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Rob Koll's Cornell Season Preview

By Courtesy of Rob Koll, 10/27/16, 4:45PM EDT


Cornell returns a number of accomplished wrestlers for the upcoming campaign, including two-time NCAA champion Gabe Dean and All-Americans Dylan Palacio and Brian Realbuto. In addition, Dalton Macri, Joey Galasso, Mark Grey, Owen Scott and Jeramy Sweany have competed at the NCAA tournament during their careers. 

The Big Red wrestlers have won a record 10 consecutive EIWA championships and have featured at least three All-Americans for each of the last 14 years, finishing in the top five nationally six of the past eight seasons.

What will the squad look like in 2016-17?

Head coach Rob Koll takes a weight-by-weight look at the team below. 




Dalton Macri had a great summer of training and has looked good in practice.  Last year he wasn’t able to train in the summer because he was returning from shoulder surgery.  As a result he also didn’t do a great job of keeping his weight under control.  This year he is lean, healthy, and looking forward to starting off where he left off.

Noah Baughman has also looked great in the room.  I am excited to see Noah wrestle at the Bearcat Open and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him face Dalton in the finals.

Jimmy Overheiser and Mike Russo will be on the shelf for most, if not all, of the season after reinjuring their shoulders. 

Jacob Lehr is currently a little undersized and needs to pack on a few pounds of muscle over the course of the year.


Mark Grey returned to campus looking like the Mark of old.  He is much more effective at 133 and had it not been for Nahshon Garrett moving up, he would never have been at 141.  Not only is he at a more effective weight but he is also finally healthy.  Can’t wait to see Mark finish his senior campaign on top. 

Chas Tucker had minor surgery on his hand and should be set to go in December.  He had a great summer but unfortunately he has missed the preseason.

Ian McNitt is our first TN wrestler since Jordan Leen.  We expect similar results.


Will Koll has grown into a full-fledged 141 pounder.  He is dangerous on his feet and very nasty on top.  Assuming he’s made the requisite improvements on bottom, he should be more than competitive.  If not, it’s his mother’s fault. 

Trence Gillem has unlimited potential.  Trence is incredibly skilled on his feet and he’s improving his ground game.  I expect Trence will make significant strides throughout the season due to his lack of experience, having only wrestled for 4 years!

Matt Russo (Freshman) is physical and aggressive.  He is not afraid to mix it up but needs to improve on top and bottom.

Eli Bienstock has struggled with injuries throughout his career.  We hope this will be the year that he can stay healthy.


Joey Galasso was a couple seconds away from knocking off a number of the top wrestlers last year.  He is head and shoulders better this year and I believe he will enjoy a breakout year. 

Dylan Realbuto will test out the waters at 149.  He won’t be medically cleared until December.  I had him certify at 141 so he has the option of dropping down.

Jon Furnas is an overpowering wrestler but he needs to be in peak condition to be effective. Whether it was injury, school, or confidence in his freshman campaign, I don’t believe he ever managed to hit his stride. Jon is far ahead of the game this year and I expect he will see a great deal of action.

Christian Schoenherr is very technical and skilled.  I believe he is slightly undersized at 149 so we will be making sure he puts just as much time in the weight room as in the wrestling room.  This is no small feat as Chris is also an engineer, and a member of ROTC.


Dylan Palacio returns this year with one goal, that being bringing home an NCAA title. For the first time in two years he is not playing soccer.  As a result, his preparation for the season is vastly improved. 

Kyle Simaz saw limited action last year and will undoubtedly be called upon frequently this year. Kyle has a great gas tank but needs to improve in the bottom position (too many guys on our team have this issue).  He is a tireless worker, just like all Simaz boys.

Griffin Higginbotham has been sidelined by injuries throughout his career.  Hopefully this year he will be able to display his wrestling talents!

Derek Krajewski joined the squad mid-year last year.  Derek is another of our growing contingent of Michigan wrestlers.


