Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Gone, Lost & Forgotten: Their Best = Norfolk State

In recent times the wrestling community is saddened and angered by the elimination of wrestling at Old Dominion University.  The alma mater of one of our most prolific & talented journalist, Jason Bryant.  Yet if you look back on the history of collegiate wrestling, this isn't the first time the city of Norfolk, Virginia lost a great wrestling program.  Twenty-two years ago Norfolk State, a very respectable Division II program was lost.  The school went up to Division I & during the transition stage from DII to DI said goodbye to the wrestling team, while adding women's bowling.

Winners of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) team championship in 1977, The Spartans produced many CIAA individual champions as well as NCAA Division II qualifiers and All Americans.  Today we look at some of their best.

Jimmy Lee
177 lbs
A four time CIAA champion, Lee capped off his stellar Spartan career with a runner-up finish at the 1968 NCAA Division II championships.

Ira Cheatham
134 lbs
Cheatham took All American honors at the 1986 NCAA Division II tournament with a third place finish. 

Kerwyn Adderly
134 lbs 
Adderly put together a 93-33 career record for the Spartans which included three CIAA championships, a sixth place finish at the 1988 NCAA Division II championships & a runner-up finish in 1989. As a result of making the Division II finals, Adderly was invited to participate in the NCAA Division I tournament.  He was the only Spartan to ever have this honor.

Charles Daniels
167 lbs
Daniels began his career at Fayettville Tech (which no longer has a wrestling program) in the NJCAA before coming to Norfolk State.  In his two years as a Spartan he excelled on the mat, capturing two All American finishes of fifth & third at the 1994 & 1995 NCAA Division II championships.

Jason Hayes
190 lbs
Hayes took fourth place All American honors at the 1994 NCAA Division II tournament.

Corey Williams
142 lbs 
While attending Princess Anne High, Williams found himself in the wrestling room one day as a sophomore in high school based on a dare from a friend.  He soon fell in love with the sport & found himself excelling at it.   A scholarship led him to Norfolk State where in his junior season he finished fifth in the nation at the NCAA Division II tournament.  Stoked for a senior year that may have lead to winning a national title, Williams received the news that Norfolk State would be transitioning to NCAA Division I status.  As a result, the Spartans would be ineligible for a few seasons for the post season.  Williams could have transferred by instead decided to stay with the Spartans.  Although rules kept him from participating in the postseason, he finished his senior year with a 23-0 record.


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