LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's wrestling team travels to Millersville on Thursday for its final dual competition of the regular season and are set to take on the Mauraders in the battle for the eighth annual Rupp Cup. The Diplomats enter competition with a 2-8 record, while Millersville comes into the contest at 6-8.
To watch this week's interview with head coach Mike Rogers, click here.
Thursday, Feb. 19 – F&M at Millersville – 7:00 PM
A Look at Millersville
Last season, F&M dominated at the Mayser Center on Feb. 21 in a 41-3 victory, opening the contest with three straight pins from Jason Bing, Robert Ruiz and Richard Durso.F&M trails the all-time series by a 15-7 margin, however the Diplomats have won four consecutive matches.
Millersville enters Thursday's match with losses in its previous four outings, including a 47-0 defeat against DII's No. 7 Mercyhurst on Feb. 6 and a 38-9 loss against DII's No. 15 Kutztown on Feb. 11.
Rupp Cup History
F&M and Millersvile meet annually for the battle of the Rupp Cup in honor of Lancaster County's wrestling patriarch, Ted Rupp. A student at the F&M Academy and F&M, 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. In honor of his distinguished service to both institutions, the Rupp Cup is now awarded to the winner of the annual meeting.
For more information on the Rupp Cup, click here.
Last Time Out
Charles Kerkesner and Rob King each recorded decisions for their third consecutive dual meet victories, but a pair of pins and three major decisions cost F&M in a 33-6 loss to No. 22 Bucknell on Friday evening in Lewisburg.
With the match starting off at 197, Kerkesner came out firing in an action-packed first period with three takedowns. Ahead by a 6-2 score in the opening frame, Bucknell's Tyler Lyster followed with an escape and takedown of his own to pull within one. Clinging to a one-point advantage following a scoreless second period, Kerkesner managed to ride out Lyster, who chose down to start off the frame, and hang on for the 6-5 victory.
Patrick Quinlan battled at 133 and trailed by just a 7-5 score heading into the third. The Diplomats' freshman grappler quickly landed an escape, but his opponent followed with a takedown to pull ahead at 9-6. With only 10 seconds remaining, Quinlan responded with another escape and a quick takedown to tie the match at 9-9, however Bucknell's Grimaldi Gonzalez was awarded the point for riding time for the narrow one-point win.
The Bisons padded the lead for good with their second pin of the night at 141 and a major decision at 149, pulling out in front at 22-3. King continued to be a bright spot in the F&M lineup at 157, taking a 1-0 lead into the third and holding onto the lead with an early takedown and an escape with just under 20 seconds remaining to come away with the 4-3 decision.
Moving Up the Charts
Robert Ruiz continues his ascent up the program's career wins leaders. The senior grappler has 68 wins entering Thursday's contest, a mark that places him tied for 13th all-time. He needs seven more victories on the season to move into the top 10. The all-time record belongs to Craig Blackman '81 with 117.
Quinlan and King lead the Diplomats with 19 wins apiece, followed by Robert Ruiz with 15 victories on the season. Bing, Kerkesner and Alex Henry have 14 victories each, while Colin Gironda (12), Scott Stevens (11) and Andrew Francos (10) round out the list of Diplomats with double-figure win totals. To view the complete 2014-15 records for F&M's wrestlers, click here.