Northeastern Oklahoma wins NJCAA title

Rochester CTC is Non-Scholarship Champ; Giulio is OW, Renfro and Rager Coaches of the year!

By Johnnie Johnson ~ eWrestlingMedia

Spokane, Washington– Although the Golden Norse of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (NEO) were in their first year as a newly reinstated program and came into the NJCAA National Wrestling Tournament ranked second, they would lead the tournament from wire-to-wire.

In the Spokane Convention Center over the past two-days, the Golden Norse lead by Coach Joe Renfro had eight wrestlers in the quarter finals and lead top ranked Clackamas 42 to 34.5, and Northwest (WY) had 32 points. After the quarters, Renfro and his squad from NEO pushed five wrestlers into the semi-finals and widened their lead. In the semifinals NEO would win four of five matches putting four Golden Norse in the finals and elevating their point total to 150 point, 26 points more than Northwest (WY) who has 124 points. The #4 Trappers moved ahead of top ranked Clackamas after the semi’s and the Cougars are third with 113 points. #11 Colby is in 4th with 80 points, #9 Neosho is 5th with 71, #3 North Idaho is 6th with 67, 12th ranked Iowa Central 7th with 65 points. Ellsworth, North Iowa, and Muskegon round out the top ten.

After the semifinals and medal rounds for 3rd/4th, 5th/6th, and 7th/8th, the top fifteen were as follows: NEO maintains a twenty-five point lead with four finalists, Northwest Wyoming has 140 pint and three finalists, and will have a head-to-head match-up with NEO at 141-pounds. The Golden Norse’s lead gives them an unsurmountable lead over the Trappers. Northwest College will finish a solid second. Top ranked Clackamas is 36 points off the lead, with two finalists, are pretty much locked into 3rd place.

At the end of the semifinals, and prior to the semifinal consolations, NEO would win four of five bouts starting at 125-pounds where Josh Walker (NEO) would win by decision over Matthew Nguyen (SW Oregon) by a score of 4-2. Michael Williams (NEO) would punch his ticket to the finals with a 5-3 decision over Matt Gay of SW Oregon. The Golden Norse’s Zack Dobbins would keep the string of wins going at 149 with a 5-1 victory over Tyler Nation (of Iowa Western. AT 174, Joe Renfro’s Norse would go 4-for-4 as Payne Hatter picked up bonus points with a major decision over Brandon Sorenson of Iowa Lakes 14-2. won in sudden victory – 1 over Looking to go 5-for-5 in the semi’s, Evan McGee would take Malcolm Allen (Iowa Central) to over-time before falling by 3-1, sudden victory-1.

Going onto the finals, NEO had the NJCAA title locked up, and there wasn’t much room for movement with any of the top 15 teams. With their comfortable lead, NEO was looking for individual titles, but almost ended up being a team that would win a national title without an individual titlist. In the finals at 125-pounds, Alfredo Rodriguez (Iowa Lakes Community College) won by decision over Josh Walker (Northeastern Oklahoma A&M) by a 6-1 score. NEO would not fair any better at their next two weights as Zac Loveless (Northwest College) at 141 weight class, won by major decision over Michael Williams (NEO) ~MD 9-0. Nosomy Pozo (North Iowa) also won by major decision over Zack Dobbins (NEO) by a 18-6 score. NEO’s last chance for an individual champion came at 174-pounds, and the Golden Norse would get their wish as Payne Hatter (NEO) won by decision over Jared Johnson (Colby Community College) by a tally of 6-3.

In other finals matches, Cary J Palmer (Clackamas Community College) won the 133 pound title by a 4-0 decision over John Dillon (Mercyhurst). Yoanse Mejias would give North Iowa their second titlist at 157 as he would win by decision over Richie Lewis (Iowa Central) 7-3. At 165, Diorian Coleman of Northwest would stop Colby’s Calvin Ochs with a 3-1 decision. Back-to-back pins at 184 and 197 would add some great excitement at the NJCAA tournament Adrian Salas (Clackamas) won by fall over Matt Hurford (Ellsworth) with a 3:00 minute fall at 184. Vj Giulio (North Idaho) only needed 1:29 to pin Jonathan Wixom (Northwest), which would garnish the Cardinal the OW Award!! In the final match of the night, Dequence Goodman (Lincoln ) won by decision 4-3 decision over Malcolm Allen (Iowa Central) at 285.

After the finals matches the team race shaped up like this:
1. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M 169.0
2. Northwest College 149.0
3. Clackamas Community College 139.0
4. Colby Community College 84.5
5. Neosho County Community College 83.0
6. North Idaho College 72.0
7. Iowa Central Community College 66.0
8. Ellsworth Community College 65.5
9. Muskegon College 62.0
10. North Iowa Area Community College60.0
11. Rochester Community & Technical College 52.5
12. Iowa Lakes Community College 51.5
13. Iowa Western 51.0
14. Lincoln College 50.0
15. Southwestern Oregon Community College 45.0

Tournament awards
NJCAA Wrestling Man of the Year went to Bob Purcell of Minnesota West Community and Technical College. The NJCAA Academic Team of the Year award went to Highline Community College from Des Moines, Washington with a team GPA of 3.49.

VJ Giulio, the 197-pound champion from North Idaho College, was named the Ernest Gould Outstanding Wrestler. The Bruce Traphagen Fall Award went to Iowa Westerns’s 285-pound Chris Schleuger. The Joseph Rockenbach Sportsmanship Award recipient was Zach Loveless, Northwest College.

Coaches-of-the-year awards went to Randy Rager of Rochester Community and Technical College, Non-Scholarship Division, and to Joe Renfro of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, Scholarship Division.

NJCAA National Championships results