PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The biggest meet of the season is this weekend for the Plymouth State University wrestling team as the Panthers compete in the New England Collegiate Conference Wrestling Association (NECCWA) Annual Championships.
This year’s championships are Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 18-19, at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. There will be 15 schools vying for the team title, and 150 wrestlers in 10 weight classes battling for individual championships. The champion in each weight class and three at-large wrestlers will advance to the NCAA Division III Championships on Mar. 3-4 at the College of New Jersey.
The Panthers should have several wrestlers challenging for All-New England honors, which go to the top six in each weight class. Four Panthers are currently ranked among the top six in their weight class in the weekly New England rankings, and two others have been ranked during the season.
The top Panther contenders are senior Nick Gurney (Dixfield, Maine) at 184 pounds, freshman Shawn Moseley (Hooksett, N.H./Concord HS/Tilton Prep) at 133, junior Brandon Black (Keene, N.H.) at 165, and senior Billy Wilbert (Toms River, N.J.) at 197. Gurney has posted a 20-9 record and is ranked sixth in New England at 184, while Moseley has recorded a 20-8 mark and is ranked fifth at 133. Black, who was runner-up at 165 last season, is ranked fifth this year, and Wilbert has battled injuries but has a 10-4 record and is ranked sixth at 197.
In addition, sophomore Shaun Wilbert (Toms River, N.J.) is a solid contender at 285 pounds. He placed sixth in New England last winter and has an 18-10 record this season. Freshman 149-pounder Zeth Nolda (East Lyme, Conn.) has also been in the New England rankings this season, and his 14 victories this year ranks fourth on the team.
Plymouth State is coming off a sixth place finish at last year’s New Englands. The Panthers posted a 6-13 record in dual matches this season under first-year head coach Jason Holder.
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