Diplomats Set to Battle for Rupp Cup

Diplomats Set to Battle for Rupp Cup

Franklin & Marshall's wrestlers will look to bring the Rupp Cup home for the first time when the Diplomats shoot down 30 to take on Millersville. The match will mark the 19th time the two schools have met, and fourth since establishing the Rupp Cup in honor of Lancaster County's wrestling patriarch.

No one did more to advance wrestling in Lancaster County than Ted Rupp. He was honored in the fall of 2008 at the F&M Acad­emy Reunion, where the trophy bearing his name was formally introduced. In honor of his distinguished service to both institutions, the Rupp Cup is now awarded to the winner of the annual meeting between Franklin & Marshall and Millersville.

A student at the F&M Academy and Franklin & Marshall, Rupp maintained strong ties to both his alma mater and Millersville University. In 1948-49, Rupp coached both Millersville and F&M, finishing with a 20-2 combined record. That is believed to have been the only time in collegiate wrestling history when one man coached two colleges concurrently.

The Marauders (2-9) have won all three Rupp Cup matches and each of the last eight duals between the two schools en route to a 15-3 series lead. The Diplomats (3-9) last win over Millersville came back in 2004.

F&M enters on the strength of three consecutive dual meet wins that have come in the wake of a 23-match winless skid. The Diplomats first win of the season was a 35-20 win at Sacred Heart. Millersville has also faced Sacred Heart this season, winning 24-23 at home. The Marauders other win came against Campbell, 26-21. The Diplomats fell to the Camels 32-15, but fielded wrestlers in only seven weight classes.

F&M is led by a pair of 20-match winners in Jake Bucha (27-4) and Matt Fullowan (22-11), along with Colin Ely (16-4), who is 9-0 in dual meets this season. F&M has not had two 20-match winners on the roster in the same season since 2004-2005.

Bucha is a win away from the 75th in his career, and Ely's return to the lineup has coincided with F&M's current winning streak. Fullowan, who has won 13 of his last 16 bouts, including a victory over then-24th-ranked Rob Morrison of Rider, will likely face Shane Smith. Smith is 26-9 this season and is one of four Millersville wrestlers with double digits in the wins column. 165-pounder, Brandon Vernalli is 12-14, while 141-pound senior, Mike Greck is 10-6. Heavyweight Bradley Ladd is 10-19 on the year.

Wrestling is set to get underway at 7:30 at Millersville's Pucillo Gym.