F&M 141 lber Wil Gil (Photo/F&M Sports Info)
Franklin & Marshall Diplomats
â€œWe are a young team looking for consistency week after week. Due to lack of experience in our lineup, we will be at a bunch of open tournaments in the first semester to help the team get matches in. Ultimately, our goal is to qualify three wrestlers to the NCAA tournamentâ€
- Coach Mike Rogers
The Diplomats were forced to sit out last season, due to the COVID pandemic. There are three top returners who will anchor their line-up.
Wil Gil (2x EIWA Placer, NCAA Tournament Alternate Wrestler 2018)
Jose Diaz (returning starter at 125lb)
Cenzo Pelusi (returning starter at 285lb)
Franklin & Marshall lost two key cornerstones in their lineup over the past few seasons, both of whom were captains. Emmet LiCastri was a four-year starter at 157lb and 165lb with wins at the EIWA Conference Tournament. Secondly, one of F&M's best wrestlers over the past half-decade was lost due to graduation in 2019. Antonio Pelusi was an NCAA Qualifier three times as a Diplomat, winning a couple matches while wrestling heavyweight. His younger brother, Cenzo is one of the top returners listed above.
Bailey and Dalton Gimbor are two newcomers to be on the lookout for. After placing fourth and second at Pennsylvania AA states last year, respectively, they plan on potentially redshirting this year while competing at 149lb and 157lb. The twins have both been to the PIAA tournament on more than one occasion.
Pat Phillips will be looking to fight for a starting spot at 133lb. He was fifth in the state of New Jersey last year as a senior. He was also a multiple-time qualifier for the state tournament.
Gio Diaz is the younger (but larger) brother of Jose Diaz. Gio was a third-place finisher in Illinois his senior season of high school, while being a qualifier the year prior. He will be the third wrestler in the mix to be the guy at the 133lb weight class.
James Conway comes into college as a High School National Prep All-American. The Maryland native was a three-time state place winner. He will be in the mix to try and claim the starting spot at 184lb.
WRESTLERS TO WATCH
The Diplomats' 141lb starter, Wil Gil, is the anchor of the line-up. He brings the most experience, and most extensive resume to the team. Being an NCAA Tournament alternate a few years ago, he is poised to make the most of his final season. His fun-to-watch, wild style has proven he can compete with almost anyone in the country. Coach Tyson â€œSlipâ€ Dippery has been steadily helping Gil improve in all positions. Expect to see him on the podium at the EIWA Conference Tournament in March.
Christiaan Dailey is the potential starter at the 149lb class for the Dips. Coach Rogers is expecting a breakout year from him this season, based on what he's seen in the room the past year. With workout partners in Gil and Coach Dippery, it is no surprise to acknowledge his improvement, paralleled with high expectations. Franklin & Marshall could have a nice little one-two punch at 141 and 149 if Dailey's potential comes to fruition.
125: Jose Diaz
133: Nick Tewell / Gio Diaz / Pat Phillips
141: Wil Gil
149: Christiaan Dailey
157: Chase McCollum / Noah Chan
165: Crew Fullerton / Chris Bolletino
174: John Crawford
184: James Conway / Harrison Shapiro
197: Mike Waszen
285: Cenzo Pelusi