Manchester University
Oak Leaves

November 15, 2019

JaVon Phillips Aims for Memorable Senior Year

Erin Hickle


Deciding to play a sport in college has many challenges but can bring on many rewarding moments for the athletes. Senior wrestler JaVon Phillips is no stranger to these. As a junior, Phillips was able to finish the season with an impressive record of 30-14, placing fifth at the NCAA Division III Central Region Championship.

Not only has Phillips seen success on the mats, but he also has seen academic success as he was named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Scholar All-American team for the 2018-19 season.

JaVon Phillips is from Centerville, Ind., where he graduated from high school. Phillips started wrestling when he was in eighth grade, making this his ninth year of wrestling. Now a Manchester University Spartan, he has continued his wrestling career while majoring in physical education and minoring in health promotion.

During his first year at MU, Phillips finished the season with a record of 17-15. He finished his sophomore season 16-12. After seeing much success during his junior season, Phillips has decided one of his goals is to have fun during his final season at MU. He also hopes to become an All-American and the all-time pin leader for Manchester Wrestling this season.

Head wrestling coach for MU, Kevin Lake, has goals set for his senior wrestler, too. He hopes Phillips can bring home a national championship. Lake feels his athlete has all the tools and work ethic to be among the best in the nation, the ultimate goal.

In order to become a member of the NWCA Scholar All-American team, nominees have to have a GPA of at least 3.2 (on scale of 4.0) for the previous full academic year. The competitive requirements for the award include that the wrestler must be a national qualifier with a winning record or have a minimum win percentage of at least .500. With other possible factors and requirements to be considered, the NWCA named 261 individuals representing 83 institutions to their 2018-19 Academic Team and Individual honorees list.

Manchester University had two athletes on the list, Joel Arney and JaVon Phillips. This honor not only has important meaning to the university, but it also has an important impact on the athletes who have worked to achieve this award.

“JaVon has been a tremendous leader both on and off the mat for the past year,” Lake said. “He lives our values and strives to excel in the classroom as well as on the mat. His academic All-American honor is a testament to that. When you have someone in the room every day that you can point to that does everything right, it’s a huge benefit to the team.” With Phillips going into his final year of wrestling as a Spartan, he has set his goals for the season and looks forward to the time he will get to spend with his teammates on and off the mats.

Over the past four years, Phillips has become a part of what he calls his “wrestling family.” He has come to appreciate his coaches for pushing him to be better each and every day. He also looks forward to becoming even closer with his teammates who he calls his brothers.

The 2019-20 MU wrestling season began on Saturday, November 2, with a dual match in Stauffer-Wolfe Arena versus the Olivet College Comets. Manchester will then travel to a series of away meets before returning home on Dec.14.