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Builders win National Team Title

03/16/2009 -

It must be something with hometown advantage.

After participating in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association National Championships for 11 years, the Apprentice School brought home its first-ever team national championship on Saturday night at Hampton University Convocation Center. The Builders amassed 118.5 points to outdistance three-time defending champion Grand Valley State who scored 109 points in the 84-team event.

The national championship for the wrestling team marked the first ever team championship for the Builders who have now won seven individual national champions.

"I thought we had potential with this young team," said Apprentice School Head Coach Bruce Shumaker. "Right now it's amazing, they did a tremendous job this weekend and we got a championship now." He was honored at the post-event banquet as the 2009 National Coach of the Year.

What helped the Builders as they had four wrestlers wrestling for third place or higher, while the Lakers had four wrestlers wrestling for fifth place and one for a national championship. The advancement point victories helped the Builders clinch the national championship halfway through the final round.

Senior Cecil Lee became the first individual champion for the Apprentice School as he won the 285 pound championship match with a 4-1 decision over Tim Rose of Amerhst College. Lee iced the championship with a two-point takedown with 1:25 left in the third period and held on for his school record 46th victory on the season. Earlier Saturday he defeated Chris DeScantis of Pittsburgh 1-0 to advance to the finals. His 46 wins set the school single-season victory record that was held by current assistant coach Micah Amrozowicz with 45. The last individual champion for the Builders was York High graduate Sinque Holmes who won the heavyweight championship in 2002.

" To do this in our area is quite a way to finish my career," said Lee. "It felt like I was at home with all the fans cheering in the finals."

Freshman Marcus Chevres fell behind early in his match with Steven West for the 133 pound championship and lost a 16-7 major decision. On the season he finished with a 26-17 record and went 4-1 in the tournament. Earlier on Saturday the Norfolk, Va. native advanced to the finals with a 10-5 win over Joey Heersche of Kansas State.

Senior Ty Holley lost 5-1 for third place at 141 pounds to Mike Girodano of Northampton Community College. Giordano put Holley into the losers bracket on Friday in a 3-2 decision. Holley finished 23-16 on the year. Earlier on Saturday he scored a 15-5 major decision over Jason Mustall of Mott Community College and defeated Mark Burchardt by injury default from Hudson Valley Community College.

Junior Matt Perry finished eighth at 149 pounds after having to take a default in his match against Lance Goodell of Mott Community College. He finished his season with a 22-18 record and earned his second All-American honor. In his first match on Saturday, the Chesapeake, Va. native lost a 6-5 decision to Jeffrey Slaughter of Louisiana State University.

Sophomore Will Harcum won 9-3 over Steve Bauer of Mott Community College to take fifth place at 165 pounds. That win avenged an earlier loss to Bauer in the quarterfinals on Friday for the Williamsburg native. He opened with a flurry taking an early 4-1 advantage and won his 34th match of the season. Earlier Saturday he won by fall in 1:43 over Michael Wright of Delaware and then lost an 11-4 decision to Nick Newell of Kansas State University.

Freshman Charles Mills lost 14-6 to Oscar Huntley from U.S. Naval Academy Prep for third place at 174 pounds. Mills, a freshman from Republic, Washington, finished the year 28-14 and went 4-2 in the event. Earlier Saturday he lost a 4-2 decision to Richard Doherty of Grand Valley State in the semifinals and scored a win in 5:56 over Michael Bard of Delaware in the consolation semifinals.

The championship was the sixth for the Apprentice School as the women's basketball team won the U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association National Championship in 2000-01 and 2001-02, while the men's team won championships in 2001-02 and 2002-03. The baseball team won the U.S.C.A.A. national championship in 2008 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Top 10 Teams (out of 84): Apprentice School 118.5; Grand Valley State 109; U.S. Naval Prep 96.5; Marion Military Institute 96; Central Florida 85.5; U.S. Military Prep 69; U.S. Air Force Prep 64.5; Mott CC 63, Northampton CC 56.5, Kansas State 56.5.