May 2, 2011
Head coach Mark Branch and the Cowboy coaching staff announced the Wyoming wrestling squad's team awards during the program's annual year-end gathering last Saturday in Laramie. Friends and family saw UW wrestlers recognized for their efforts on the mat and in the classroom during the 2010-11 season.
"This was a great way to celebrate a very successful season," Branch said. "These men have continued to elevate this program and this was a day for thanking them for their hard work and outstanding contributions. It's always sad to say goodbye to our seniors, but everyone is already fired up about the 2011-12 season and the future that waits for Cowboy wrestling."
Named after former head coaches of the program, Wyoming's four team awards were the most highly coveted accolades of the event and were determined based on a vote of the coaching staff. Junior Shane Onufer took home top honors of the night as he was named UW's Everett Lantz Most Outstanding Wrestler of the season. Onufer finished fifth at the 2011 NCAA Championships to earn his first All-America honor courtesy of a team-best 34-4 record.
Senior Cole Dallaserra earned the Joe McDaniel Most Improved Wrestler thanks to his first West Regional title and a trip to the national tournament this season, while junior Michael Martinez claimed the Joe Dowler Cowboy Up Award after battling through several injuries to post another successful campaign. Junior Joe LeBlanc received the Steven Suder High Point Award for the second-straight season, which is a combination of dual points and grade-point average.
The four Cowboys, along with sophomore L.J. Helbig and redshirt freshman Patrick Martinez, were given plaques for qualifying for the 2011 NCAA Championships, while Onufer and LeBlanc received watches for their All-America finish at the event.
A total of 11 wrestlers were honored for their achievements in the classroom during the year. Dallaserra, LeBlanc, senior Shane Doughman, junior Alfonso Hernandez, senior Joe O'Farrell, freshman Leland Pfeifer, sophomore Michael Poulos, freshman Brandon Richardson and junior Tyler Davis all were recognized for having above a 3.25 cumulative GPA, while Michael Martinez and Helbig claimed the Hussle Award for their extra efforts academically.
UW's senior team members Dallaserra, Doughman, Bubba McLaughlin and Jack Tennant were thanked by Branch and the staff for their contributions and dedication during their careers with the Cowboys.