COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Each week during the 2013-14 season a Maryland student-athlete, who has shown excellence on and off the playing field, will be selected as the Solomon Eye Associates Terp of the Week. This week's Solomon Eye Associates Terp of the Week is senior Jimmy Sheptock of the Maryland wrestling team.
By: Taylor Smyth - Maryland Media Relations Assistant
Going into the Midlands Championship final, Maryland senior wrestler Jimmy Sheptock was well aware that his match against Iowa’s Ethen Lofthouse would be a tightly contested affair.
“Obviously we’ve wrestled a couple times before so we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” Sheptock said. “Kerry [McCoy] showed me a couple things that we worked on before the match and that helped me.”
The senior used these techniques in the sudden victory period, taking down Lofthouse to notch two points and take home the Midlands’ title, the first won by Terp grappler since 2009.
With the win, Sheptock rose to No. 1 at 184 pounds in most national college wrestling polls. However, a ranking at the beginning of 2014 does not satisfy the Northampton, Pa., native.
“It’s a good feeling, but the two-time defending national champion [Ed Ruth] is still in my weight class. Until I beat him, I’m not No. 1.”
Sheptock has beaten four top-20 opponents, including three that have at some point been ranked in the top five this season. From a team perspective, Sheptock has not lost a dual match in his entire Maryland career. This season, Sheptock leads the Terps in dual points earned, bonus points earned, dual major decisions, tech falls and pins.
The Midlands accounted for Sheptock’s second tournament title of the season. Hosted by Northwestern University, the annual competition consistently attracts high-level wrestlers from around the country.
For Sheptock, the motivation to win went farther than just improving Maryland’s team score or taking care of his own record. With family in the Chicago area, Sheptock wanted to make sure that he put on a show in his final chance at the Midlands.
“It’s a really prestigious tournament and I always want to perform well because I have family in Chicago,” Sheptock said. “I always give my trophy to my little cousin Ethan, and I wanted to send him out with the biggest trophy possible my last time there.”
For the Maryland wrestling team, Sheptock will be expected to bring home the biggest trophy wherever he goes. That’s pressure that the senior relishes and will continue to thrive on as he heads towards the second half of the season.