Posting a season mark of 12 wins and 11 losses the Williams College wrestling team has been ranked fifth in the final NEWA team poll of 2012-13.
Heading into the post-season first year head coach Scott Honecker's Ephs have had five competitors consistently ranked in the top six in the New England region.
This weekend sophomore Dan Evangelakos (133) and first year Cesar Serrano (133) will compete at the Futures Tournament being hosted by Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI.
March 2 and 3 the Ephs will head to the 2013 NCAA Northeast regional Wrestling Championships being hosted by WPI.
The NCAA has eliminated the conference qualification system that had been in place over the past several years where the top New England finisher at the New England Championships and a few at-large candidates advanced to the NCAA Championships.
Beginning this year qualification for the NCAA Championships for Eph wrestlers will be via the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships.
The tournament name has changed from New England to Northeast as four New York State schools have been added. Joining the 14 New England teams will be Cortland State, Ithaca College, Oneonta State and Oswego State.
From the NCAA Northeast Regional the top three finishers in each weight classification will advance to the NCAA Championships. There will no longer be any at-large bids to the NCAA Championships with the guarantee of three wrestlers per classification advancing.
Cortland State and Ithaca are annually ranked in the national top twenty poll, making the road to the NCAA Championships for Eph wrestlers a little more difficult.
Honecker will be looking for his top five wrestlers to make a splash at the regional championships in the hopes of securing an NCAA Championships berth.
Senior Kaison Tanabe at 133 has posted a season record of 18-11 with two pins and is currently ranked tied for fourth in New England.
Senior captain Ces Antista at 141 has posted the most wins on the Ephs squad thus far this winter with 26. Overall Antista is 26-2 with three pins. Antista is ranked second nationally (and in New England) at 141 and has been a three-time New England finalist.
First year Jorge Lopez at 149 has impressed all season long and is second on the Eph team in wins with 25. Lopez is 25-5 in his first 30 intercollegiate matches and has amassed nine pins. Lopez is ranked second in New England.
Another first year standout for Honekcer is Tim Garripoli at 157. Garripoli has compiled a record of 22-14, notched two pins and is ranked fourth in New England.
Senior heavyweight Tom Foote qualified for last year's NCAA Championships and then was unable to compete due to a training injury. This winter Foote has climbed to the top of the New England heavyweight rankings, posting a record of 19-2, which includes three pins.
"We have an extremely talented group of seniors who are fired up for their last shot, coupled with underclassmen who continue to impress every day," commented first year head coach Scott Honecker. "The most encouraging thing is we have been improving at a rapid pace all season long. They have done all of the preparation necessary and more to be wrestling at their best when it matters the most. I am excited to watch all of our guys perform now that the post-season has arrived."
Final 2012-13 NEWA Team Poll
1. Springfield College (13) -- (13-2) -- 138
2. Wesleyan University (1) -- (15-7) -- 127
3. Johnson & Wales University -- (13-7) -- 112
4. Roger Williams University -- (16-7) -- 99
5. Williams College -- (12-11) -- 82
6. Rhode Island College -- (11-14) 69
7. WPI -- (8-11) -- 49
8. University of Southern Maine -- (13-6) -- 31
9. Trinity College -- (6-12) -- 23
10. Western New England -- (5-8) --19
Others receiving votes: Coast Guard