The Muhlenberg wrestling team participated in their first scheduled meet on Saturday Nov. 3, signaling the beginning of the Division III winter season.

Traveling to Wilkes-Barre, Pa. the team took part in the annual Ned McGinley Invitational hosted by Kings College.

“I’m proud of our overall effort. Relatively, we were successful in that we were strong in numbers and competed well,” said Head Coach Jason McLean ‘01. The overall effort McLean referred to was good enough to place the Mules seventh out of the 16 team field of distinguished opponents. Three other programs at the invitational finished within the top 20 of the 2017-18 NCAA Division III rankings (York, 14; TCNJ, 18; Roger Williams, 19).

“We can and will do better. Although we finished behind a number of nationally ranked teams, we need to finish in top

five at this tournament next year and in other tournaments this year,” said Mclean.

The Ned McGinley Invitational serves equally important for both underclassmen and veterans on the team. “The invitational is important for getting young guys their first wins and allowing the veterans to really hit the ground running and pick up where they left off as well as progress past last year’s showing,” said McLean.

“I’m proud of our overall effort. Relatively, we were successful in that we were strong in numbers and competed well.”

Two of those veterans who highlighted the day for the Mules were Austin Sherman ‘20 and Gennaro Cerminara ‘19. Sherman was the lone Mule to win their weight class, taking home the 141 title. On his path to winning the final, Sherman went 5-0 including a tech fall and a pin. He also took down wrestlers on York and Roger Williams, the tournament’s top two team finishers. The team will rely heavily on Sherman in 2018-19 as he was a top wrestler last season, accumulating 28 wins and finishing in the top three of three different tournaments (most notably earning bronze at the 2017-18 Centennial Conference Championships).

Cerminara was a Centennial Conference champion a year ago, and is Muhlenberg’s all time leader in pins. He has racked up two consecutive 30 win seasons and will be a force on the mat yet again.

“My goal was to win the tournament, while I wasn’t able to do that, I was able to keep my head and come back for third,” said Cerminara. A rather eventful third place finisher, Cerminara won five matches, ending three with a pin of his opponent and one more with a tech fall. That dominance helped him earn his sixth career top three tournament finish.

“I think I was successful because I stayed focus and relied on my training. What we have been doing in practice will never fail us, and that showed this weekend,” said Cerminara.

The Mules still have a decent stretch before Conference matches begin on Jan. 19 in a dual match with Johns Hopkins and Washington and Lee.

The Mules’ fifth place finish in the Centennial Conference standings is something this year’s squad wants to improve upon very much. “The teams toughness and willingness to learn are two things that set us apart, we have some great people who want to do great things, and it shows through the teams results and performances,” said Cerminara of his teammates.

“What we have been doing in practice will never fail us, and that showed this weekend.”

Cerminara and McLean each have strategies to get better and better with each match.

“Focusing on the little things. The big successes will come because the little things will add up. The matches are such a small part of the big picture. First, we will focus on the next days goals. As a coach, I may look ahead to the next competition but that is so I can understand the preparation needed before to be successful,” said McLean.

As for Cerminara, “I will carry the positives from the wins forward, and eliminate the negatives.”

McLean is on the same page as his team’s senior leader. As goal of finishing in the top five in tournaments this year, he thinks it is feasible.

“We expect our guys to be successful. I believe in every one of them.”

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Aside from being a part of the Weekly I also am involved on campus as a tour guide, and I play on the baseball team. Also, I study media & communication with a minor in political science. Post Muhlenberg I would ideally like to enter the sports media industry. Favorite GQ meal: Breakfast Bowl


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