williams of North Carolina-Pembroke in Super Region I, senior 184-pounder Shamus O’Grady of St. Cloud State in Super Region II, freshman 165-pounder Joey Davis of Notre Dame College in Super Region III and junior heavyweight Tyrell Fortune of Grand Canyon in Super Region IV.
This will be the sixth year for the NCAA Division II Coaches Association to select a national wrestler of the year. Previous winners of the award were Nebraska-Kearney heavyweight Tervel Dlagnev (2008), Nebraska-Omaha 157-pounder Todd Meneely (2009), Pittsburgh-Johnstown 133-pounder Shane Valko (2010), Western State 197-pounder Donovan McMahill (2011) and Upper Iowa 133-pounder Trevor Franklin (2012).
Williams Named Super Region I Wrestler Of The Year
ERIE, Pa. – After putting the caps on an astounding four-year collegiate wrestling career with a third place finish at last month’s NCAA Division II National Championships, senior Mike Williams was named the NCAA Super Region I Wrestler of the Year on Friday by the NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches Association.
The announcement marked the second-straight year that Williams has grabbed the honor. One of just three four-time all-Americans in the history of the UNCP athletic department, Williams is the first UNCP wrestler to earn two region wrestler of the year accolades in the 31-year history of the wrestling program in Pembroke.
The winner of three-straight Super Region I titles (2010-12), Williams finished his stay in Pembroke with a 112-13 (.896) career record – a mark that includes 25 wins via pin, five by technical fall and 24 by major decision. He posted a 38-4 (.905) record as a senior this season, including a 27-3 mark against NCAA Division II competition and a 14-1 record against NCAA Super Region I wrestlers. His 38 victories on the mat in 2012-13 ranks in a tie for sixth all-time and are the most wins in a single season by a UNCP wrestler since Josh Woodruff accomplished the same feat in 2004.
Williams became the 34th member of UNCP’s 100-Wins Club with a first-period pin of Seton Hill’s Randall Wagner on Jan. 25, 2013, at the NCAA Super Region I Duals and joined Woodruff in eighth place on UNCP’s all-time wins list with four wins at the NCAA Championships. As a junior in 2011-12, he became the first national champion in the history of the UNCP wrestling program with an unblemished run through the 165-pound bracket at the NCAA Championships in Pueblo, Colo.
The Plainfield, N.J., native posted a 90-8 (.918) career record against NCAA Division II foes, including an 11-3 mark against nationally ranked competition. He also took home four Most Outstanding Wrestler accolades over the last three years, including MOW laurels at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals as a sophomore in 2011-12.
Davis named Super Region II Wrestler of the Year
SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio - Joey Davis had a fantastic freshman campaign for the Notre Dame Falcons, and on Friday, he was rewarded for his efforts, as he was named the Super Region II Wrestler of the Year.
The Super Region II Wrestler of the Year Award is voted on by the coaches in the region. By receiving this prestigious honor, Davis becomes one of four finalists for the Division-II Wrestler of the Year Award, which will be announced next week.
Davis, a product of Compton, Calif., had an incredible season, which saw him go unbeaten in 33 matches. He garnered 12 majors, five tech falls and four pins over his historic freshman campaign. Davis earned a national championship at 165, and did so by taking down some very tough competition along the way.
At the National Championships in Birmingham, Ala., Davis disposed of a pair of All Americans, and a former D-I starter, in Chase Nelson of Nebraska-Kearney in the final bout, who entered the bout with a record of 26-3 on the season. Davis defeated Nelson, in a 7-5 decision to claim his first National Championship. In addition, he was taken down just once, in 33 matches, and was not taken down until the National Championship bout.
Awards are nothing new for Davis, who was named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference’s Freshman of the Year back in February, after going 4-0, with a fall and a tech fall, in dual matches against GLIAC foes in the 2012-13 regular season. In high school, Davis was a two-time California state high school champion.
“We are very proud of Joey, and extremely happy for him,” said Head Coach Frank Romano. “We knew we had something special from the first day he set foot on campus, and we expect big things from him in the years to come.”
Davis was part of a team that finished third overall at the 2013 NCAA-II National Championships, in NDC’s first year as an NCAA-II institution. Despite 2012-13 being just Notre Dame's seventh season, Falcon wrestlers have now piled up 12 individual national titles. The program has cranked out 47 All-Americans under Head Coach Frank Romano, who has been at the helm of NDC Wrestling since the program's inception in 2006.
O’Grady Named Super Region III Wrestler of the Year
ST. CLOUD, Minn. - St. Cloud State University senior wrestler Shamus O’Grady was named the 2012-13 Super Region 3 Wrestler of the Year.
Shamus O’Grady (184 lbs., Coon Rapids, Minn.) finished his career at St. Cloud State University with mark of 108-28 including a 40-1 record as a senior, which ties the school record for most wins in a season previously held by Tad Merritt. O’Grady was a four-time NCAA DII national qualifier, a four-time NCAA DII All-American (finishing sixth, fourth, fourth and first) and the 2013 NCAA DII National Champion at 184-pounds. He was a two-time Super Region 3 Champion and Outstanding Wrestler Award winner.
O’Grady was named the 2012-13 NSIC Wrestler of the Year. He was named NSIC All-Conference selection four years in a row including three of the four with first team honors.
He will be named the Dean Weismann (Husky Wrestler of the Year) award winner for 2012-13. He capped off his career by being named the 2013 NCAA DII Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.
O’Grady won an NCAA Division II Individual Wrestling title with a 12-2 major decision over Dallas Smith of Ouachita Baptist at 184-pounds and the Huskies finished as the NCAA Division II National Runner-Up at the 2013 NCAA Wrestling National Championships in Birmingham, Ala. In the semi’s, O’Grady competed in the day’s marquee match-up against Travis McKillop of Pitt-Johnstown, who entered the match as D2’s leader in the Most Dominating Wrestler charts in 2012-13.
O’Grady advanced on the strength of a big 6-4 win over McKillop.
O’Grady received notice as the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler for his efforts in Birmingham.
“Shamus is one of the best student-wrestlers that I have had the privilege to coach,” said Coach Costanzo.
“He has been an excellent leader, role model and team representative for our program. I have always been able to count on him for anything that will make our team better. His presence will be missed on and off the mat.”
O’Grady is the son of Dan and Synthia Klint and is a math education major at St. Cloud State University.
Fortune named Super Region IV Wrestler of the Year
Grand Canyon University junior Tyrell Fortune has been selected the NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches Association Super Region IV Wrestler of the Year.
Fortune capped off his initial season at GCU by winning the 285-class NCAA Division II Championship and was named the tournament’s most dominant wrestler. Already a two-time JUCO national champ, Fortune went 36-1 for the season and set a school record for pins in a season with 20.
As a region wrestler of the year, Fortune is now eligible to be named the NWCA National Wrestler of the Year.