Returning to the Binghamton wrestling team as NCAA qualifiers, redshirt sophomores Lou DePrez and Zack Trampe, along with senior Anthony Sparacio, are the top wrestlers on the team. However, all three were unable to wrestle this weekend because of injuries, and the Bearcats (2-7) dropped three dual matches to No. 4 Virginia Tech, Penn and Drexel.
“We have three guys out of our lineup right now that they more or less win every dual meet they’ve wrestled here since the time they’ve been here,” said Binghamton head coach Kyle Borshoff. “When you don’t have that type of winning leadership it gets hard to win dual matches.”
Trampe has not wrestled since Nov. 23, while DePrez and Sparacio wrestled last weekend against Lehigh and Columbia. In DePrez’s absence, Binghamton forfeited the 184-pound weight class in all three matches. Additionally, DePrez was unable to take on the No. 2 wrestler in his weight class, Virginia Tech redshirt sophomore Hunter Bolen, in what would have been the team’s premier bout of the weekend. Bolen defeated DePrez 8-3 earlier this season at the Las Vegas Invitational.
“[DePrez] was off the mat all of last week,” Borshoff said. “[We’re] just focusing on making sure that he gets healthy. The goal for him is to be a national champion, so we just gotta make sure that we’re doing the right things for his body and make sure he’s ready to go when he needs to be.”
Borshoff seems to think the Bearcats’ roster will get healthier in the short-term before postseason competition begins in March.
“I think we’ll have a couple guys back next weekend, and I think we’ll hopefully be at full strength on Feb. 1,” Borshoff said. “These matches, at the end of the day, they don’t determine whether we make it to the national championships. They don’t determine if we’re All-Americans or national champions. It’s nice to win dual meets, it’s fun to do it, but at the end of the day winning and losing dual meets has no effect on us at the EIWA [Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association] Championships.”
With the depleted lineup, Binghamton opened the weekend with a 47-0 loss to No. 4 Virginia Tech (8-0) at the Events Center. The Bearcats forfeited at 133 pounds and 184 pounds and were defeated in all other weight classes.
“Yesterday [against Virginia Tech] was a major frustration,” Borshoff said. “They’re one of the top teams in the country, but if we have our healthy, full team that we had at the beginning of the season, it’s a different match altogether. I’m not happy about it. I don’t think we learned a lot from it. I think we really just need to be focused on getting healthy.”
With the Bearcats’ roster depleted, the team wrestled three true freshmen on Saturday against the Hokies and four in Sunday’s losses to Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) members Penn and Drexel. The Quakers (3-4) defeated Binghamton 31-6, and the Dragons (6-5) won 28-9.
The Bearcats won five bouts during their trip to Philadelphia, highlighted by freshman Jacob Nolan going undefeated in his two matches over the weekend. Freshman Carson Sauriol also picked up a decision in the dual against Penn, and redshirt sophomores Joe Doyle and Matt Swanson won against Drexel.
In the 197-pound weight class, freshman Sam DePrez has taken on the starting role for Binghamton. The youngest of four DePrez siblings to wrestle for BU, he began the season under redshirt status but was activated and made his collegiate debut in the Southern Scuffle.
“It was pretty simple,” Borshoff said. “We needed a guy at the weight class and he’s our only option right now at that weight class, so he needed to be in the lineup for us. Division I wrestling is really hard. You get to these bigger weight classes, typically wrestling guys that are very physically mature and developed, guys that have been in this college environment for a few years, and he’s running into some good guys.”
Next up for the Bearcats is a doubleheader against EIWA opponents Harvard and Brown next Saturday. The first dual is set to begin at 1 p.m. at the West Gym in Vestal, New York.