The Binghamton wrestling team withstood a heavy loss this past Thursday, falling 29-10 to SUNY Buffalo at home. After a tough showing at their last meet versus Cornell, the Bearcats sought to come out fighting against the Bulls, but came up short in the dual match at the Events Center.

Junior Anthony Sparacio, redshirt senior Vincent DePrez and redshirt freshman Lou DePrez were the only Bearcats to earn victories at the meet, combining for 10 team points. Sparacio picked up a victory against junior Kyle Todrank, earning an 8-3 decision after a takedown with 18 seconds left.

Brothers Lou and Vincent DePrez — natives of Hilton, New York — dominated their respective matches. Lou DePrez took on redshirt sophomore Logan Rill successfully, taking a 7-0 decision. A highly regarded addition to the Bearcats, Lou DePrez continues to impress after placing fifth at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational a week ago.

Vincent DePrez took a 14-4 victory against redshirt freshman Jake Lanning, providing another bright spot in an otherwise disappointing showing. Redshirt freshman Aidan Monteverdi nearly secured a decision against junior Troy Keller, but was just edged out by a 7-6 advantage as time expired.

Redshirt freshman Joe Doyle had a difficult matchup in redshirt senior Jake Gunning, almost eking out a decision, but ultimately falling 7-4 with 30 seconds remaining. Redshirt sophomore Jason Javier, redshirt freshman Matt Swanson and redshirt senior Anthony DePrez also competed, but were defeated in their matches. At the end of the day, the Bearcats earned three winning decisions out of a possible 10.

Although the Bearcats were successful last season at Buffalo, winning 22-14, this meet had a far different outcome and lowered the team’s record to 0-2 in dual matches this season. Binghamton will need to improve to contend for a championship in a conference that consists of top-tier competition, such as Cornell, Lehigh, Army and Navy.

As the season continues, seniors Joe Russ, Joe Nelson, Vincent DePrez, Anthony DePrez and Steven Bulzomi will all seek to have successful farewell tours, with Vincent DePrez boasting an 85-47 career record coming into this year. Bulzomi, a 125-pounder from Oakdale, New York, came into this year with a lifetime 47-36 record. The five seniors who are departing have their fair share of support from a strong freshman class consisting of nine wrestlers.

With the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships occurring in early March and the NCAA Championships coming two weeks afterward, the Bearcats have several months for improvement. After the Southern Scuffle Tournament at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Jan. 1 and 2, the Bearcats will face a difficult string of meets with stops at Army, Columbia, Brown, Harvard and Sacred Heart before returning home on Feb. 10 to battle the Hofstra Pride.

Time will tell if this wrestling team is a force to be reckoned with in the conference, with the highest hopes resting on the shoulders of Lou DePrez and the rest of the Bearcats’ wrestlers.

The Bearcats will travel to Tennessee on New Year’s Day to take part in the Southern Scuffle. They will return home to face UPenn on Jan. 18, 2019.