Detwiler nails defending national champion

Athlete of week/tournament MVP

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NEW LONDON, CT - Coast Guard Academy sophomore wrestler Paul Detwiler garnered back-to-back honors with a Coast Guard Academy athlete of the week choice and a second tournament Most Outstanding Wrestler just six days later with a win over the defending national champion in his 184 pound weight class.

"Paul has raised his game immensely from last year, although I say that as him coming here as an outstanding wrestler to start with," said Coast Guard wrestling coach Kevin Bratland, who has his team on the edge of a top 10 national ranking for NCAA Division III with a handful of possible All-American candidates for post-season thought. "His speed and hand-fighting has improved and he still makes watching wrestling fun."

Detwiler is a graduate of Fleming Island High School in Clay County, FL, and an undefeated state wrestling champion for the Golden Eagles at 170 pounds.

Detwiler was named CGASPORTS.COM Athlete of the Week, presented by First Command, after winning the 184 pound weight class at the Jim Aguiar Invitational at Plymouth State University on Sat., Jan. 12 leading Coast Guard to the team championship.

At the Aguiar Invitational, Detwiler, ranked sixth nationally, cruised to the finals with a pin in 2:17 and a 16-0 tech. fall in 4:19 before winning via tech fall 20-5 in 4:24 over Daniel Curran from Norwich for the championship.

A week later, Sun., Jan. 19, at the New England Dual Championships in Rhode Island, Detwiler, the 2019 outstanding wrestler of the tournament, was named outstanding wrestler a second time after winning all four of his matchups including a 5-3 win over the preseason number one ranked John Boyle of Western New England College; also the defending national champion. Boyle defeated Detwiler in the 2018 Doug Parker Invite final, 8-6, in overtime. Detwiler then returned to the 2019 NEWA Dual Championships to defeat Boyle, 2-1 in overtime, in that quarterfinal.

"We talked about the possibility of him facing John Boyle and he got real excited about that," said Bratland. "Last year, Paul lost in overtime to Boyle early in his season, then beat him at this meet, but did not get a chance at the nationals due to his illness (Detwiler, sick prior to the national meet, was fifth seeded and lost his first two matches). Earlier this year, Boyle had a minor injury, but Paul knew he would be here."

Nationally, in NCAA Division III as per D3wrestling.com, Boyle was ranked fourth with Detwiler at 12th prior to the meet. In the same NCAA Division III rankings, the preseason number one was Boyle with Detwiler ranked ninth. Boyle (33-4 last year, beat No. 2-ranked Jake Ashcroft of Ithaca 5-3 in overtime in NCAA final) and Detwiler (21-7 last year) were ranked one and two in the New England Wrestling Association polls released in late October.

Detwiler won his four matches at the New England Duals with scores of 16-4, 7-0, 5-3 and 11-5.

In his final match, Detwiler won 11-5 over Johnson & Wales Nicholas Munsch, ranked 25th nationally.

This season, Detwiler is a perfect 17-0 with six pins at 184 pounds.

Coast Guard is ranked 10th nationally and the Bears have won three Invitationals with the second place finish on Sunday.

FIHS Sampsel at Keiser University wrestling

At Keiser University in south Florida, another Fleming Island High School wrestler, Xaiver Sampsel, a two-time state medalist for Fleming Island; 2015 (6th at 120), 2016 (4th at 132), is 9-4 for the newly formed wrestling team at the school. Sampsel, a junior now at 197 pounds, transferred from Limestone College to Keiser.

English at Southeastern

Also still wrestling in college from Fleming Island, Jaquan English, fourth at 132 in 2018, is a 141 pound wrestler for Southeastern University in Lakeland.

At the NWCA Multi-Divisional National Duals held January 11 in Louisville, KY, English lost a 6-2 match in round one against Providence, won two via forfeit, lost 5-4 to Campbellsville and lost 6-4 to Providence for eighth place for Southeastern.

Davis, Gagliardo, Jackson at Life

Fleming Island two-time state champion Briar Jackson and former Fleming Island 106 state medalist Lou Gagliardo are on the NAIA-Life University roster as freshman wrestlers this year. Gagliardo moved back to New Jersey and graduated from Toms River High School North after placing eighth at 106 in New Jersey. Gagliardo was third for Fleming Island as a junior and third as a sophomore for Clay High School.

Also at Life is redshirt sophomore T.J. Davis, a Fleming Island state medalist and a transfer from Iowa Lakes Community College.

Life is currently 11-1 and ranked 15th nationally.

Insalaco at Brewton-Parker

At the recent NWCA Multi-Divisional National Duals held in Louisville, KY, Brewton-Parker (GA) Trace Insalaco, a former Fleming Island High wrestler who eventually won a state title for Brunswick High School where his dad Larry was coaching after coaching at Fleming Island High, lost 18-2 at 157 in a dual match with Grand View University in round one.

Insalaco later lost by pin to Lourdes University.

Concepcion at Iowa Lakes

Fleming Island High 285 wrestler Jose Concepcion, twice a medalist at the Class 3A championships, is a sophomore at Iowa Lakes Community College.

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