In the midst of Friday night’s 34-7 loss to 17th ranked Missouri, Hofstra wrestling head coach Tom Shifflet is hoping his team got inspired by a dominant performance put in by one of his senior grapplers. Seventeen-ranked Jonny Bonilla-Bowman picked up one of Hofstra’s two wins on the Mack Sports Complex mats in a convincing fashion 21-10 over Tiger sophomore Patrick Wright, a performance Shifflet wants to see from his other grapplers as the home stretch of the 2009/10 season gets set to take shape.
“He took a top 20 guy and basically broke the kid by the third period where he was able to do whatever he wanted,” said Coach Shifflet of Bonilla-Bowman’s effort Friday night, which turned out to be one of only two Pride wins on the evening. “When these guys sit on the bench and watch him they see what he is doing and they need to follow in his foot steps quite honestly because that is the effort we want out of everybody. With guys showing up like that we’ll be back to where we used to be.”
Hofstra’s other bright spot in the 34-7 loss to Missouri came from sophomore Ben Clymer, whose takedown with 52 seconds remaining in the third and final period helped give him a 4-3 win over Missouri’s Todd Porter at 184 pounds.
The 2009/10 Hofstra wrestling campaign has been ravaged by injuries with 125-pounder Steve Bonanno, 149-pounder Justin Accordino and 174-pounder Ryan Patrovich all lost for the remainder of the season. The bad luck on the injury front continued this past week when red-shirt freshman Paul Snyder had surgery on his knee for a torn meniscus that will force him to miss around three weeks and caused the Pride to forfeit the heavyweight match versus Missouri. Freshman 125-pounder Jamie Franco returned for the Missouri match after injuring his shoulder against Ohio State’s Ian Paddock three weeks ago and fell 3-0 to the Tiger's Eric Wilson.
While the injuries the Pride have incurred this season has forced Shifflet to alter his team’s expectations, he was still not satisfied with the way some of his backups performed against the Tigers. “It is unfortunate that we have guys out that are done for the season but these other guys know the shoes that they are filling and we expect more effort out of them,” said Shifflet. “Whether they win or lose, we can’t be laying on our belly, we can’t be giving up not fighting as hard on our feet.”
Shifflet acknowledges that winning a 10th straight Colonial Athletic Association title will be a tall order given all the injuries and how solid Old Dominion, Rider and Binghamton are this year, but he is hopeful that the experience gained in the next month will bode well for 2010/2011. “We’re getting some great competition in that is going to help us for next season,” he said.
Hofstra wrestling next hits the mats at home against Pennsylvania on Saturday Jan. 31 at 1 p.m.