King College head men's wrestling coach Nate Moorman announced the team's award winners upon the completion of the school year.
Most Valuable Newcomer/Freshmen - Jon Forbes
Forbes posted a 21-9 record for the season at 174-pounds. He went 12-4 in the second half of the season after not competing for two years before getting back on the mat for King. He also posted a 10-2 record in dual meets.
"It was really impressive and enjoyable to watch him continue to make adjustments throughout the season; we're really excited to see him next season," Moorman said.
Iron Man Award - Brandon Tressler
Every year the wrestler who battles through the most diversity and continues to contribute to the success of the program is awarded the Iron Man Award.
Tressler never missed a varsity match with an 18-13 record. He qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships and he was a match away from being an All-American. Tressler ranked third among NCAA Division II wrestlers at 184-pounds in wins by fall including a win over the NCAA Division II national champion Aaron Denson, from Nebraska-Omaha. All of this was accomplished with a significant knee injury and short surgery recovery time.
"Guys like Brandon don't come around all the time, he's a work horse and truly exemplifies what a tough guy is supposed to be on and off the mat," Moorman commented.
Most Improved - Nic Stella
Stella entered his sophomore season as 4-7 going into the second semester at 149-pounds. He finished his college season 14-13, including a five-match winning streak over NCAA Division II foes. Stella also finished fifth at the NCAA Super Region II tournament after dropping a true fourth-place match to qualify for the nationals. The match was lost on a controversial stall call in overtime.
"Nic has all the talent, all the knowledge, and all the toughness needed to be a great wrestler. He really started putting things together at the end, and we're working hard to carry that momentum into the 2011-2012 season," Moorman added.
Leadership Award - Caleb Myers
Myers will be entering his senior year in 2011-2012 and returning to the mat at 133-pounds. Every year he has continued to be a leader on and off the mat for wrestling program. He has been voted as team captain by the team the last two years. Myers has been involved in community service and has maintained over 3.3 GPA for the past five semesters. He finished the season 15-13 and was named a member of the NWCA All-Academic Team for NCAA Division II.
"Caleb has been at King through all of our growing pains as a program," Moorman commented. "He's always been a positive influence on the team and provided a tremendous example of work ethic. We're excited about having him around one more year."
Most Valuable Wrestler - Frank Morgan
Morgan is no stranger to this award having earned it in 2009 after finishing second at the NAIA National Championships. He again had an outstanding year competing at 197-pounds. His list of accomplishment for the 2010-2011 season include qualifying for the NCAA Division II National Championships, winning the NCAA Super Region II Title, posting a 19-5 record, reached the highest NCAA DII ranking for the program at third nationally, led NCAA Division II wrestlers at 197-pounds in wins by technical fall and was undefeated in dual meets. Morgan also maintain over a 3.0 GPA this season as a physics major at King.
"Frank is truly a go getter, and a very intense individual," Moorman said. "Although the award is Most Valuable, his contributions to our program have been invaluable."
Several other wrestlers had great seasons and were deserving of mention. Patrick Spano finished the season 22-8 at 165-pounds. The sophomore led NCAA Division II grapplers in wins by technical fall, finished sixth in wins by fall and was in the Top-20 for overall wins in the weight class. Junior heavyweight Dondricus Anderson had an impressive season finishing 22-16. Anderson was sixth in NCAA Division II for wins by fall including fall over NCAA Division II All-American Patrick Carey of Colorado-Pueblo. Anderson added a win over NCAA Division I All-American, Spencer Myers of Maryland.