OMAHA, Neb. — Newberry College 165-pounder Blake Ridenour was named the D2Wrestle.com Wrestler of the Week, as he led the Wolves to a 3-0 weekend at the Newberry Duals, propelling the Scarlet and Gray to the No. 1 rankings in the Basford rankings, released late Wednesday.
Ridenour (Maryville, Tenn.) started the weekend with a pin of Cumberland’s Jake Shirley in just 1:30 to give a brief glimpse of his dominance later in the day. Against Findlay, Ridenour shut out Mason True for a 7-0 decision, racking up nearly three minutes of riding time against the No. 2-ranked wrestler in the coaches’ poll. Against Lake Erie, Ridenour faced off against No. 3 Matt Vandermeer and recorded a second period reversal on the way to a 3-1 decision.
Ridenour’s performance was also recognized in the Basford rankings with a jump to the No. 2 spot in the nation at 165-pounds, behind only Notre Dame (Ohio)’s Joey Davis. True dropped to third and Vandermeer is down to fourth. Ridenour is the only 165-pounder in Super Region I in the top eight or receiving mention in the Basford rankings.
A total of five Wolves are ranked in the top eight nationally, with another also receiving mention.
Joining Ridenour as the second-ranked wrestler in their class are B.J. Young (Jackson, N.J.) at 141-pounds and Taylor Knapp (Lawrenceville, Ga.) at 157-pounds.
Young went 3-0 at the Newberry Duals with a pin against Cumberland and major decisions against Findlay and Lake Erie to run his season record to 14-4. He only has one loss to a Division II wrestler, UNC Pembroke’s Daniel Ownbey, who is the only wrestler ranked ahead of Young in his class.
Knapp is 7-1 on the season with his only loss coming to a Division I wrestler at the Hokie Open, where he finished fifth. Knapp went 2-0 at the Newberry duals with a pinfall against Lake Erie.
Travis Sheehy (Suwanee, Ga.) is ranked third nationally at 174-pounds with a 13-2 record. He hasn’t lost to a Division II wrestler this season and has a 5-0 duals record. He has won 12 consecutive bouts and was 3-0 at the Newberry Duals with a technical fall against Findlay.
At 125-pounds, Jeff Vesta (Manhattan, Kan.) is ranked fourth in the nation. The junior is 13-3 on the year with only one loss to a Division II wrestler. He was 3-0 in the Newberry Duals with an impressive 3-2 decision in the second tiebreaker period over Findlay’s Ben Sergent, who was ranked third nationally at the time.
Also receiving mention at 197-pounds is Joey Grisko (Gloucester Township, N.J.) with an 11-4 overall record.
The Wolves close out the fall semester’s action this weekend at the Midwest Classic hosted by the University of Indianapolis.