NEWBERRY — The Newberry College Wolves’ wrestling team will open the 2015-16 season not only ranked nationally, but boasting the top spot in the Super Region II Coaches’ Poll.
The Wolves have a wrestler ranked in the top six of all 10 weight classes. The poll was released last Thursday.
Defending national runner-up Huston Evans moved to the 184 lbs. weight class and is the top ranked wrestler in the region. He is ranked No. 2 nationally and finished his first year in scarlet and gray with a 14-1 record, only losing in the national championship match.
Joe Pittman is ranked second in the region at 174 lbs. He is also ranked No. 8 nationally after going 27-12 as a junior. The senior has qualified for the Division II national tournament in each of his two seasons at Newberry.
Two Wolves are ranked third regionally in their weight — Jordan Simpson at 133 lbs. and Nick Lankford at 141 lbs. Both of those wrestlers finished in sixth place at the Super Region tournament last year.
A pair of Wolves are ranked in the fourth spot in their weight class — Trung Duong at 125 lbs. and Cody Brundage at 197 lbs. Duong was a fifth-place finisher at the Super Region tournament last year, while Brundage was injured just before that tournament, wrestling as one of the lightest heavyweights in the nation. He will have his chance at 197 lbs. after Evans’ move to 184 lbs.
Another pair of Wolves are ranked fifth at their weight — Lukas Gilmore at 165 lbs. and Daniel Adkins at heavyweight. Gilmore was one match short of placing at the Super Region tournament last year, while Adkins was a late replacement for Brundage and placed sixth as a true freshman.
Two newcomers are ranked sixth regionally at their weight — Zack Dobbins at 149 lbs. and Alex Rice at 157 lbs. Dobbins enrolled at Newberry in Spring 2015 and was an NJCAA national runner-up at Northeast Oklahoma A&M College. The two-time freestyle and Greco-Roman All-American was also a four-time state placer at Coweta HS.
Rice comes to Newberry from Labette CC where he was a junior college All-American last year. He was a three-time state finalist with two Maryland state championships before enrolling at Division I Kent State.
Newberry begins the season on Nov. 7 at the UNCP Braves Classic.
This release provided by Newberry College.