Dillon Artigliere went 19-7 for the Big Red last year.  Although this would normally be considered great for a freshman I expect even more from Dillon this year.  He is also one of my top 31 favorite wrestlers on the team!

Brandon Womack was out of school last semester so is still only a freshman.  He has a great deal of potential and if he can effectively manage his weight, he will be a serious threat to all comers.  He is a natural 174 pounder and will be a lead candidate next year for 174 when Realbuto graduates. 

Ty Walter will undoubtedly move up next year but he did a fantastic job of bringing his weight down for certifications.  If he can maintain this focus for the next four months, he will be hard to beat. Ty competed successfully at 184 in the past so I believe he will be an overpowering 165 pound wrestler. 

Taylor Simaz is the best looking and smartest of the Simaz brothers.  He has seen action from 149-165.  He's one of the most dependable wrestlers I have ever coached.

Matt Russo might be the most improved wrestler in the room.  Two years ago I wondered if he could successfully make the transition from NYC prep school to high level D1.  Matt has become extremely competitive through his relentless commitment to detail and work.  I don’t believe in my 28 years of coaching that I have ever met a more focused young man.  Matt wanted to let everyone know he is not related to the “other” Russo boys.  Which reminds me, the other Russo boys wanted to make sure everyone knows they are not related to Matt!


Brian Realbuto is almost fully recovered and should be in the line-up as soon as our Las Vegas trip.  Brian had a great year at 174, sans the NCAA tournament.  This year anything less than an NCAA championship will be a disappointment for Brian.

Although Milik Dawkins certified at 165, I believe he will see more action at 174. If he proves me wrong, and maintains his weight, he would be a force to be reckoned with at 165. 

Jacob George went 8-2 last year and placed 2nd at the Shorty Hitchcock Open.  Jacob is an unassuming wrestler who has quietly impacted our program with his consistency and loyalty.  It is hard to believe he is a senior and I’m not sure what we will do without a George on the squad to represent the Ginger generation.

Drew Garcia went 15-5 as a rookie, and won the New York State Intercollegiate B Division, Brockport Invitational and Shorty Hitchcock Invitational. Drew will compete for the starting role in Brian’s absence and has the ability to wrestle 184 if Gabe is ever unable to compete.


Gabe Dean is looking for his 3rd NCAA title.  It’s frightening to say, but he has gotten a lot better. He actually came within inches of scoring on me in our last 30 minute grind match.

Jacob Taylor plans on taking the year off to focus on a medical internship.


Owen Scott will sit out the first semester due to graduation requirements.  He has packed on 10 pounds of muscle and is a legitimate 197 pounder this year.

Ben Honis aka Benihana, joined the squad last January and never really got up to speed.  Ben is big, strong and particularly good on top.  An interesting side note is that Ben’s father, Kurt, wrestled heavyweight for Syracuse.

Jacob Anderson quietly amassed a sensational freshman season. He won three tournaments and finished with an 11-3 record.  This summer he interned in Chicago and trained with former CU national champ Cam Simaz. Jacob is freakishly strong, and according to Andy Noel is a “chip off the old block”.  Jacob’s father Tim ’89 wrestled for Andy. 

Rob Incorvaia enters his third year with the Big Red. Rob is funky on his feet and tough on top.  Rob’s father graduated from Cornell in 1981 and his sister is currently a sophomore in Cornell’s Dyson School of Business.


Jeramy Sweany has packed on the muscle and tips the scales between 245-250 pounds.  Each year Jeramy has put on approximately 10 pounds of muscle.  Last year he was undersized.  This year I don’t expect he will be pushed around by anyone.  We expect great results over the next three years!

Craig Scott has spent most of his career recovering from an assortment of injuries.  He is finally healthy and at 265 pounds I expect he will make his presence known.

McZiggy Richards bumped up to 285 last year.  This year he looks like a real heavyweight.  He has limited experience but loads of athletic talent. 

Dennis Atiyeh looks to get in the line-up for his senior year.  He is a scrappy young man but a little undersized for 285.