Army Heads To Annapolis For Star Match

Head Coach Joe Heskett

Head Coach Joe Heskett

Feb. 16, 2012

WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army wrestling team closes out its dual match schedule on Friday, Feb. 17, when the Black Knights travel to Annapolis, Md., to square off with arch-rival Navy in the annual Star Match. The dual match, which will be contested inside Alumni Hall, is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.

A live video streamed broadcast of Friday's service-academy matchup will be offered via Navy's official athletics web site (www.NavySports.com). Subscription fees apply.

Army (8-5, 5-1 EIWA) is coming off a 27-12 victory over conference rival Bucknell. Junior Jordan Thome (133 pounds) and sophomore Ryan Bilyeu (149) registered pins to lead the Black Knights to their first win over the Bison in three years. Army enters Friday night's contest brimming with confidence, having won its last five dual matches.

Senior co-captain Jimmy Rafferty and Thome are tied for the team lead with 23 wins apiece. Rafferty also paces the Black Knights with a 10-3 mark in dual matches. Thome, who boasts a 23-8 overall record this season, leads the team with 11 pins and 12 bonus-point victories.

Freshman Cole Gracey, who has won 12 of his last 13 bouts, ranks third on the team with 19 wins, lists tied for second with seven dual match victories and six pins and stands second with 10 bonus-point victories.

Senior Michael Gorman (184 pounds) and freshman Scott Filbert (125) are tied for fourth on the squad with 18 wins apiece. Gorman has won nine of his last 12 bouts, ranks tied with Gracey for the team lead in major decisions (three), while listing among the Black Knights' leaders with six bonus-point victories.

Filbert, meanwhile, stands tied for second on the team with six pins and lists third on the club with eight bonus-point wins.

Navy (5-6, 1-2 EIWA) has been idle since wrapping up its fourth straight All-Academy Championships title two weeks ago. The Midshipmen have not wrestled in a dual match since defeating North Carolina (25-12) and Campbell (23-9) on Jan. 28.

Seniors Aaron Kalil (133 pounds) and Luke Rebertus (184) have led Navy all season long. Kalil owns a seven-match win streak and boasts a team-best 26-8 overall record. He ranks among Navy's leaders with four pins, three technical falls and four major decisions, while also topping the squad with a 9-2 mark in duals.

Rebertus, who has won his last seven bouts, shows a 25-9 overall record. The fourth-year grappler, who is 8-3 in dual matches, is tied for the team lead with six major decisions and lists among the team leaders with three technical falls and two pins.

Junior Oscar Huntley has forged an 18-9 overall mark at 174 pounds. He is tied with Rebertus for the team lead with six major decisions, and he also ranks among the Mids' leaders with three technical falls and two pins.

Army and Navy have met 55 times previously, and the Midshipmen own a commanding 45-5-5 advantage in the all-time series. Navy has won the last 11 meetings, and boasts a 13-0-1 mark since Army's last series victory in 1997.

Following Friday evening's showdown, Army will have two weeks to prepare for the 108th annual EIWA Championships (March 3-4), which are being hosted by Princeton University in Princeton, N.J.

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