Topeka, Kan. - For the first time in the three year program history, the Williams Baptist College wrestling team will have a representative in the NAIA Championship finals matches. Demetrius Thomas (FR/Ferguson, Mo. ) will represent the Eagles in the 285 lb. division, after upsetting the defending national champion and top seeded Dean Broghammer of Grand View University.
"I give credit to God and my teammates," said Thomas. "I know my accomplishments show the true testament of God's work, and my teammates have helped me by pushing me each day to get better."
Thomas used a combination of quickness and strength to beat Broghammer by a 18-9 major decision. He will now wrestle this evening (March 4) for a chance to bring home WBC's first NAIA National Championship.
"You get what you earn, and he is the hardest working heavyweight that I have ever worked with," said Head Coach Kerry Regner.
Thomas came into the NAIA Championships as the seventh ranked wrestler in the division and the fifth seed. He received opening round bye before facing Jeff Chandler. Chandler was the 12th seed, and posed a large threat for Thomas. The match went into overtime before Thomas pinned him after 7:49 of action.
The competition got more difficult, as the next round brought fourth seeded Taylor Kornoely. As the competition increased, so did Thomas's effort, and he put away the Montana State-Northern University wrestler by major decision and a score of 10-1. Kornoely was the defending runner-up.
Thomas took out the defending national champion, as well as runner-up in back-to-back matches by major decisions.
Next, Thomas booked his place in the final after giving up the first two points of the dual against Broghammer. It woke Thomas up, and he came alive, scoring 18 of the final 25 points of the match.