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March 17, 2017

Dean Heil

George DiCamillo

St. Louis, Missouri

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by 141-pound finalist, George DiCamillo from Virginia. Opening statement?

GEORGE DiCAMILLO: What a blessing this has been for me, falling short in the round of 12 stings. It did, but the day after I lost last year I made the right adjustments in my mind. I have great mentors in my life and it's been easy every since.

Q. George, we've got a Holy War coming up. How special is it that you get to wrestle Dean in the NCAA final?
GEORGE DiCAMILLO: It's special. Dean is the reason I train as hard as I do. It's simple. He's the defending champ. We have history. We have bad blood. We've wrestled since he were little kids. He took away my dream of a high state championship when I was a sophomore and he took away my dream of a Scuffle Championship this year. So I'm coming after him.

Q. George, it looked like you were getting stronger as it went. Talk about what you figured out about your opponent that let you actually take over when it really mattered.
GEORGE DiCAMILLO: Bryce, I've wrestled him twice in my career when he was at NC State and I was familiar with how he wrestled. But nowadays you can watch people's tendencies and watch their matches, but I have to be ready off the whistle, and I noticed in a few times when I went in our shots he would go secondary D when I went to pop over the backdoor which is one of my best positions, frankly.

So I figured that out and I exploited that to the best of my ability, got stalemated a couple times. But I figured it out in the middle of match and also I've been known as one who has really good cardio, really good set of lungs on me. So it was easy for me to pick up the pace when the fire was on.

Q. George, you mentioned the past three NCAAs. Did you think about those prior to this tournament when you had a chance to become an All-American.
GEORGE DiCAMILLO: Honestly, no. Might come off as me trying to pretend like I'm not thinking about it, but honest to God I haven't. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and it's all part of God's plan for me.

I had to make the necessary adjustments in my head. I made the obvious adjustment of going up a weight class and I think it's paid dividends in the long run. There were a lot of people who told me I was crazy, who said, if you can't place at 33 how the hell are you going to place at 41? I used that as fuel and believed in myself all along. If I'm truly wrestling my best, I'm the best 141-pound wrestler in the country. I hope to prove that tomorrow.

Q. George, Scuffle Semifinals, the controversial heat? It might have been a fall, might not have. They didn't call it. But you got into some crazy scramble positions. What do you think you learned and how are you going to apply that tomorrow night?
GEORGE DiCAMILLO: I think it's finishing efficiently and hiding my ankles, but more than scouting him. I've known him since I was a little kid, he knows me. Jordan, our assistant coach, every time I go on the mat he preaches two things, set the guy up and score and have fun doing it. He told me I had five more matches in my career and it was a pleasure watching me. Now I've got one more. Set the guy up, score, and hopefully I will be raising my hand Saturday night.

THE MODERATOR: That's all from George, thank you.

We're joined by 141-pound finalist, Dean Heil from Oklahoma State. A statement by Dean?

DEAN HEIL: I'll pass.


Q. Dean, I asked George, we've got a Holy War coming tomorrow. Bitter rivals. What are you guys, five miles apart? That Holy War is the high school rivalry. I asked George this, you and George have been willing battling since West Shore, the longest time. Does this make it extra special and is this more to this tomorrow night?
DEAN HEIL: Yeah, we've been rivals ever since Pee Wee. As far as I can remember, we've grown up scrapping with each other. I think what makes this extra special is after I beat him at scuffle he gave me a shove after my match and said, "See you in March." Going to see him tomorrow. Excited about it.

Q. Dean, 141 has gone from being one of the afterthoughts of the weight classes to possibly one of the toughest of the NCAA. Do you pride yourself being the top of the heap there?
DEAN HEIL: Yeah. I definitely like to think -- I don't believe that 141 is the deepest weight class, maybe not the toughest just because another weight class may have one or two really good guys, but by far if we matched up pound for pound against any other class, we are 20, 30 kids deep. I remember looking at the bracket in just the second round you're being looking at I think it was 8 matches of 16 really tough guys scrapping in just the second round of the tournament, not including the upsets that took place. Definitely the deepest and even possibly the toughest weight class there is. Toughest.

Q. What goes through your mindset that you always seem to win your matches?
DEAN HEIL: Just -- I do what I need to win. Maybe not the best mindset, you know. My coaches always stress scoring bonus points and it doesn't really help in the tournament team aspect, but I believe I'm out there to wrestle, out there to win. I do what I can to win. It may not be pretty. Gives my fans a heart attack. It makes people not like the way I wrestle. One thing I was told was don't care what anybody thinks about how you wrestle and that's what I focus on is just how I wrestle.

Q. Dean, I know this is a position that you've been in before, you gave the crowd an shush as you were turning around there. What's going through your head in that moment?
DEAN HEIL: I mean, I believe that just going about how this year went. It's definitely worse than last year when I see how the social media is and everything. I guarantee that if you aren't an Oklahoma state fan you probably want me to lose. That's how I view it. Everybody is waiting for me to lose and they keep doubting me and I'm here to prove them wrong.

Q. (No microphone.)
DEAN HEIL: If you aren't an Oklahoma State fan they probably want me to lose.

Q. Dean, last year at Madison Square Garden you were fired up about people always betting against Dean Heil, probably had a chip on your shoulder. Do your haters motivate you? Does that make you want to win even more? What's the difference from last year at The Garden and now?
DEAN HEIL: Last year I was hyped about everything, outspoken about everything I do. This year is different because I'm not trying to defend anything. I'm out there to win my second title and I'm just trying to stay humbled. We saw that with, you know -- not trying to talk down on Gilman, but he was seen as a villain. He talked a lot of smack and what happens when you talk smack and you don't hold up on it? Now you look like an idiot. Everybody is saying stuff about me and they're probably waiting for me to come out. I'm going to sit here, stay humble and do what I can. I'm going to show it with my wrestling. That's all that matters.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Dean.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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