Wrestling: Annual Awards Distributed

  • By Daniel Whitehead
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  • May 06, 2011 09:47 AM
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MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – West Virginia wrestling coach Craig Turnbull recently announced the team’s annual awards given to the top performers for the 2010-11 season.

Redshirt freshman Nathan Pennesi was given the Rookie Award and Outstanding Wrestler selection, while redshirt senior Donnie Jones and junior Philip Mandzik shared the Coaches’ Award.

Becoming the third freshman in Mountaineer wrestling history to win both the Rookie Award and Outstanding Wrestler Award in the same year, Pennesi joins former WVU greats Greg Jones and Brandon Rader for the dual recognition. The Latrobe, Pa., native went 24-8 on the year and qualified for the NCAA Championships following a second-place finish at the Eastern Wrestling League Championships.

Ranked as high as No. 12 during the year at the 133-pound class, Pennesi led the team in near-fall points (101), major decision wins (11) and technical falls (3). Defeating two ranked opponents on the year, he also had the team’s second-best dual meet record (13-2), winning streak (10) and takedowns (57). Other notable achievements include a second-place finish at the Reno Tournament of Champions and a subsequent EWL Wrester of the Week nomination.

Jones, a Slickville, Pa., native, earned a 20-6 record for the year and ended his illustrious WVU career with 65 wins. He qualified for the NCAA Championships for the fourth time of his career with a second-place finish at the EWL Championships. Dominant during the regular season, Jones earned 41 dual points to his opponents’ four and was ranked as high as No. 14 during the year.

The civil engineering major was a perfect 6-0 in EWL play during the dual meet season, including three wins over ranked opponents, and was named EWL Wrestler of the Week on Jan. 25. He led the team with the best dual record (11-1), best EWL record (8-1), longest winning streak (11) and tied for first in takedowns (75).

A Bradenton, Fla., native, Mandzik went 10-18 for the year but was recognized by the coaching staff for his workmanship in the practice room and positive attitude throughout the season. As a heavyweight, Mandzik went 3-4 in the EWL for the year and provided the team with ten dual points, earning eight decision wins during the season. A junior college transfer from Iowa Central Community College, Mandzik went 3-2 at the Washington & Jefferson College Open and started all but one dual meet. He had one major decision win and 25 takedowns for the season.

Jones and fellow redshirt senior Brandon Rader were the captains for the 2010-11 season.