WILLIAM PENN SPORTS
at NAIA National Championships in Topeka, Kan., Friday-Saturday
LAST WEEK: at NAIA Central Qualifying Group Tournament in Marshall,
Mo., Saturday, 9 a.m.
LAST YEAR’S NAIA NATIONALS: 22ND OF 37 TEAMS: Kyle Soderblom won
three of four matches Friday. The sophomore, whose late-season
injury prevented him from competing at last year's Championships, opened
his first meet with a pin over Andrew Hairston of Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in
a time of 2:16. He then won by fall over Dylan Lemery of Great Falls
(Mont.) in 2:32 to reach the quarterfinals. Unfortunately,
Morningside's John Sievert slowed Soderblom with a 9-6 win, forcing him to
the consolation bracket. Soderblom did not let his tournament end
with back-to-back setbacks, though, defeating Bradlee Carls of York (Neb.)
8-2 to earn All-America status. He unfortunately lost his first
match on Saturday by fall to Carl Johnson of Southern Oregon to drop to
the seventh-place match. Soderblom then culminated his sophomore
campaign by rebounding against another Johnson--Eric Johnson of
Calumet-St. Joseph (Ind.)--with a 16-3 major decision to place seventh.
The 40th All-American in school history, he finished with a 26-14 record.
Joao Vicente entered nationals ranked 11th, the same as Soderblom, but
unfortunately could not match his teammate as he was eliminated with a 1-2
record. The freshman held an early lead over Jacob McCombs of
Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in his initial match, but fell short late with a 6-5
decision. He rebounded with a dominating 17-1 technical fall over
Morningside's Nathan Ryan. His first nationals appearance came to an
abrupt ending, however, with a 12-4 loss to Miguel Baltazar of Southern
Oregon, two wins short of being an All-American.
Session I--Friday at 10 a.m. (Championship Round of 32, Championship Round
of 16, Consolation #1 and #2)
Session II--Friday at 6 p.m. (Championship Quarterfinals, Consolation #3
Session III--Saturday at 10 a.m. (Championship Semifinals, Consolation #5,
Consolation Semifinals, Consolation Placing--3rd, 5th, 7th)
Session IV--Saturday at 7 p.m. (Championship Finals)
NAIA NATIONALS WEBSITE is at http://www.naia.org//SportSelect.dbml?&&DB_OEM_ID=27900&SPID=100496&SPSID=646081
TOURNAMENT RECAP: CENTRAL QUALIFYING GROUP TOURNAMENT: 5TH OF 13 TEAMS:
William Penn entered the event ranked seventh in the group, but eclipsed
its rating by placing fifth with 70.5 points. #1 Grand View rolled
to the title with 217 points and 12 qualifiers (the maximum for a team),
while #3 Missouri Valley was a distant runner-up with 150 points.
GVU's Nick Mitchell was named Coach of the Year and heavyweight Eric
Thompson garnered the meet's Outstanding Wrestler honor. William
Penn was easily the most productive at 133 pounds, earning two bids to the
NAIA National Championships on March 7-8 in Topeka, Kan. Scottie
Bonds, who was a team-best 5-1 (three falls), pulled off an upset over
teammate Joao Vicente to take third place. Vicente (3-2 with one
fall) had defeated Bonds 4-1 in the championship quarterfinals, but they
then met again for third. In a match that meant little (both were
already assured berths by being in the top four), Bonds bettered Vicente
3-1 for the bronze. Bonds will be making his first nationals
appearance, while Vicente is now a two-time qualifier. Ishmael
Rempson was also successful in his third-place match at 174 pounds.
Rempson, who is making his second trip to nationals, owned a 4-1 record
(one major decision). 141-pounder Brad Watson was a pleasant
surprise as he finished fifth and collected an at-large berth for his
first trip to nationals. At-large berths are awarded to each
qualifying group with the number of berths dependent on the size of the
tourney. The sophomore was 4-2 with two falls and one major
decision, and pinned Brian Bitney of Missouri Valley in the fifth-place
match to even have the chance to collect a 'wild card'. Charlton
Benjamin narrowly missed qualifying, going 3-3 for sixth place at 157
pounds. Angelo Kelly won twice at 149 pounds, while the trio of
141-pounder Lane Colwell, 157-pounder Christian Padilla, and heavyweight
Nathan Veverka all won once via fall. Joe Sumner had his hand raised
one time Saturday as well.
CATEGORY LEADERS: Wins - 20 (Joao Vicente); Win % - .769 (Joao
Vicente, 20-9); Falls - 11 (Logan Loftus); Takedowns - 69 (Charlton
Benjamin); Reversals - 16 (Andrew Gorman); Escapes - 41 (Nathan Veverka);
Near Falls - 31 (Scottie Bonds).
TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS: Joao Vicente (NIACC and Briar Cliff, 133
pounds); Lane Colwell (Central, 141 pounds); Jay Fresh (Central, 165
pounds); Ishmael Rempson (NIACC, 165 pounds).
WPU IN THE NAIA RANKINGS: Team - 29th. Individuals - 133
pounds - Scottie Bonds (10th), Joao Vicente (11th); 174 pounds – Ishmael
WPU IN THE NAIA CENTRAL QUALIFYING GROUP RANKINGS: Team - 5th.
