LANCASTER, Pa. - Franklin & Marshall's DI wrestling team opens the 2019-20 season on Sunday when the Diplomats travel to Binghamton for the annual Bearcat Open.
F&M is aiming to build upon its momentum from last year's strong finish that saw the Diplomats claim their best Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) showing since 2016 and send a wrestler to the NCAA Division I Tournament for the third time in the last four years.
To watch this year's season preview video, featuring ninth-year head coach Mike Rogers, click here.
To watch a video roster of the 2018-19 Diplomats, click here.
Wrestlers to Watch
Brett Kulp | Sr. | 141/149 Pounds
Emmett LiCastri | Sr. | 165 Pounds
Reid Robilotto | Sr. | 184 Pounds
Wil Gil | Jr. | 141/149 Pounds
Mike Simonetti | Jr. | 133 Pounds
Jose Diaz | So. | 125 Pounds
Crew Fullerton | So. | 165/174 Pounds
Cenzo Pelusi | So. | 285 Pounds
This year's squad will be led by the Diplomats' four captains: Wil Gil, Brett Kulp, Emmett LiCastri, and Reid Robilotto. Gil paced F&M with a 29-12 record last year, tying for 10th on the Diplomats' all-time season wins list. He registered a 4-2 record at the EIW Tournament to secure fifth at 141 pounds and was selected as a first alternate for the NCAA Tournament.
LiCastri battled through injuries last year but still produced an impressive 19-13 overall record and represented F&M at 157 pounds in his third-career EIWA Tournament appearance. He'll move up to 165 pounds for his senior campaign. Joining the fold is Division I Drexel-transfer Cenzo Pelusi the younger brother of F&M's former three-time NCAA Qualifier Antonio Pelusi, who also will compete at 285 pounds.
A Look at the First-Years
The Diplomats' seven-member first-year class is made up entirely of Pennsylvania representatives. They bring with them four state medals, a national prep medal, a combined 12 trips to the Pennsylvania state tournament, and four national prep tournament appearances.
To read more about the class of 2023, click here.
A Look at the Binghamton Open
The Jonathon Kaloust Bearcat Open, named in honor of the former Binghamton student-athlete and Navy SEAL who was killed in a training exercise in May of 2013, enters its 10th annual year of competition. The tournament will take place in Vestal, N.Y. at the Events Center.
Four Diplomats placed at last year's event. Brett Kulp led the way with a 4-1 record and a second-place showing at 141 while Anthony Mancini took second at 184 with a 3-1 mark.
The Road Ahead
F&M is currently set to compete in 12 dual meets to go along with numerous tournaments as the Diplomats prepare for the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships, which are hosted by Lehigh on March 6-7.
Notable events include the historic Midlands Tournament, hosted by Northwestern, from Dec. 29-30 while the tradition of the Rupp Cup returns to Mayser on Feb. 13th with an 8:00 p.m. dual against Millersville.
The eighth annual David H. Lehman F&M Open is set for Saturday, Jan. 4th at the ASFC in Lancaster, while the NCAA Championships are taking place at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on March 19-21.
Record Book Watch
Wil Gil is already narrowing in on the 50-win plateau as the junior grappler enters the year with a 47-29 career mark. Emmett LiCastri heads into his senior year closing in on the milestone as well with a 46-49 career record.
LiCastri begins 2019-20 with 16 career pins. Only 15 F&M wrestlers have ever reached 20 during their time in Lancaster.
All of your favorite Diplomat athletic teams are available on social media. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram, like them on Facebook and subscribe to the Diplomats YouTube page for frequent highlight videos of games throughout the season. All home wrestling matches at the Mayser Center will be broadcast live in HD at GoDiplomats.com/Live.