The New England Wrestling Association, a group of Division III schools in New England, announced its year-end awards recently. Sophomore Terrance Jean Jacques (285) of Rhode Island College and junior Jorge Lopez (157) of Springfield shared the wrestler of the year award. Bobby Jordan (125) of Johnson & Wales was named rookie of the year.
Coast Guard senior Nate Giorgio (133) won the NEWA Most Dominant award while Coast Guard’s first-year head coach Kevin Bratland was named Coach of the Year. Mike Morin of Southern Maine was selected as assistant coach of the year.
NEWA also announced its first and second teams and their All-Rookie team.
Co-Wrestler of Year
Sophomore Terrance Jean Jacques (285), Rhode Island College, (Haverhill, MA)
Terrance Jean-Jacques transferred to RIC and made an immediate impact for the Anchormen, dominating most of the season and earning 18 pins. He won at the Doug Parker tournament and the Ursinus Abele tournament during the regular season. He finished the year 34-2 and his only loss before the NCAA tournament came in the NCAA Northeast Regional final to James Bethel of Oneonta. At the time it was Jean-Jacques first loss and it dropped him to the No. 8 seed of the NCAA Division III tournament with a 31-1 record. It ended up being a bad draw for the top of the bracket as he looked back to his dominant self against the best competition. Jean-Jacques won by major decision against the No. 1 and No. 4 ranked wrestlers in the country to make the national finals. In the final, he lost a 1-0 decision and finished with second with All-American honors.
Junior Jorge Lopez (157), Williams College, (Wharton, NJ)
For the second straight year, Lopez won the award. This year, he shares it with Jean Jacques. Lopez won the Doug Parker Tournament beating national qualifier Polizzi of Stevens by MD in the finals. As a captain of the Williams wrestling team he lead the team to an 18-2 Dual meet record. He was 29-2 this year and brought his career to 91-14. He had 9 pins, 1 Tech fall and 11 wins by major Decision. He won the Northeast Region at 157 for the second year in a row, beating AA Kevin Collins of Ithaca in the finals. He took 3rd at the NCAA Championships for the second year in a row and is now a 3X All American taking 6th as a freshman in 2013.
Rookie Wrestler of the Year
Freshman Bobby Jordan (125) Johnson & Wales (Woodbridge NJ)
Bobby helped the Wildcats this season as a great opener in duals and tournaments at 125 lbs. He would typically open with a win, which would then help propel the Wildcats team in a positive direction. In the three tournaments he competed in he placed third at the Ithaca Invitational, second at the RWU Invititational and fourth at the York Invitational. He also placed second at the NCAA Div. III Northeast Regional. His tenacity on the mat helped JWU wrestling set a new season dual meet win record of 21-8. He was able to attain a 35-14 record with six pins. His 35 wins as a freshman are 3rd best in JWU record books (just behind Steve Martell 40 and Tim Ruberg 37). He is also just the 4th freshman to qualify for the NCAA Division III national championships for JWU. Statistically, Jordan had 50 takedowns, 16 reversals, 37 escapes and 13 near falls.
Most Dominant Award
Senior Nate Giorgio (133), Coast Guard (Leesport, PA)
Nate Giorgio earned All-American honors at the NCAA Division III national championships for the third time in four years this season, finishing fifth. He was the most dominant wrestler in NEWA with a 41-2 record and factoring by pins, tech fall and major decisions. This year, he won the Doug Parker, York Invitational, Roger Williams Invitational, the prestigious All-Academy Championships and the NCAA Division III Northeast Regional title. Giorgio went 109-24 in his career. He earned Scholar All-American honors with a 3.36 GPA in Civil Engineering.
Assistant Coach of the Year
Mike Morin, University of Southern Maine.
Mike is a USM alumni and former two-time NCAA All American. He has been an assistant coach at Southern Maine since 2010 and has helped the team to four winning seasons in the last six years. Morin is in charge of running the wrestling room at USM and has been responsible for the development of the student athletes. He runs individual sessions every day with them, monitors academic progress, and goes above and beyond for the program, especially with fundraising and promotion. This year, the Huskies broke a school record with 16 dual meet wins. They also had two Scholar All-Americans. Morin has coached seven NCAA Division III qualifiers in his six seasons at USM.
Coach of the Year
Kevin Bratland, Coast Guard
The Bears had a great season under the leadership of Kevin Bratland. It was Bratland’s first season and the change was definitely noticed. The team had its best dual season in years with a record of 13-6 and finished third at the NEWA Duals. A year ago, the team was 7-10. The team was fifth at the York Invitational with a loaded field and was the highest placing New England school. They also took 5th at the All-Academy championships and had three place winners. Bratland qualified two of his wrestlers for the NCAA Division III national tournament in Nate Giorgio and Mike Shermot. The team was ranked in the top 30 of the NWCA coaches poll most of the season and finished 32 for the highest team GPA nationally.