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State wrestlers ranked in first Division III poll; Coast Guard tied for No. 2 in nation

Coast Guard junior Paul Detwiler (184) is ranked No. 1 in the country in his weight class (184) in the first Division III rankings of the season. (Photo courtesy Coast Guard Academy)

NEW LONDON, January 22, 2021 – Four Coast Guard wrestlers are ranked in the top 10 of their individual weight classes in the first National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Division III poll of the year and the Bears ranked No. 2 in the country – their highest national ranking in program history.

The team ranking is based upon the individual rankings. Junior Paul Detwiler (184) is ranked No. 1 in the country in Division III with senior Jon Wagner (197) ranked No. 2 in his weight class. Junior Phil Rogers (165) is ranked No. 5 while Montville High graduate Noah Caskey (141) is ranked No. 7.

The Bears began working out this week on their New London campus.

Wabash College-Crawfordsville, Ind., is ranked No. 1 in the country with Coast Guard, Wartburg College (Waverly, Iowa)  and John Carroll University (University Heights, Ohio) each tied for second place.

“It’s pretty cool,” Coast Guard head coach Kevin Bratland said. “It’s a mathematical formula based on our individual rankings. It’s something to be proud of but we still need to get in the room and work. (Winning) isn’t done with rankings. They’ll have to do it on the mat.”

Three other Connecticut natives were ranked in the most recent NWCA individual rankings.

Berlin’s Nick Arborio, a senior at Western New England University, is ranked No. 2 in the country at 125 pounds. Arborio on the NCAA Division III Northeast Regional title a year ago and finished the year 21-0.

Bristol’s Chris Trelli, a junior at Springfield College, is ranked No. 9 at 141 pounds while Southbury’s Matt Pangle, a senior at Messiah College, is ranked No. 9 at 165 pounds. Treill was 23-4 at 133 pounds a year ago.

For Coast Guard, Detwiler, the junior from Fleming Island, Florida, was the New England Wrestling Association’s wrestler of the year. He won the NCAA Division III Northeast Regional and was undefeated at 28-0.

Wagner and Rogers also won Northeast Regional titles for Coast Guard while Casey was third in his weight class. The Bears are scheduled to open the season on Saturday, Feb. 6, when they host Casteton University in New London.

GONZALEZ RANKED: In the NWCA’s Division II rankings, American International College’s Jo Jo Gonzalez, the senior from Ellis Tech in Danielson, is ranked No. 5 at 157 pounds.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 35 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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