Femi Wheeler was not pleased with the way his 2011 New England Wrestling Association Championships went. The Plymouth State junior suffered a concussion in the placing round, forcing him to injury default to sixth place in the 141-pound weight class. The Mamaroneck graduate did not want a repeat of that.
Wheeler was seeded second in the 157-pound weight class and went on to be the runner-up to Springfields Ryan McGilravy, who recently beat him twice, 3-2.
Wheeler concludes his season with a 21-7 second. The 21 wins is third on the team.
Going into New Englands, I knew that if I wrestled how I knew I could wrestle, I would be going to nationals, Wheeler said.
Wheeler won his first three matches, advancing to his first bout with McGilravy, who won, 3-2 in double overtime. Wheeler was sent to the consolation final where he would face Kyle DUrso of Roger Williams College. Wheeler beat DUrso, 7-5, in quarterfinal match. This time, Wheeler controlled the match and won, 7-3.
In order for Wheeler to earn a berth in the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships, he would have to beat McGilravy, twice. However, McGilravy held off Wheeler for a 3-2 win.
In the first match, he was playing the edge a lot so it was hard to get my offense going, Wheeler said. There was a lot of offensive wrestling on my part and a lot of defensive wrestling on his part.
The final was pretty much the same way as the first, basically. He scored on a scramble in the second period. I escaped in the third period and poured every bit of energy trying to get the takedown to send it to overtime, but unfortunately it did not happen.
Wheeler did not receive a wild card, but he understood why.
Our conference only had two bids and the 125-pounder and 141-pounder from Roger Williams are deserving to go, Wheeler said. I was glad that I was wrestling as hard as I did even though things may not have gone my way. Id rather wrestle my absolute best than wrestle poorly and win.
I have one more spring and summer to work hard to make my dreams come true, of becoming an All-American, so thats what I plan to do.
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