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Middle Tennessee aims for elite status in 2010

10/24/2009 -

After a 21st place finish at the 2009 NCWA National Tournament and an 11th place finish at the inaugural NCWA National Duals, MTSU looks to vastly improve its status within both the Mid-Atlantic Conference and the NCWA. MTSU will be led by returners Cory Watson (125, Sr-2x National Qualifier), Anthony Pierce (184, Jr-2x National Qualifier), Isaiah Bradley (197, Jr-2009 NCWA All-American at 235), and Shane Inman (235, 2009 NCWA National Qualifier). The roster boasts 15 freshmen, 3 sophomores, 8 juniors, and 3 seniors. Main additions to the team include Bryce Cates (149, Fr-South Carolina H.S. state champion), Aaron Bateman (184, Jr-3x Tennessee H.S. state champion), Ursinus transfer Nick Appleby (174, Jr), and Emmanuel Bernal (133, So-3rd place TN H.S. state placement).

MTSU will once again host the Brawl in the Boro (featuring Marion Military, Kennesaw State, Mercer, among others) on November 14, 2009 and the 2nd Annual NCWA National Duals on January 29-30, 2010. Other tournaments the Blue Raiders will attend include the Bear Invitational (10/31/09), the Kinght's Brawl Duals & Central Florida Open (11/6-11/7/09), the Crusader Classic (12/5/09), the Cumberland Open (1/16/10), the Shipbuilder Invitational (1/23/10), the Classic City Championship (2/6/10), the Toledo Invitational (2/13/10), and 3rd Annual NCWA TN Duals (2/20/10) before heading to the Mid-Atlantic Conference Championship and NCWA Nationals.

The MTSU Blue Raiders are coached by Bryan Knepper (University of Toledo alumnus, 3rd year), Lucas Borneman (2009 235 lb NCWA National Runner-up), Kenneth Hammonds (MTSU alumnus, 3rd year), Brandon Hodge (MTSU alumnus, 2nd year), and Mike Westcott (2nd year).