PHILADELPHIA – The 2015-16 University of Pennsylvania wrestling season was officially closed in late April with the annual Team Banquet held at the Sheraton University City.
Wrestlers, coaches, administrators, family and alumni all gathered to celebrate the successes of the 2015-16 squad – both on and off the mat – while recognizing the commitment of the graduating seniors who have helped usher in a new era of Penn Wrestling.
The highlight of the banquet – as always – were the speeches given by the five seniors. Ray Bethea, C.J. Cobb, Eric Friedman, A.J. Murabito and Lorenzo Thomas each passionately discussed their Penn careers and what graduating from the University of Pennsylvania means to them.
In addition to the senior speeches, awards were handed out. The nine awards handed out each year by Penn Wrestling celebrate the greatest moments and people in Penn Wrestling – both in the former wrestlers and coaches who the awards are named after and the current grapplers who have earned them for that season.
One of the best moments of the award presentation was having members of the Allman family in attendance to present Joe Heyob with the Robert G. Allman ’39 Most Inspirational Award. Named after one the most legendary figures in Penn Wrestling – Allman was a successful wrestler despite the loss of his eyesight as a child – it was fitting that Heyob was awarded the honor for 2015-16 for his selfless commitment to the team while competing at two weights and battling nagging injuries all season.
2015-16 Penn Wrestling Award Winners
Dr. Austin Bishop Outstanding Contributor – Lorenzo Thomas
Richard DiBatista ’43 Highest NCAA Finish – Casey Kent
Robert G. Allman ’39 Most Inspirational – Joe Heyob
Paul Norman Bond Most Courageous – Marc Mastropietro
Grapplers’ Club Order of Merit – Nick Matteo ‘07
Most Improved Award – May Bethea
11th Man Award – Brooks Martino
Dr. Harry Fields Academic Achievement Award – Joe Oliva
Most Falls Award - C.J. Cobb, Frank Mattiace, Lorenzo Thomas