Middle Weights: Spots Up For Grabs

Oct. 22, 2012

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The most intriguing roster battles for the Maryland wrestling team in the upcoming season may take place at 149, 157 and 165 pounds. The graduation of 2012 ACC 157-pound champion Kyle John combined with junior Ben Dorsay’s jump from 149 pounds to 157, and two-time All-American Josh Asper’s move from 165 pounds to 174 has opened up all three starting spots.

All three weight classes possess a mix of talented youth and battle-tested veterans looking to earn the starting nod. An early season starter will emerge at each of these weight classes following Saturday’s Red & Black Intrasquad exhibition meet.

At 149, Dorsay is expected to serve a redshirt season while making the transition to 157 pounds. That opens the door for juniors Danny Orem and Ian Squires, sophomore Lou Mascola and freshman Tito Onyekweli.

Mascola is moving up a weight class after wrestling at 141 last season. The East Hanover, N.J., native finished 10-12 with five victories via pin in open competition. Mascola took fifth at last year’s Brockport/Oklahoma Gold Classic.

Orem has wrestled at both 149 and 157 during his time in College Park. Last season wrestling at 149, Orem went 10-11 in open competition and took fourth at the Central Jersey Open. Squires served a redshirt season last year after transferring from Boston University, while Onyekweli was a three-time Maryland Independent School state tournament medalist at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md.

The position with the most competition is 157, where as many as six wrestlers could be in the mix. While Dorsay is likely to redshirt, he is available for head coach Kerry McCoy to utilize. Dorsay finished 16-11 last season and went 4-1 in ACC duals.

If Dorsay retains the redshirt, junior Domenic DeRobertis and redshirt freshman Brady Massaro seem to be in position to earn the starting spot.

"Domenic was our No. 2 guy behind KJ (Kyle John) the last couple of years,” said McCoy. “He tore his ACL two years ago and was recovering from it. It kind of effected how much he could do last year when he came back. Brady is real competitive and gets after it."

A trio of underclassmen are also in the mix at 157. Sophomore Kyle Dehaut wrestled in open competition last season along with redshirt freshman TJ Guidice. Two-time Pennsylvania state medalist Tyler Manion is also competing for the spot.

At 165, sophomore Nick Lobue and redshirt freshman Josh Snook step into the spotlight vacated by junior Josh Asper’s move to 174. Both Lobue and Snook have impressed McCoy during preseason practice after wrestling in open competition last season.

"Nick has improved from last season,” said McCoy. “Josh has battled a couple of nagging injuries, but works hard in the room."