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Wrestling Celebrates 2017-18 Season at Team Banquet

Maryland Athletics
3-25-2018
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The Maryland wrestling team celebrated the 2017-18 season on Sunday at the program’s annual awards banquet. Friends, family and team supporters joined the Maryland staff and student-athletes as the team presented awards and enjoyed dinner together.

For a full list of awards presented at the banquet, please see below. 

2017-18 Award Honorees 

John C. McHugh Outstanding Wrestler of the Year Award

Youssif Hemida (Jr., Mamaroneck, N.Y.) -- Hemida was a consistent force for Maryland all season, and capped off his junior campaign by becoming the 20th NCAA All-American in Maryland wrestling history. Hemida's season highlights included an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, a sixth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships, a third-place finish at the 55th Annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, seven wins over ranked opponents, and the most dual -- and B1G dual -- wins on the team. 

Kevin R. Kearns Award -- A senior wrestler contributing the most to Maryland wrestling

Justin Alexander (RSr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) -- Alexander posted six wins on the season, including a dual win via fall in his final match at the XFINITY Center. His fall helped Maryland close out its dual season with a win over Ohio. Alexander also wrestled for Maryland at the Big Ten Championships, representing the Terps in the 157-pound bracket. He finished his season with a major decision victory to go along with his two wins by pinfall. 

Tom Norris Unsung Hero Award

Patrick Gerish (RJr., Newark, N.J.) -- Gerish's 17-win season was highlighted by his Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honor, which came following his open championship at the CSU Open. Gerish pinned four opponents in five matches en route to a title. Gerish posted two dual wins on the year, including a pin in Maryland's season finale against Ohio. His season finished with an impressive seven victories by way of fall, which was good for third-most on the Terrapin roster. 

Curt Callahan Mental Toughness Award 

Youssif Hemida (Jr., Mamaroneck, N.Y.) -- Hemida was a consistent force for Maryland all season, and capped off his junior campaign by becoming the 20th NCAA All-American in Maryland wrestling history. Hemida's season highlights included an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, a sixth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships, a third-place finish at the 55th Annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, seven wins over ranked opponents, and the most dual -- and B1G dual -- wins on the team. 

Most Improved Award

Idris White (RSo., Philadelphia, Pa.) -- White's 28-win 2017-18 campaign was good for second-most on the Maryland roster, second only to Hemida who finished with 30. He led the team with an impressive 11 victories by fall, and ended his season on a three-match pin streak. The redshirt sophomore lost just six matches in the entire season. White finished fourth at the "Shorty" Hitchcock Memorial Classic, third at the ESU Open, and third at the Princeton Open.  

Redshirt of the Year Award

Philip Spadafora (Fr., Dix Hills, N.Y) -- Spadafora was a force in his redshirt season, tallying 18 wins on the season, which was good for fourth-most on the team. He was also tied for third on the team with four major decisions in the 2017-18 season. Spadafora was a Messiah Open champion, while also earning a third-place finish at the Princeton Open and a fourth-place finish at the ESU Open. 

Freshman of the Year Award 

Philip Spadafora (Fr., Dix Hills, N.Y.) -- Spadafora was a force in his redshirt season, tallying 18 wins on the season, which was good for fourth-most on the team. He was also tied for third on the team with four major decisions in the 2017-18 season. Spadafora was a Messiah Open champion, while also earning a third-place finish at the Princeton Open and a fourth-place finish at the ESU Open. 

11th Man Award -- Wrestler who did not compete in the B1G Championships but made significant contributions to the team

Peter Tedesco (RSo., Woburn, Mass.) -- Messiah Open champion Peter Tedesco finished his 2017-18 season with seven wins, including one dual win. The dual win came when he defeated Brown's James Pawelski by a 3-2 decision to help the Terps to a dual victory. Tedesco also picked up a 13-4 major decision victory over Columbia's JP Ascolese in the championship match of the Messiah Open. 

Academic Excellence Award 

Jahi Jones (RSo., Fort Washington, Md.) -- Jones led the way in the classroom for the Terrapins this season, posting a 3.7 GPA as an Accounting major in the Smith School of Business. On the mat, Jones picked up a pair of bonus point victories this season, with a major decision win over Spencer Kiehm of Harvard, and a first-period fall over Bucknell's Kyle Inlander at the F&M Open. 

Varsity Letter Recipients

Mansur Abdul-Malik, Justin Alexander, Alfred Bannister, Danny Bertoni, Brendan Burnham, Niko Cappello, Kyle Cochran, Brandon Cray, Ryan Diehl, Michael Doetsch. Patrick Gerish, Youssif Hemida, Jahi Jones, Matt Pente, Jhared Simmons, Jaron Smith, Peter Tedesco, Josh Ugalde, David-Brian Whisler, Idris White, & Adam Whitesell 

Team Captains

Justin Alexander, Alfred Bannister, Youssif Hemida

Hudson Taylor Award Winners -- Most Outstanding Wrestler in a Home Dual
Cambell: Brandon Cray
George Mason: Jaron Smith
Ohio State: Youssif Hemida
Penn State: Brandon Cray
Minnesota: Ryan Diehl
Rider: Youssif Hemida
Ohio University: Justin Alexander and Patrick Gerish

-TERPS-

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