2021 NCAA Qualifier Jacob Allen (Photo/Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
â€œWe need this team to be dynamic individually. We need a team that our fans come and watch and enjoy the action because we chase points. They need to compete with confidence and without hesitation. That's what we expect from this season.â€ Head Coach Cary Kolat
The Midshipmen have four key returners, all of whom are returning NCAA Qualifiers. Cerniglia and Key were freshmen last season, looking to return to the championships as sophomores. Allen qualified last year at the 133lb weight class, while Koser finally got to compete after being an alternate the year prior. The experience of these guys will lead the team this season.
Andrew Cerniglia (1x EIWA Placer, 1x NCAA Qualifier)
David Key (1x EIWA Placer, 1x NCAA Qualifier)
Jacob Allen (1x EIWA Placer, 1x NCAA Qualifier)
Jacob Koser (2x EIWA Placer, 1x NCAA Qualifier)
Last season, Navy qualified nine wrestlers to St. Louis. They will come into the season losing four individuals who manned their weight classes for multiple years. All graduates listed below were also NCAA Qualifiers a year ago.
Logan Treaster was a two-year starter at the 125lb weight class. After placing second at the EIWA Championships, he did not win a match at nationals. Replacing a qualifier is never an easy task. Reluctantly for Navy, Jacob Allen will move back down to the 125lb weight and look to qualify at his new weight class.
Cody Trybus was a two-time EIWA Champion. He did not get to compete at the canceled 2020 championships but earned the eleventh seed at last year's tournament. His lone victory came in the first round via major decision.
Tanner Skidgel may have been the Midshipmen's biggest loss. The two-time EIWA champ and one-time runner-up manned the 165lb spot for three years and qualified for the national championships all three of those years. Last season, he failed to capture the EIWA title, falling to eventual All-American Zach Hartman of Bucknell.
Casey Cobb received an at-large bid last season to qualify for the NCAA championships at the 149lb weight class. He also would have been a participant down at 133lb the year prior if the championships had not been canceled due to COVID-19. Cobb is another two-time qualifier that Navy will need to replace.
The Navy Midshipmen had an impressive recruiting class that will be looking to replace the departures mentioned above. There is a lot of potential talent, which we may see in the starting line-up right away.
Cael Crebs of Montoursville, Pennsylvania, was AA State Champion as a high school senior and placed third as a junior. Amassing over 135 wins against less than 20 losses, Crebs will step in as a potential starter at 174lb.
Ryan Catka was a two-time third-place finisher at the AAA state tournament in Pennsylvania. With only an 87-14 career high school record, the ceiling on Catka is very high. The athletic heavyweight will be battling a handful of talented wrestlers in the room at this weight class.
Josh Koderhandt is an Illinois native who will be in the mix as the starter at the 133lb class. The freshman has been on the medal podium multiple times. He was on top of that podium his senior year. He has the coaching staff very excited about his capabilities.
Grady Greiss will most likely represent Navy at heavyweight. He missed last season due to an injury and will now be ready to prove himself on the mat. He has two state gold medals and one silver from his high school career in Nebraska. Expect big things from Grady.
WRESTLERS TO WATCH
Josh Koderhandt is one freshman to keep an eye out for. As mentioned, he is one of the potential starters at the 133lb weight class. Claiming an Illinois state title, and being a runner-up, has him ready to compete at the D1 level right away. The Belleville West native is excited to get his career started under Head Coach Cary Kolat and staff. Obviously, this is a mutual feeling.
Grady Greiss is another fresh face to be on the lookout for. During his senior year, he won a state championship in wrestling and football. This, ultimately, earned him Athlete of the Year honors in the local Omaha area. He holds the high school pin record in the state of Nebraska, while maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA. Being a freak athlete, and very intelligent, could make a phenomenal heavyweight wrestler. The coaching staff at Navy is excited, to say the least, at what Grady Greiss can achieve in the EIWA conference, and beyond.
125: Jacob Allen/Dayton DelViscio
133: Luke Lucerne/Josh Koderhandt
141: Tyler Hunt/Jonathan Miranda
149: P.J. Crane/Payne Carr
157: Andrew Cerniglia
165: Henry Hague/Val Park
174: Shane Finney/Cael Crebs
184: David Key
197: Jacob Koser
285: Grady Griess