Bucknell Wrestling Holds Team Banquet, Announces Awards
April 23, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Junior Corey Lear (Orangeville, Pa./Benton Area), a 2012 NCAA qualifier, earned the William A. Graham IV Most Outstanding Wrestler Award and four other Bison received award recognition this past Saturday evening when the Bucknell wrestling team held its annual awards banquet inside the Elaine Langone Center. Also recognized Saturday was senior John Regan (Plum Borough, Pa./Kiski School), the lone member of the squad who will be graduating next month.
Freshman NCAA qualifier Austin Miller (Mount Joy, Pa./Hempfield) was presented with the Class of 2010 Leadership Award, while freshman Tyler Lyster (Wanamassa, N.J./Ocean Township) was given the Coach's Award. Sophomore Ray Schlitt (Haddonfield, N.J./Haddonfield) copped the 11th Man Award and Regan was rewarded with the Most Improved Award. Additionally, the program's 10 letterwinners were cited during the banquet.
The William A. Graham IV Most Outstanding Wrestler Award is presented annually to the Bison wrestler who performs best at the NCAA Championships and Lear did just that, posting a 2-2 record in his first time at the event. The first Bucknell grappler since 2009 to earn an at-large berth to the NCAA Championships, Lear finished fifth at the EIWA Championships, his second career placing, and was 18-11 overall on the season.
A 165-pounder, Lear joined the team in mid-December and put together two different four-bout winning streaks during the season. He was fourth on the team in victories, tied for the team lead with five wins by fall and his 62 career victories are the most of any current Bison.
Miller, who earned the Class of 2010 Leadership Award, which is given to the team's best leader in honor of the first class of seniors following the reinstatement of the program, joined Lear at the NCAA Championships in St. Louis. He received a tough draw and went 0-2. The 125-pounder earned an automatic berth to NCAAs thanks to a third-place finish at the EIWA Championships. Miller, the first Bucknell freshman to earn an NCAA berth since 2009, led the squad in victories (22) and dual victories (13). He registered four different winning streaks of at least three bouts and finished second in his bracket at November's Navy Classic.
Lyster received the Coach's Award, which recognizes what the coaches look for in an athlete: work ethic, dedication and a positive attitude. Lyster began his rookie campaign wrestling at 197 pounds, but an injury to a classmate forced him to move up to 285. He finished the season with a 9-23 overall record, including 4-15 at 197 and 5-8 at 285. Lyster wrestled in the 197-pound bracket at the EIWA Championships, faced seven nationally ranked opponents and was 4-0 in bouts decided by fall.
The 11th Man Award recognizes a wrestler who may not be in the starting lineup, but works just as hard, if not harder, and contributes tremendously to the overall achievement of the team. Schlitt, a sophomore who transferred to Bucknell from James Madison, was honored after competing at 157 and 165 this past year. He filled in for Lear at 165 during the early part of the season and wrestled at the Navy Classic, Nittany Lion Open and Midlands Championships in addition to eight dual matches.
The team's lone senior, Regan earned the Most Improved Award after missing his entire junior campaign with an injury. He posted his second career 20-win campaign and was second on the team in victories (20). Regan finished in seventh place in the 157-pound bracket at the EIWA Championships, his second career placing at the event. He posted a five-match winning streak to start the season and had six consecutive victories in January. A versatile wrestler, Regan competed at both 149 and 157, posting a winning record at each weight. He will graduate with a 56-35 career mark.
Bucknell was 4-16 overall in 2011-12, including 2-4 against EIWA foes. The Bison finished in 13th place at the EIWA Championships and tied for 51st at the NCAA Championships.