2018-19 Coast Guard Wrestling Preview

The Bears are coming off a year in which the team sent a record four wrestlers to the NCAA Division III Championship and had two of them earn All-America honors as the team posted a winning dual meet record for the fourth straight season and placed seventh at the Northeast Regional.

Coast Guard is ranked 11th nationally in the NWCA preseason poll as the Bears return three NCAA qualifiers including senior All-American tri-captain Nick Remke at 165 pounds. Remke placed 5th at the NCAA Championship last season.

Junior tri-captain AJ Aeberli was second at the NCAA Northeast Regional at 174 pounds and sophomore Jon Wagner was third at the Northeast Regional last season at 197 pounds, both earning berths to the NCAA Championship. They will be back to lead the Bears again this season.

“We have great leaders on the team right now with our upperclassmen, so the leadership in the room right now is really good and that is important because it’s a top down thing so they instill the culture of the team and right now our culture is as good as it has ever been,” said head coach Kevin Bratland, who enters his fifth season. Coast Guard opens the season on Saturday at the Doug Parker Invitational at Springfield.
BREAKING DOWN THE WEIGHT CLASSES --- 125: Sophomore Parker Brunkala (pictured) is back after winning 12 matches last season to lead the 125 weight class. --- 133: Freshman Kenji Beato from San Diego is the favorite.
141: Sophomore JD Fitzpatrick, who was 12-5 last season, and classmate Steven Pangelinan (pictured) will compete for the starting spot. -- 149: Sophomore Matt McGowan, a member of the NEWA All-Rookie team last year, was 18-7 with four pins last season is the top returner while sophomore Marco Dominquez has also looked good in the preseason.
157: Senior tri-captain Christian Gosch was 15-7 last year with six pins and is the top returner at 157 while sophomore Alex Funches will also battle for time. -- 165: The All-American Remke (pictured) is back after going 33-13 last year with eight pins. He won the Roger Williams Invitational, the Doug Parker Invitational, placed third at the Northeast Regional and was fourth at the All-Academy Championships.
165 is the deepest weight class for the Bears with plenty of options with seniors Nick Jabs and Adam Wilhelm, junior Nick Moreno and sophomore Patrick Moynihan (pictured).
174: Aeberli (pictured) was 30-10 a year ago with four pins. He won the Ted Reese Invitational, was fourth at the All-Academy Championships and was the Northeast runner up. Freshman Paul Detwiler, will battle for time at the 174/184 spots. -- 184: Junior Jeremy Berson, who was 16-10 last year, along with freshmen Paul Detwiler and Phil Rogers will compete for time at this weight class.
197: NCAA qualifier, Wagner (pictured) was 18-9 last season with three pins, was fourth at the All-Academy Championships and placed third at the Northeast Regional last season. Sophomores Jessup Pawelczyk and Thomas Sidener along juniors Kane Roberts and George McBurney give the Bears depth at the weight class.
HWT: Junior Patrick Irwin (pictured), has put on 20 pounds and looks to build upon last season when he was 14-13 with four pins, will be the top at this class.
“We are very excited about the past, but that doesn’t do anything for us moving forward. We still have to earn everything that we get this year and what the past has done is set the template for what you can do and what to follow,” added Bratland. “It opens the eyes of other people to say ‘Why not me? Why can’t I be that person too.”

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