The Apprentice School wrestling team put an end to their 2011-12 season on Wednesday night as they gave out post-season awards at their annual awards banquet held at the Point Plaza Hotel and Conference Suites in Newport News.
The Builders finished the year 19-8 and took second place in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association Mid-Atlantic Conference meet along with a top 12 finish in the NCWA Nationals.
With the three wrestlers who earned NCWA All-American honors, they were awarded the Iron Builder award. Junior Ty Ford, who finished sixth at 125 pounds, is a maintenance electrician apprentice from Norfolk. Freshman Ian Jones took seventh at heavyweight and is a heavy metal fabricator apprentice from Painesville, Oh. Senior Marcus Chevres finished third at 133 pounds and is an outside machinist apprentice from Norfolk.
Chevres also earned the Most Valuable Wrestler award after a stellar senior season. He finished with a 30-4 record and set the career victories record as he ended with a 134-37 mark. Chevres became the second four-time NCWA All-American in school history as he finished third at 133 pounds in the nationals last month. He had a 16-match winning streak spanning from Jan. 28 to nationals on March 9. Chevres won the USCAA Naitonal Invitational at 133 pounds and took his fourth NCWA Mid-Atlantic Conference crown in February – winning 133 pounds for the third straight year after taking the 125 pound bracket as a freshman.
It was also announced that Chevres will join the coaching staff next season as an assistant coach.
Anthony Damico, a senior shipfitter apprentice from Sterling, Va., earned the Heart of the Builder award. He was 20-16 as a senior predominately at 165 pounds and finished his career with an 82-70 record. He took second at 165 in the USCAA National Invitational and won eight matches by fall as a senior. His fastest win was in 25 seconds against William & Mary and nearly matched it with a 29 second win against University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Freshman Justin Martz earned the Most Improved Wrestler award. A native of Hookstown, PA and a welder apprentice, he finished the year with a 33-20 record mainly at 184 pounds. He was third on the team with 13 wins by fall. Martz took fifth at NCWA MAC Conference and his 33 wins is the third most wins by a freshman in the history of the program.
Junior Kevin Gray was named the recipient of the Model of Excellence award. A native of Pittsburgh, PA and an insulator apprentice, he finished the year with a 24-12 record wrestling either 235 or 285 pounds. He was second at 235 in the NCWA MAC Conference and USCAA National Invitational while he took third at 235 in the Builder Invitational. Gray had a hot spell where he went 13-3 from Jan. 7 – Feb. 25. His fastest win was in 68 seconds over East Carolina in the Builder Invitational.
Junior 197-pounder Stuart Roes was named the recipient of the Builder Award. A native of Staunton and a machinist apprentice, he finished the year with an 18-10 record winning nine of those by fall. He took third place at 197 pounds in the Builder Invitational and had a stretch where he won nine out of 10 bouts in a January two week time frame.
The Builder Award is presented on behalf of the Apprentice Athletic Club to a student-athlete from each sport that has demonstrated excellence in four areas of their apprenticeship – Craftsmanship, Scholarship, Leadership and Sportsmanship. A candidate is selected based on their average shop grade over the course of their apprenticeship, the cumulative academic GPA in the World Class Shipbuilding and/or Advanced Curriculum, conduct on the job and the classroom, attendance and their overall athletic contributions to their sport over the course of the past year. Each year the Apprentice Athletic Club presents this award to the student-athlete who embodies the true characteristics necessary to be a great Builder but more importantly a great Shipbuilder.
The Man Of The Year Award was presented to Don Ward for his tireless work with the wrestling community through the Virginia Duals and many other area wrestling outlets.