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    Bucknell announces team awards at banquet

    LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Senior Kevin LeValley (Hugo, Colo./Limon) earned the William A. Graham IV Most Outstanding Wrestler Award to highlight the list of honors doled out by Bison coaches as the Bucknell wrestling team held its end-of-season banquet this past Saturday evening inside Larison Hall. It is the second consecutive year LeValley has been honored with the Graham Award, given annually to the Bison wrestler who performs best at the NCAA Championships.

    Four other Bison were honored with individual awards, while the 12 letterwinners and two NCAA qualifiers (LeValley, Jay Hahn) were also recognized. Senior Brantley Hooks (Spartanburg, S.C./James F. Byrnes) was presented with the Class of 2010 Leadership Award, while classmate Scott Sechler (Slatington, Pa./Northern Lehigh) was given the Coach’s Award. Sophomore Jack Ingram (Cotuit, Mass./Tbor Academy) copped the 11th Man Award and Hahn (Malvern, Pa./Great Valley) was rewarded with the Most Improved Award.

    LeValley, who became just the third two-time All-American in program history by finishing seventh at the NCAA Championships for a second straight year, shared the prestigious Graham Award with Andy Rendos in 2010. He is the program’s career wins leader with a 127-40 record, including a stellar 76-11 his final two seasons. LeValley, in 2010-11, led Bucknell in wins for a second consecutive season as he piled up 34 victories against just three losses. He joined Rendos as the only Bison to win EIWA individual titles, claiming the 149-pound title one year after finishing in a runner-up position.

    Bucknell’s single-season wins leader with 42 as a junior, LeValley earned the Christy Mathewson Award as the top male athlete in the Class of 2011 at Tuesday night’s Bison Club Senior Recognition Dinner. He climbed as high as No. 2 in the national rankings as a senior and finished his career with 59 dual wins, a 22-8 EIWA dual mark and nine pins.

    A fifth-year senior, Hooks joined current assistant coach David Marble as the only recipients of the two-year-old Class of 2010 Leadership Award, given to the team’s best leader in honor of the first class of seniors following the reinstatement of the program. Hooks began his Bison career in 2006-07, the same year the program returned from a four-year hiatus. The 157-pounder finished his career with an 87-67 record, ranking 10th on Bucknell’s all-time wins list. He was 21-12 as a senior and finished seventh at the EIWA Championships, his second consecutive time as a placewinner at the conference meet after a sixth-place showing in 2010.

    Sechler earned the Coach’s Award, which recognizes what the coaches look for in an athlete: work ethic, dedication and a positive attitude. Sechler, a 157-pounder, wrestled in six individual tournaments as a senior, finishing sixth at the Mat-Town Open and fourth at the Shorty Hitchcock Invitational. A 2009 EIWA placewinner (6th), Sechler finished the 2010-11 campaign with a 9-12 mark, but won five of his final seven bouts, bringing his career win total to 40.

    The 11th Man Award recognizes a wrestler who may not be in the starting lineup, but works just as hard, if not harder, and contributes tremendously to the overall achievement of the team. Ingram earned the honor this year and will try to replicate the success of 2010 winner Corey Lear, who became an EIWA placewinner this season. Ingram, a 141-pound grappler, wrestled just 12 bouts in 2010-11, picking up his only win of the season at the Shorty Hitchcock Invitational.

    Hahn joined LeValley in giving Bucknell two NCAA qualifiers as he copped the Most Improved Award. He nearly doubled his previous high win total of 16, posting a 29-12 record in 2010-11, bringing his final career tally to 63-52. Hahn finished fourth in the 197-pound bracket at the EIWA Championships, earning his first automatic berth to the NCAA Championships. At NCAAs, Hahn collected one win against two losses.

    Hahn posted four different winning streaks of at least four bouts and was 13-2 in bonus-point matches this past season. He never lost more than two consecutive bouts and finished third at both the Michigan State Open and Navy Classic. Hahn’s 29 wins tied for 13th on the program’s single-season list.

    Bucknell’s Class of 2011 – Hahn, Hooks, LeValley, Sechler, David Thompson (West Liberty, Ohio/Graham Local) and Rob Waltko (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) - will graduate with 39 dual wins, the second-most of any class in program history.

    Bucknell posted a 7-11 record in 2010-11 and were 2-5 in EIWA duals. The Bison finished in eighth place at the EIWA Championships and had five placewinners at the event that took place inside Sojka Pavilion.

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