Penn State Awards Banquet
Davis Caps off Stellar Career as Penn State's Most Outstanding Wrestler
Penn State Wrestling Club hands out awards at annual banquet
April 6, 2008
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The Penn State Wrestling Club held its annual awards banquet on Sunday at the Nittany Lion Inn, and senior Phil Davis (Harrisburg, Pa.) was honored as the team's Most Outstanding Wrestler, capping a stellar career that saw the Harrisburg native cement his place in Penn State's history books. A number of Nittany Lions received awards at the annual event.
Davis received two awards at the banquet. He took home the William Neidig Award given to the Most Outstanding Wrestler after an outstanding senior year that saw him accomplish so much: Davis went 26-1 and ends his career with a 116-20 career record, ninth all-time at Penn State; he won the 2008 NCAA National Championship at 197 pounds, becoming PSU's 21st NCAA champ and the 18th individual to win a crown; he became only the fourth four-time All-American in Penn State's 100 years of wrestling; his 58 dual meet wins is fourth all-time; his 30 points is sixth all-time; and his 136 career matches is 20th all-time. Davis also won the Charles M. Speidel Award, given to the senior with the most career dual meet wins (58).
True freshman Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J) took home the Bill Koll Award, presented to the Outstanding Freshman Wrestler. Molinaro, who redshirted this year, posted an outstanding 17-2 overall record in unattached action primarily at 141 pounds. The talented New Jersey native won three separate Open tournament titles this year. He went 4-0 in points, including one fall in just :40 seconds. He won the Kent State Open title with a perfect 5-0 mark and matched that record to win the Cleveland State Open title, too. Molinaro opened the season by going 6-0 to win the East Stroudsburg Open title back in November as well.
Junior Phil Bomberger (Port Royal, Pa.) claimed the Kaye Vinson Award, presented to the Most Improved Wrestler. Bomberger entered the season hoping to keep his spot as Penn State's 184 pounder and ended it with his first ever trip to the NCAA Championships. Bomberger went 19-10 this year, including a 12-5 mark in dual meets and a superb 5-2 record in Big Ten duals. He was ranked among the nation's top 20 all season long and placed fifth at the Big Ten Championships.
Senior Tim Haas (Camp Hill, Pa.) was honored with the Larry Reilly Courage Award, for showcasing courage in wrestling to the betterment of his team and teammates. Haas, a co-captain on this year's squad, battled injuries for the third time in five seasons at Penn State. The Camp Hill native injured his knee in Penn State's season-opening dual but battled back to return to action on January 4 in Penn State's centennial win over Cornell. Haas ended the year with a 7-15 record and posted a solid 3-5 mark in Big Ten duals. The fifth-year senior has petitioned the NCAA for a sixth year in light of his numerous injuries.
Junior Jack Decker (Roseland, N.J.) was honored with the Eleventh Man Award, given for leadership and dedication to the total team effort. Decker emerged as one of Penn State's main reserves and saw dual meet action at 184 and 197. Decker went 15-7 overall, including claiming the 184 pound title at the Wilkes Open. He upped his career mark at Penn State to 45-37.
Sophomore Bubba Jenkins (Virginia Beach, Va.) claimed the Joe Scalzo Award, presented to the Best Freestyle Wrestler. Jenkins gave early indication to what would be a stunning sophomore year at 149 when he claimed the 2007 FILA Junior World Championships in Beijing, China, during the summer leading up to the 2007-08 campaign. Jenkins' prowess in freestyle action translated well to the NCAA season as the Virginia native ended the year as the National Runner-Up at 149 pounds, wrestling in the NCAA finals in March and earning his first All-America honor. Jenkins went 26-6 in his first year at 149, including a 15-3 dual meet record and a 6-2 mark in Big Ten duals.
Red-shirt freshman Nathan Andrews (Spring Mills, Pa.) was given the Academic Excellence and Community Service Award. Andrews posted a 2-7 overall record this year, getting one major decision. Andrews sports a 3.90 grade point average in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering.
Senior Eileen Gibbons (Chatham, N.J.) was honored with the Carl A. Winterburn Award, given to the manager who demonstrates year round support of the Penn State wrestling program. Gibbons is a native of Chatham, N.J., and is wrapping up her third year as a manager with the Nittany Lion wrestlers and her fourth year as a member of the Penn State Wrestling Affiliate Club. Gibbons served as Club President this year as well. Two club related awards were given as well. Betty Arnold was given the Ed Sulkowski Award and David A. Becker won the Outstanding Alumnus Award.
The banquet served to honor the outstanding season that head coach Troy Sunderland and his team put forth in 2007-08. The Nittany Lions went 14-5 in dual meets and placed third in the regular season standings with a 5-3 Big Ten mark. Penn State ended the year ranked No. 6 in the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll for duals. Sunderland's Lions capped off a stellar season by placing third at the 2008 NCAA Championships, crowning four All-Americans, a national champion, a national runner-up and a third and fourth place finisher.
Last edited by Stardust; 04-06-2008 at 06:14 PM.
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