KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Joe Cozart of Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) has been named the NAIA National Wrestler of the Week, the national office announced Wednesday. Cozart is the first honoree of the 2013-14 season and was selected based on his performances from Jan. 6 – Jan. 12. He was chosen out of nominees coming from the four Qualifying Groups.
Cozart, a 157-pound junior from Brandon, Fla., led the Lindsey Wilson wrestling team to a second-place finish at the National Wrestling Coaches Association National Duals last weekend at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. The defending national runner-up went 4-0 during the event, including three victories against ranked opponents. In the championship match against top-ranked Grand View (Iowa), Cozart, who is the top-ranked individual in his respective weight class, claimed a 4-2 overtime victory over second-ranked Quinten Haynes to win three of the Blue Raiders’ six points. His other notable victories for the week were against No. 16 Dylan King of Missouri Valley (2-1) and No. 15 Michael Gonzalez of Cumberland (Tenn.) (pin 5:32).
On the season, Cozart owns a 12-2 overall record and 5-0 mark against NAIA competition.
The next Wrestler of the Week announcement will be on Jan. 22. For the complete Player of the Week calendar, click here.
Nominees: Chauncey Foster, St. Andrews (N.C.); Brock Gutches, Southern Oregon; Michael Ruiz, Great Falls (Mont.); Tyler Johnson, Dickinson State (N.D.); Tyler Kacmarynski, Morningside (Iowa); Zach Fishman, Northwestern (Iowa); Kyle Hoffman, Doane (Neb.); Jake Ekster, Missouri Valley; Dirk Ponchak, West Virginia Tech; Jake Williams, Cumberland (Tenn.); Brandon Westerman, Campbellsville (Ky.); Issac King, Cumberlands (Ky.); Ryak Finch, Grand View (Iowa); Jay Fresh, William Penn (Iowa); Pat Nord, Jamestown (N.D.); Zach Skates, Oklahoma City; Justin Brooks, Indiana Tech.
2013-14 NAIA Wrestlers of the Week
Week 1 (Jan. 15): Joe Cozart, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)