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Posted April 10, 2009
UNI’s Moza Fay named WWC Wrestler of the Year

University of Northern Iowa’s Moza Fay was named the Western Wrestling Conference’s Wrestler of the Year. The honor capped a solid career for the Panthers, which ended with a sixth-place finish at 165 pounds and second-straight All-American performance at the NCAA Championships at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis in March. Fay, a former two-time state champion for Anamosa, finished his career with 119 victories.

The Panthers’ heavyweight Christian Brantley was third in the Freshman of the Year voting. Wyoming’s Joey LeBlanc received that award, while finishing runner-up to Fay for conference’s top prize. Wyoming first-year head coach Mark Branch was Coach of the Year.

 Below is the press release from UNI with vote totals for Wrestler of the Year and Freshman of the Year:

Western Wrestling Conference Honors 2008-09 Award Winners

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The Western Wrestling Conference has announced its award winners for the 2008-09 season. Wyoming’s Mark Branch was voted Coach of the Year, Wyoming’s Joe LeBlanc was named Freshman of the Year and UNI’s Moza Fay earned Wrestler of Year honors. The awards were voted on by the league’s head coaches.

Branch, who just completed his first season as the Cowboys’ head coach, has been named the 2008-09 WWC Coach of the Year. Branch led Wyoming to a share of the WWC regular season title with a perfect 5-0 dual record in league matches. The Cowboys posted a 15-3 overall dual mark this season. Wyoming qualified four wrestlers to the NCAA Championships and earned the program’s first-ever freshman All-America award when LeBlanc captured fifth-place honors in the 184-pound bracket. Branch also oversaw a squad that earned nine all-WWC honors in 2008-09.

The Cowboys’ LeBlanc (Meeker, Colo.) has been named WWC Freshman of the Year. LeBlanc became the first-ever freshman All-American in the history of Wyoming wrestling when he placed fifth in the 184-pound bracket at the 2009 NCAA Championships. LeBlanc earned a spot into the NCAA Championships by winning the 184-pound West Regional title. LeBlanc posted a 45-8 overall record, which included a 15-2 mark in dual action.
He won three tournament titles. His 45 wins tied for third-place on UW’s single-season victories list. He had two double-didgit winning streaks during the season (10 and 11). LeBlanc posted 14 major decisions, five technical falls and seven pins.

UNI’s Fay (Anamosa, Iowa) has been named WWC Wrestler of the Year for the second consecutive season. Fay earned back-to-back All-America honors at 165 pounds by placing sixth at this year’s NCAA Championships.
Fay entered the NCAA tournament as the No. 4 seed in the 165-pound bracket. Fay posted a season mark of 29-7 overall mark with a 12-4 dual record. Fay won the 2009 NCAA West Regional title and was named the Outstanding Wrestler at the regional meet. He won the 165-pound title at the Loras Open (Nov. 8). Fay took third at 165 pounds at Midlands (Dec.
29-30). Fay capped his career with 119 wins and 37 falls.

The Western Wrestling Conference is comprised of seven schools including the Air Force Academy, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, Northern Iowa, South Dakota State, Utah Valley and Wyoming. The conference formed in April 2006.
Wrestler of the Year Voting
Wrestler (School) 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Moza Fay (UNI) 5 1 1 102
Joe LeBlanc (Wyoming) 2 5 – 92
Ben Kjar (Utah Valley) – 1 4 52
Tyler Sorenson (SDSU) – - 2 20
Points awarded: 16 – 1st place, 12 – 2nd place, 10 – 3rd place

Freshman of the Year Voting
Wrestler (School) 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Joe LeBlanc (Wyoming) 7 – - 112
Mitchell Polkowske (UNC) – 3 4 76
Christian Brantley (UNI) – 4 2 68
Adam Fager (Utah Valley) – - 1 10
Points awarded: 16 – 1st place, 12 – 2nd place, 10 – 3rd place

In addition to the wrestling honors, six Panthers earned WWC all-academic recognition. Andrew Anderson, a Business Management major with a 3.25 GPA,  and Charlie Ettelson, a Biomedical Sciences major with a 3.54 GPA,  were named to the All-Academic Team, while Moza Fay (3.0 in Physical Education), Dustin Bauman (3.0 construction management) and Steven Fitzgerald (3.78 in Business) were named to the Coaches’ honor roll.

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