Deveau Takes New England By Storm

By Michael Christie, Athletic Media Relations Intern

 

The sport of wrestling isn’t for the weak-hearted. Black eyes, bruised knees and broken arms are not uncommon in a match. Justin Deveau is one of those people who take the risks and compete in one of the most grueling sports here at Rhode Island College.

 

Deveau, a junior from North Attleboro, MA is currently the number one ranked wrestler in New England at 285 lbs. He has a 30-2 record with 129 points, 43 takedowns, eight reversals, 12 near falls and five pins. Deveau placed first at the Roger Williams and Citrus Invitationals, and currently has a 19-match win streak, dating back to Dec. 6.

 

As a freshman at North Attleboro High School, Deveau joined the school’s wrestling team, which was the first competitive wrestling for him. The 2001 graduate was the Massachusetts State Section Champion for his region, placed at the state championships three times, and also placed fourth in New England.

 

Nearing the conclusion of his third season at Rhode Island College, Deveau already has been very successful as he has two All-New England honors under his belt. “I think I am doing well so far but I have yet to accomplish all of my goals,” Deveau says. The heavyweight declares that qualifying for the National Championships would be a good start to completing some of those goals. “Ultimately, I would like to win a New England Championship and a National Title,” Deveau states. RIC Head Wrestling Coach Jay Jones echoes Deveau’s sentiments on his goals of becoming a national champion. “Justin has been a potential All-American since his arrival at Rhode Island College.” says Jones, “He has worked diligently and could easily have represented the New England Conference at the National Championships as a sophomore last season but our qualifying format and the lack of votes kept him from that goal.”

 

While Deveau is well on his way to another accomplished and honored season, he is doing so in a brand new role. As a heavyweight, which is classified as 285 lbs., Deveau usually weighs in at about 225 lbs. Due to the fact that RIC is lacking an experienced heavyweight wrestler, Deveau at times must grapple with opponents who at times have had upwards of a 50 lbs. advantage. The RIC heavyweight understands this and says that it is not always power that gets the job done. “I think it comes down to dedication and hard work.” Deveau says, “It’s not necessarily the person with the most talent or brut strength who is successful but it’s the person who works the hardest that usually gets the win.” Coach Jones agrees with Deveau’s comments on hard work and says it has produced positive results for him this season. “Justin works harder than anyone in practice,” says Jones, “He proved that he deserves a shot at National’s when he upset Mike Blair of Trinity College who was ranked second in the nation at the time.”

 

As a team, the Anchormen currently have a 13-7 overall record with an 8-4 NECCWA mark and a 3-0 Pilgrim League record. In upcoming action, RIC will look to finish the remainder of the season strong and head into the NECCWA tournament with positive momentum. If the Anchormen follow the leadership, both on the mat and off, of Justin Deveau, they should be in position for a successful finish to their winter season.