Tyshawn White leads new look Ship U. wrestling in 2022-23

Following four different stops in a journeyman collegiate career, everything changed for Shippensburg University graduate Tyshawn White, and the Raider wrestling program, last March at the NCAA Division II National Championships.

White, seeded 9th in the 125 pound bracket, fought his way all the way to the national semifinals, where he placed third and earned All-American status.

“It really showed me that I could have made the finals and I could have won the whole tournament,” White said of his postseason run. “God works in mysterious ways, and I just wasn’t supposed to win it that year. This is my year to get back [to nationals] and do better.”

Putting Shippensburg on the Map

White’s performance put Shippensburg on the map nationally. Eight months later, White is ranked second in country in the 125 pound weight class, and leads a squad that is tied for 24th in the NCAA Division II Coaches Preseason Rankings.

“I lost the regional final, even though I was seeded No. 1 for it,” White recalled. “Me and [Head Coach Seth] Bloomquist have a very good relationship, and he was just like, ‘You’ve got to go out there and have fun. Don’t look at it as a pressure situation.’ At NCAAs I was having fun.”

He continued, “At my old schools, I wasn’t having fun in wrestling anymore. Just having a good coach that believes in you the whole time, tells you that he is not going to set you up for failure and makes sure that you are doing everything right – down to what you are eating. It is all about living the right lifestyle. We’ve lived that lifestyle since regionals. We got to nationals and accomplished [All-American], that was fun.”

White is just one of three returning starters in a new look Raider starting lineup. Other returning starters include redshirt junior Dan Scheib at 285 pounds and redshirt sophomore Nyeim Flucas at 174.

Scheib is coming off a 6th place finish at regionals last season. For Scheib, the logical next step would be to place in the top three and qualify for the national tournament.

Joining the trio of returning wrestlers is large group of 16 newcomers, including 13 freshmen. Three of the newcomers are transfers, two of which arrive at Shippensburg from Division I wrestling programs — graduate student Avery Shay (Clarion University) and redshirt sophomore Andrew Wert (Virginia Tech).

They, specifically, hope that taking the same path White did will find them similar success.

“I am super excited to see how it plays out,” Shay noted. “I am looking to kind of take these guys under my wing this year and climb that ladder. I want to give them as much as I can of value throughout the season.”

Talented Freshman Group

White and Shay feel that the freshman group are both hungry and talented, and have brought a lot of life to the wrestling room during the preseason.

“They came in like I did my freshman year. They like to wrestle every single day. They are having fun, making jokes and making the whole room laugh,” White said. “We just had wrestle-offs and a couple of them probably will be starting. I like to see that, younger kids being given a chance to start all four years if they can. Some of them are very mature for their age.”

He added, “It’s a genuine group, and I love seeing them every day. I think we can be top 10 in the country. I have high expectations for them. I don’t care what I am ranked, I want the team to do just as well as I do.”

According to Coach Bloomquist, the SU lineup is loaded with experience in the lower weights with White, Wert (133), Shay (157) and others, while the upper weights – other than Scheib – are all relatively green.

“We’ll see how that contrast really works,” Bloomquist stated. “Wert is a four-time Pennsylvania state place-winner. Tyshawn has been to the NCAA semis and was a two-time state finalist in high school. You have that experience. Shay transferred from Clarion and beat some really tough guys in Division I. I think some of the kids look up to him because of some of the kids that he wrestled and beat. He’s a state champion. He knows what it takes to win. We have a lot of experience working with these younger kids.”

He continued, “In the upperweights we have Scheib, who is ready to graduate and has been in the system for three or four years telling these guys how to do things. This team has a whole different culture than what it has been in the past, and these guys buy into what he says. I’m excited, there is no doubt about it.”

The Raiders are scheduled to begin their season Saturday, Nov. 5 competing in the Alvernia Invitational.