PISCATAWAY, NJ – The Rutgers University wrestling team held its annual awards banquet on Monday night, April 11, at the Hale Center on the school’s Busch Campus. The team posted a 6-8 record in 2004-05 despite being riddled with injuries to several starters throughout the season. The Scarlet Knights sent a pair of wrestlers to the NCAA Championships in St. Louis, MO.
Head coach John Sacchi, who finished his 15th season “On the Banks” with exactly 150 career victories, announced the program’s annual award winners.
Senior Andy Roy (Wall, NJ), who finished his career as one of the most decorated wrestlers in Rutgers history, was named the program’s Most Valuable Wrestler for the third-consecutive season. He posted a 25-5 record during the year and was ranked among the nation’s top-10 wrestlers at 174 pounds throughout the entire season. Roy ended his Scarlet Knight career with an outstanding 102-27 record to place ninth on the Rutgers all-time wins list. He completed his second-straight undefeated dual meet campaign in 2004-05 and was one of two Scarlet Knights to earn a berth in the NCAA Championships. Roy is the only wrestler in Rutgers history to qualify for the NCAA Championships all four years of his eligibility. He placed second at the EIWA Championships for the third-consecutive year. He owned a 15-match winning streak during one stretch of the season. Roy takes home the award for the third-straight season. He shared the honor with former Scarlet Knight Greg Austin during the 2002-03 season. Roy becomes just the second wrestler in Rutgers history to win the award three times, joining Jason Hawk, who won took home MVP honors from 1992-1994.
Roy was also awarded the Wilfred-Cann Award, honoring the program’s Most Inspirational Athlete. Roy nursed injuries throughout the season, finishing among the nation’s top competitors at his weight class. He fell just one match short of All-America status for the second-consecutive season.
The Nist-Sachsel Memorial Trophy, recognizing Rutgers’ Most Improved Wrestler, went to red-shirt sophomore Gene Zannetti (Edison, NJ). Coming off a red-shirt year, Zannetti assumed the starting duties at 157 pounds in 2004-05. He finished 18-10 overall with a 9-4 dual record. Zannetti posted a team-best four technical falls, while also finishing the season with four major decisions. He recorded second-place finishes at both the Brockport and Navy tournaments. Zannetti finished fourth at the EIWA Championships, earning a spot as an alternate for the NCAA Championships.
The 2004-05 Loyal Knight recognizes individuals for their dedication and commitment to the program. A trio of seniors took home this year’s honor. Senior wrestlers Chris Ressa (Andover, NJ) and John Foscolo (South Plainfield, NJ) and senior manager Jennifer Spivack were each recipients of this year’s award.
Ressa completed his Scarlet Knight career with an impressive 80-53 record to rank 22nd on the Rutgers all-time wins list. He earned his first trip to the NCAA Championships this season after placing third at 184 pounds at the EIWA Championships. Ressa posted a 19-11 record at 184 pounds this past season after bulking up from 165 pounds where he wrestled the previous three seasons.
Foscolo was limited by injuries all season, finishing with seven victories. He played through pain throughout the 2004-05 campaign and had many impressive performances. Foscolo registered two pins, a technical fall and a major decision this past season. He ends his career with 41 victories. He bulked up to compete at heavyweight at the EIWA Championships to fill a hole vacated by injuries to several starters. It was an example of the dedication Foscolo and his teammates showed throughout the season.
Spivack is the only four-year manager in the program’s history. She has been an integral part of the program throughout her tenure with the Scarlet Knights.
Sacchi and his coaching staff honored the program’s four senior – Roy, Ressa, Foscolo and Craig Kempinski (Phillipsburg, NJ) – for their hard work, dedication and commitment to the program during their Rutgers career.
Rutgers Wrestling Award 2005 Winners
Most Valuable Wrestler: Andy Roy
Wilfred-Cann Award (Most Inspirational Athlete): Andy Roy
Nist-Sachsel Memorial Trophy (Most Improved Wrestler): Gene Zannetti
Loyal Knight: Chris Ressa, John Foscolo, Jennifer Spivack (manager)