Johnson's National Run Ends As All-American
Crimson Wave junior wrestler Eric Johnson competed in the second day of action at the 2012 NAIA National Wrestling Championships in Topeka, KS. Johnson came away with a 7th place finish at 197lbs to earn All-American status. This marked the second time Johnson finished on the awards podium as he was able to best last season's 8th place finish by one spot.
"It was a great feeling to be able bounce back from Regionals last week and be an All-American again," said Johnson. "I'm very thankful for all the help my coaches, family and teammates gave me to get me back here again, he added."
Eric began Saturday on the consolation side of the bracket with a matchup against 8th ranked Garrett Demers of Montana State-Northern. Despite starting off the match strong with the first takedown, he was not able to hold the lead very long. Demers ended the first period with an escape and a takedown of his own to go ahead 3-2. After extending his lead in the following two periods Demers ultimately won by decision 6-3. That loss moved Johnson into the 7th place match.
In his final bout of the day Johnson would battle 7th ranked Jahwon Akui from Lindsey Wilson College. He ended the season with an emphatic victory in which he dominated his opponent from the starting whistle. The final score was 16-1 to give Johnson the win by technical fall and a 7th place finish. He ended the tournament 3-2.
"I couldn't have been prouder of the way Eric wrestled this weekend," said Head Coach Ryan Rivera. "He just came in with the mentality that he was going to be the aggressor in each match and battle for every point."
Johnson Named Daktronics Scholar Athlete
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the 2013-14 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes for Wrestling.
The Crimson Wave's Eric Johnson was named to the honor for his excellence in the class room.
In order to be nominated by an institution's head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status to qualify for this honor. Click Here to See the Complete List
Johnson Qualifies for NAIA National Wrestling Championships
The Crimson Wave wrestling team competed at the 2014 NAIA Eastern Regional Qualifier on Feb. 22nd in Atlanta, Georgia. Twenty schools from all over the country competed in the event. The fans packed in the bleachers to watch these young men compete for a chance to advance to the National Tournament in Topeka, Kansas in March.
Junior Eric Johnson, Highland IN, was the lone wrestler to advance to the NAIA National Championship tournament by qualifying at the event. This will be Johnson’s third trip to the NAIA National Championship.
Johnson began the day with a first round bye before then defeating West Virginia's Terry Nance by pin. In his next bout, Johnson faced Life University's Jacob Dempsey and lost a close contest 7-6. Johnson led most of the match but Dempsey scored a reversal and back points to steal the win late in the third period. Dempsey would go on to place third while Jonson was defeated in his next bout and eliminated from placing. After that, Johnson's bid for Nationals came down to a wild card spot determined by coaches of the region voting on it. The coaches considered Johnson's past experience at Nationals as well as his performance throughout the regular season which granted him one of the wildcards.
Johnson was surprised by the decision but was excited to continue wrestling. "I didn't expect it at all," said Johnson. "I'm just grateful for the opportunity and I want to make the most if it at Nationals."
Despite that excitement, Head Coach Ryan Rivera knows there is still a long way to go to make it back on the awards podium next week. "Eric is going to have a tough road ahead coming in as a wildcard, said Rivera.” He is going to have to rely on his past experiences there to get himself ready, but I know he is capable of competing with anyone in the country," added Rivera.
Johnson is now a 3 time national Qualifier, earning an 8th place finish in 2013. The National Championship will be held in Topeka, Kansas on March 7th and 8th.