Des Moines, Iowa - Tyler Fraley and Demetrius Thomas will represent the Williams Baptist College wrestling team in the 2018 NAIA National Championship final on Saturday evening. The matches will begin at 7 p.m. and can be viewed through the watchespn app or at www.espn3.com.
"There is so much emotion during this session of wrestling. We had some great matches and our guys stepped up to the occasion. Demetrius and Tyler both had very close matches and they really showed the amount of heart and training that went into reaching this level. I am very proud of our guys," said Head Coach Todd Allen.
Third seeded Fraley came back from 3-1 at the end of the second period to win 6-4 over seventh seeded Taylor Moeder in the 141 lb. weight class.
Fraley won the match with a takedown with one second on the clock. The Freehold, N.J., native is making his first championship appearance after falling in the semifinal round each of the last two seasons. The senior has been an All-American all three seasons for the Eagles.
"It feels good to get to a final after losing in the semifinals the last couple years. It is nice to get the monkey off my back and I look forward to playing for a national title," said Fraley.
In the final, Fraley will wrestle fifth seeded Matt Weber of Montana State-Northern University.
After winning the championship a year ago, Thomas returns looking for back-to-back titles in the 285 lb. weight division. The sophomore had to come from behind to win his semifinal match. His takedown with 30 seconds remaining gave him a 9-8 victory over third seeded Jeremiah Gerl of Hastings College. Thomas is the two seed.
"I am blessed beyond measure to be competing in a second straight championship match," said Thomas.
In the final, Thomas will wrestle top seeded Dean Broghammer of Grand View University.