For just the second time in program history, the Binghamton wrestling team has a two-time All-American. Redshirt junior Lou DePrez placed eighth at the 2021 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships this weekend, earning All-American honors for the second consecutive season.
“This tournament is a bear,” said Binghamton head coach Kyle Borshoff. “It’s unbelievably hard to get on the podium here. You see guys that were one-seeds and two-seeds and three-seeds that didn’t place out here … Obviously, it’s a tough tournament so he did a great job. I’m proud of him getting through and getting on that podium for the program.”
DePrez earned the program’s sixth All-American honors and became the second wrestler to be recognized twice. Among all sports in Binghamton’s Division I era, DePrez earned the 15th All-American honors in school history. He was the second Bearcat to accomplish that feat last week after cross country’s redshirt senior Emily Mackay did it on Monday, March 15.
DePrez won his first two matchups against the No. 30 and No. 14 seeds but was not as dominant as some may have expected. He was defeated in the quarterfinals by the No. 6 seed from Rutgers but rebounded to earn an eighth-place finish in the consolation bracket.
In a normal season, DePrez would have competed in several large tournaments and faced off against several of his national challengers. Due to the unique nature of this year’s regular season, he didn’t see the same level of competition which may have hurt him on the biggest stage.
“[DePrez] doesn’t make excuses, but I think that’s true,” Borshoff said. “We wrestled seven matches coming into the tournament, and most of them weren’t very competitive. It’s something that I’m looking forward to next year, getting out to some of the big events that we normally hit, and seeing some of these guys before the national tournament next year.”
Elsewhere in the bracket, freshman Micah Roes, sophomore Jacob Nolan and redshirt junior Joe Doyle also competed for BU. Doyle was defeated in both of his bouts, but Nolan and Roes were both able to pick up a win in the tournament.
“[Roes] was the first true freshman for us to be competing out here since 2012,” Borshoff said. “He got a nice win over a guy from Iowa State University. Anytime you beat a guy from a program like that, that’s so historically relevant in our sport. It’s something that’s hard to do.”
Nolan defeated a wrestler from Virginia in his second bout before being defeated in the ensuing matchup.
“Another Power Five conference school, and we’re coming out here and beating those guys,” Borshoff said. “It proves to these guys that they belong here, and it shows people across the country that Binghamton is able to compete at the national level.”
Due to challenges caused by the pandemic, Binghamton wrestled in just four regular season duals. Binghamton saw its final two meets canceled due to other programs’ COVID-19 protocols, but was still able to send four wrestlers to the NCAA championships.
“I’m happy that we did what we did [this season],” Borshoff said. “I think that if you look at our season and look at some of the things we did this year and you understand the constraints that we had to compete under, there’s no reason not to believe that these guys aren’t all going to compete even better in the future.”