The Newberry College wrestling team welcomes 22 new Wolves to its roster in one of its most highly-touted recruiting classes ever.
The “new kids on the block” range from super-hyped freshmen to battle-proven college transfers, and the Wolves’ staff is excited about the competition in the room and the depth on the roster that will help the Newberry grapplers build on last season’s fifth straight Super Region I championship, National Duals runner-up finish and fifth place NCAA tournament finish.
Weight Class Breakdown
125: This weight class, along with the 2012-13 recruiting class is highlighted by Neosho County CC transfer Jeff Vesta from Manhattan, Kan. Vesta is a junior college national champion and high school state champion, and looks to add to his résumé while here at Newberry.
The battle for the starting position at 125 pounds promises to be highly contested with the addition of freshmen Nicholas Lankford and Ethan Nobles who each experienced a multitude of success in high school, and come into Newberry’s room looking for mat time. Lankford is a two-time state champion from Braselton, Ga., who will not take a backseat to anyone quietly. Lankford is as hungry as any freshman on the team, and brings a funky style to the table, which will keep him in some tough matches.
Nobles is also a two-time state champion from Aynor. This hard-nosed freshman earned All-America honors at the prestigious Disney Duals this past summer, and will push for the starting nod. Other freshmen at 125 pounds include state placer, Gregory Altamirano from Virginia and Louis Biles from Irmo. Altamirano and Biles are both determined and accomplished wrestlers who look to redshirt this season to build on their future and help the team in a practice setting as they continue to develop.
133: A duo of freshman at this weight may make a splash in the Wolves’ lineup. Virgil Toms and Derek Rothermel step in as potential starters and look to fill the void left by NCAA All-American Matt Oliver. Toms, an Ocala, Fla., native, finished his senior season as an individual state champion as well as a member of a state championship team. His winning habits will add to his value as a Wolf.
Rothermel is from Myrtle Beach, and is a talented Pennsylvania transfer, whose high school career was capped with a runner-up finish at the South Carolina state championships at 152 pounds The size and strength of Derek’s competition should have been good preparation for college, and Derek looks to push for the starting spot at 133 pounds
141: Backing up two-time NCAA runner-up B.J. Young will be decided by two talented freshmen. Codi Rothermel, twin brother of 133 pound freshman Derek Rothermel, looks to add depth at 141 pounds The other capable newcomer at this weight is Cain Finch, from Jefferson, Ga. Finch is another proven leader who not only won an individual state title, but led his team to a state championship as well.
149: A trio of solid wrestlers rounds out the Wolves’ recruiting class at 149 pounds, led by transfer Shawn Landgraff of Limestone College. A native of Weeki Wachee, Fla., Landgraff capped his high school career with a state championship, and brings the experience he gained in Gaffney down to Newberry. Landgraff will be joined in challenging for the starting spot by freshmen Dyllan Greene and Dalton Carroll. Greene is a three-time Georgia state champion from Watkinsville, while Anniston, Ala., native Carroll’s impressive high school resume includes four state titles.
157: A single freshman was brought in at 157 pounds, but this weight class is not without talent. Dominick Davis, a freshman from Chester, captured the 152 pounds state championship with a pinfall in his finals match. Davis’ athleticism and agility will make the battle for the 157 pounds spot an interesting one.
165: Chapin High School’s career pinfalls leader Scott Swindell joins the Wolves’ squad at 165 pounds Swindell is a S.C. state champion, and could crack the lineup as a void was left by the graduation of two-time national qualifier, Sean Byrnes.
174: Joining his Chapin High School teammate, Cody Brundage will bring his talents to add depth to a weight class that returns All-American, Travis Sheehy. Brundage ended his high school career with an appearance in the state championship finals, and has readied himself to begin a successful collegiate career as well.
197: Another experienced and proven competitor joins the Newberry roster in the form of Nassau CC transfer and junior college All-American Kyle Folk-Freund. A New York collegiate All-State selection, Folk-Freund could have a healthy shot a cracking the lineup and wearing the scarlet and gray in competition as the Wolves’ starter.
285: Half a dozen new recruits are vying for the task of replacing two-time All-American Jake Elkins at the heavyweight spot. The only 2012-13 recruit with collegiate experience is no stranger to the ways of the Wolf. Harrison Honeycutt, a native of Charlotte, N.C., transfers to Newberry from the Wolfpack of North Carolina State. Honeycutt is a multiple-time high school All-American and was a highly touted recruit before signing with N.C. State, where he gained some solid experience as a true freshman.
A host of youngsters rounds out the recruiting class at 285 pounds David Ratliff of Beaufort, is a prototypical heavyweight, who captured All-America honors at the Disney Duals this summer to add to his two state titles. Asa Gossett is another two-time state champion from Lexington, and adds a wealth of talent and ability to the mix in head coach Jason Valek’s search for a starter at heavyweight. Craig Burton of Surfside Beach, Gregory Jarque of Spring Hill, Fla., and Irmo’s Cameron Heller will look to add depth to a traditionally shallow weight class for the Wolves, and possibly redshirt to lengthen their career and develop the size to compete at this weight.