Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Friday, November 10, 2006
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The Muhlenberg wrestling team is scheduled to begin its season tomorrow, Veterans Day, with a tournament at King’s. Although the Mules may not look like a veteran team on paper, they are hoping their experience will carry them to a successful season.

Muhlenberg graduated only two seniors from a squad that finished third at the Centennial Conference Championships, just a half-point behind second-place McDaniel. It was the Mules’ best showing at the CC meet in four years.

This season’s edition also has only two seniors. “It’s pretty much going to be sophomores and juniors,” said 125-pounder Michael Tenenhaus, one
Michael Tenenhaus
Tenenhaus scored a 7-1 decision in the 125-pound consolation final of last year’s Centennial Conference Championships.
of the seniors. “The young people had a lot of experience last year, and a lot of them really stepped up, so I wouldn’t even consider them young.”

In fact, five of Muhlenberg’ nine competitors at last year’s CC Championships were freshmen or sophomores, and three of them finished third or better. That returning talent has the Mules optimistic.

“We definitely have the best shot since I’ve been here at taking the conference,” said Tenenhaus. “People are a lot more focused and more determined because we know this could be our year. We’re really trying to build off last year.”

Tenenhaus is trying to build off a year in which he went a career-best 7-5 and finished third at the CC Championships. He will face competition from three other 125-pounders on the team – an improvement from two years ago, when he was the only Mule at 125 or 133.

Billy Hall (133) and Rob Kein (141) are two of the wrestlers who enjoyed outstanding freshman seasons in 2005-06, both reaching the conference championship finals. Hall was 24-8 with a team-leading 11 pins, while Kein was 18-9 and topped the squad with six major decisions.

Junior co-captain Joseph DeCampo (149) boosted his record to 20-11 after going 13-12 as a freshman. Juniors Josh Jacobs and David Lavin and sophomore Justin Fitch also will be in the mix at the middle weights.

At 184, sophomore Matt Horn is back after finishing third at the CC Championships. Senior Matt Loesch, the program’s only two-time All-American, will compete in the second semester after suffering an injury playing football. Loesch, 73-14 for his career, finished sixth at the NCAA Championships last year and is ranked third at 197 in the Division III preseason poll.

A pair of returning football players at heavyweight round out the lineup. After an excellent freshman campaign, junior Joe Tartar missed last year with an injury, and in his place Chris Swensen started.

“We have a really solid lineup,” said Tenenhaus. “In the past we’ve had some gaps, but I don’t think we have any gaps this year.”

Muhlenberg has one big gap in its schedule: The Mules wrestle in three tournaments the next four weekends, then take a month off before resuming their season in January. The CC Championships are scheduled for Gettysburg on February 17.

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Last updated November 10, 2006