Individuals - 133 pounds - Scottie Bonds (3rd), Joao Vicente (4th); 141
pounds - Brad Watson (5th); 174 pounds - Ishmael Rempson (3rd).
ABOUT COACH REED: Eric Reed is in his sixth year as head wrestling
coach. Reed, who has guided five individuals to All-America status, joined
the William Penn staff as an assistant coach during the 2007-2008 season.
In 2012, he led 149-pounder Eric Burgey to the school's first title since
2003. Reed, who most recently was the head coach at Central from
2004-2007, also skippered the Wabash (Ind.) program from 2002-2004,
guiding one All-American as well as helping the squad finish second at the
Midwest Regional Tournament in 2004, the team's highest finish in 18
years. He has also been an assistant coach at both the high school and
college levels. A 1994 graduate of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in
biology, Reed also earned his master's in science and sport
science-pedagogy from UW-La Crosse in 2000. While at UW-La Crosse, Reed
succeeded on the mat, garnering All-American honors twice. He has also
organized and instructed various camps through the Midwest and has
competed for the Hawkeye Wrestling Club. Reed is also a professor in the
health and life sciences division at the University. He resides in
Oskaloosa with his wife Gloria and their children Austin, Aidan, Max, and
First-Round Game for William Penn
to The Dance for the third-consecutive year, the Statesmen men's
basketball team will have a tough opening-round test as it faces
inter-state power Dordt at the 23rd Annual NAIA Division II Men's
Basketball National Championships next Thursday.
#27 seed William Penn (22-9) will take on the #6-seeded Defenders (28-5)
at 9:15 p.m. The full bracket can be found at
It appears the NAIA may have sought out an all-Iowa opening-round matchup
as Dordt actually came in as the #7 team in the nation, but jumped #6
Saint Xavier (Ill.) when the seeds were handed out. Cincinnati
Christian (Ohio), which only sported a 19-13 record and was ranked three
rungs lower than the Statesmen (who are #30 in the final poll), will play
the Cougars in the first round.
The WPU/DC winner will then face the winner of the #11 St. Thomas
(Fla.)/#22 Union (Ky.) contest on Friday at 9:15 p.m.
The Championships are again held in Point Lookout, Mo., in Keeter
Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks, from March 12-18.
The Statesmen qualified as the Midwest Collegiate Conference Tournament
champion, while Dordt earned its automatic spot as the Great Plains
Athletic Conference regular season winner. This will be the first
meeting between the programs since November 10, 2012, a 106-81 Dordt
victory in Oskaloosa.
All of William Penn's games at the Championships will be broadcast on KBOE
Radio and webstreamed on KBOE's website at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/kboe.portal#
The first four rounds will also be available on MCG’s Local Access TV
Channel 7. The finals are only available on ESPN3. A press
release by MCG can be found at http://www.statesmenathletics.com/d/2013-14/MCG_MBB_Nationals.pdf
Fans can also pay to watch the games online at http://www.naia.org/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=27900&ATCLID=205423235&KEY=&DB_OEM_ID=27900&DB_LANG=C&IN_SUBSCRIBER_CONTENT
The per-day option costs $9.95, while the entire tournament (through the
semifinals) can be purchased for $29.95. Again, the championship
game will only be televised on ESPN3.
Game tickets are available by calling 417-335-NAIA
overall seed William Penn--John Henry in his 13th season,
is leading the Statesmen to their fifth NAIA Nationals appearance and
third in a row (4-4 all-time).
William Penn is led by Midwest Collegiate Conference Player of the Year Blake
Walker (Jr., Rose Garden, Ga., Physical Education), who is
averaging 11.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 6.4 assists. Kelly
Madison (Jr., Des Moines, Iowa, Physical Education), with
a team-best 16.7 points, and Alec
Schwab (Jr., Peru, Ill., Business Management), with 16.1
points, were also first-team picks. Roberts
Baltruns (So., Riga, Latvia, Business Management), who is
shooting 43.1% from beyond the arc, and Erik
McGee (Jr., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Elementary Education), who
topped the league in rebounding (8.7 per game), were honorable mentions.
The nation’s best rebounding team and second-highest-scoring squad,
William Penn has outscored opponents 91.1-80.5 and has outrebounded them
46.1-37.2. The Statesmen are shooting 44.4% overall, including a
34.7% clip from beyond the arc. They are also the best in NAIA
Division II in three-pointers made (361). William Penn is 65.6% from
The Statesmen have won eight games in a row.
overall seed Dordt--Ross Douma, in his fifth season, will
be taking the Defenders back to nationals for the third year in a row.
The last two teams reached the Elite Eight. Dordt, which is
making its fourth trip to nationals, is 4-3 all-time.
The Defenders started the year 16-1, but most recently lost two of their
last four, including an 87-85 loss to Morningside in the GPAC Tournament
Finals. The squad is led by GPAC Player of the Year Kyle Lindbergh
(17.1 points, 10.8 rebounds), while Austin Katje was also a first-team
Dordt, the third-highest scoring team in NAIA Division II, is outscoring
opponents 89-8.78-1 and is also much better on the boards (ninth
nationally) with a 41.6-32.2 edge. The team is shooting 48.5% from
the floor, including 37.4% from beyond the arc. The Defenders are
also 72.6% at the line.
Comfort Inn has been selected as William Penn's host hotel. The NAIA
encourages fans to stay at their team's host hotel.