Donnie DeFilippis Earns “Rookie of the Year” Honors

Posted: April 13, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

George Mason freshman Donnie DeFilippis was voted the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) “Rookie of the Year” by the league wrestling coaches. He is the third George Mason wrestler to receive this award in the nine years the conference has recognized wrestling as a championship sport. Chris Mansueto earned the honor as a 118-pounder in 1995 and Sean Shea received the honor in the same weight class in 1996.

DeFilippis posted a final record of 34 to 11 and finished in the top 12 in the 141-pound weight class at the 2000 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Wrestling Championships in mid-March in St. Louis. He won three of his five matches and came within one victory of earning All-America honors. His only losses came to Oklahoma’s Michael Lightner, who was ranked second in the nation by both Amateur Wrestling News and InterMat, and Iowa’s Doug Schwab, the top-ranked wrestler in the country entering the NCAA championships.

DeFilippis qualified for the NCAA championships as a “wild card” selection after placing second at the CAA championships, held at George Mason on March 4. He finished the season with 10 wins by fall, 5 by technical fall, and 10 by major decision. He surpassed the freshman record of 24 victories established by Dominic Cianchetti in 1984-85.

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