Seven Freshmen Join Crimson Wrestling Squad for 2011-12 Season

Jay Weiss (right), the David G. Bunning '88 head coach for Harvard wrestling, has recruited seven student-athletes to join the Crimson wrestling team (Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard Crimson wrestling program has added seven members of the class of 2015 for the 2011-12 season. Jay Weiss, the David G. Bunning '88 head coach for Harvard wrestling, recruited the student-athletes from four states and the group represents six weight classes.

The newcomers join a Crimson team that finished 10th at the EIWA championships and 35th at the NCAA Wrestling Championships. Junior Walter Peppelman earned All-America honors by finishing eighth at 157 pounds during the NCAA championship. It was the sixth consecutive year that a Harvard grappler has received All-America honors.

Joe Barbato/Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh High School/ 125 lbs
Wrestling varsity starter for entirety of high school career ... Named wrestling team captain as a senior ... Earned all-county honors four times and all-state twice ... County champion and state runner-up in 2010 ... Named to the All-America team by the NHSCA as a junior ... Fila Greco All-American as a sophomore ... Helped his team to a New York state championship in 2009 ... Member of the National Honor Society ... Presented the certificate of merit by the town of Hempstead ... Named a scholar-athlete four times ... Winner of the President's academic excellence award ... Given the certificate of academic achievement by the Nassau County executive office ... Nassau County Wrestling Association scholarship recipient.

James Fox/Plainfield, N.J./St. Peter's Prep/197 lbs
Captain and three year starter at 171 pounds and 189 pounds ... Started for two years and captained football team ... Three-year wrestling record of 107-10 ... Undefeated (43-0) state champion as a senior ... Set St. Peters' record with 43 wins in a season ... Named Star-Ledger North Jersey Wrestler of the Year as a senior ... Three-time state qualifier, two-time district champion and two-time wrestling All-American ... National runner-up finisher at 171 pounds ... Helped football team to 10th consecutive county championship ... Hudson Reporter defensive Player of the Year as an outside linebacker ... Third-team all-state selection as a senior ... DeCongelio scholarship winner ... Member of the National Honor Society ... Earned three gold medals on the National Latin Exam ... Ignatian Scholars team leader ... Gave over 150 hours of community service to the Hop Hospice Center helping the terminally ill.

Patrick Hogan/Peru, N.Y./Peru Central High School/141 pounds
Four-year starter on the wrestling team and two-year starter in soccer ... Four-time wrestling section VII champion ... Placed second in 2001, fourth in 2010 and sixth in 2009 at the NYSPHAA championships ... Won the New York state championship for Greco-Roman wrestling three times ... Empire state games Greco-Roman wrestling gold medalist in 2007 ... Finished with a career varsity record of 169-40 ... Named section VII's most outstanding wrestling in 2009 ... Selected as New York state's most outstanding junior Greco-Roman wrestler ... Member of the National Honor Society, varsity club, student council, north country model UN and mathematicians without borders ... Volunteered at Peru Free Library ... Father, Michael, captained the wrestling team at Hofstra University and was a three-time NCAA qualifier.

Max Mejia/Chandler, Ariz./Chandler High School/125 lbs
Competed in wrestling for four years, cross country for three and volleyball for two ... Captained the wrestling team for four years ... Finished second in state as a junior and senior ... State champion and fourth nationally at the junior Greco nationals ... West region triple crown winner, sixth place in state, fifth in the junior western region and third in the fila cadet nationals as a freshman ... Received high honors from Chandler for four years ... Named an AP scholar ... Member of the National Hispanic Recognition Program.

David Ng/Massapequa, N.Y./Plainedge High School/Heavyweight
Earned three letters in football and wrestling and one in baseball ... Named all-county as a wrestler three times and in football twice ... Voted wrestling team MVP two times and football MVP once ... Voted to the all-state wrestling squad as a junior and senior ... Set the single season wrestling record for individual wins at Plainedge ... Presented the scholar-athlete award by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 2010 ... Two-time academic all-county selection in football.

Ryan Osleeb/North Salem, N.Y./North Salem High School/133/141 lbs
Captained the wrestling team for four years ... Three-time all-state selection ... Named the NYS section 1 most outstanding wrestler in 2011 ... New York state champion at 130 pounds as a senior ... Chosen as an academic All-American three times ... Presented the Con Edison Irwin "Red" Klein scholarship, North Salem beyond gold academic award, United States Army Reserve national scholar-athlete award, Class of 1980 scholarship and Harvard-Radcliffe award ... Member of the National Honor Society ... Member of the National Math, English honor societies ... National merit scholar ... Volunteered as a wrestling coach and counselor for four years.

Josh Popple/Bear Creek Township, Pa./James M. Coughlin High School/174 lbs
Lettered for four years in football and wrestling ... Named captain and wrestling team's MVP for three years ... Had a 44-1 record and finished as the 189 pound state runner-up at the PIAA championships as a senior ... Finished fourth in the state at 171 pounds as a junior ... Disney Duals gold medalist in 2010 and silver medalist in 2011 ... Fifth place at NHSCA All-America wrestling at 171 pounds in 2010 and sixth at 160 pounds in 2009 ... Two-time Kiwanis tournament champion ... Named football team's defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and 2010 ... Selected to the second-team Pennsylvania All-Academic team in 2011 and fourth team in 2010 ... Elected junior class vice president in 2010 ... Attended the people to people leadership summit in 2010 ... Has volunteered at the American Heart Association for five years ... Father, Mark, a 1983 graduate of Wilkes University, wrestled and was elected to the Wilkes Hall of Fame in 2000.