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Middle Tennessee State University Wrestling Preview

08/19/2011 -

The Middle Tennessee State University wrestling squad (www.blueraiderwrestling.com) will look for a top-10 finish this season in the ultra-competitive National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA, www.ncwa.net) with multiple additions to the team from within the state of Tennessee.

The NCWA is adding several transitioning NAIA teams this season including #1 Notre Dame College, #2 Lindenwood, #3 McKendree, #24 Simon Fraser, and #39 West Virginia Tech. Last year's NCWA National Champion California Baptist (NAIA to NCAA-DII) and NCWA #4 Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (NCAA-DII to NCAA-DI) return for one more season and an unfortunate drop of NCAA-DI program Liberty University puts their squad into the same conference (Mid-Atlantic) as the Blue Raiders. Coach Jesse Castro will have a large portion of the Liberty team remaining to finish out their scholarships.

But perhaps the biggest addition to the NCWA comes from right here in Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders will have over 20 incoming freshman joining the squad along with a few transfers from other divisions to bolster a lineup that is losing 2 starters.

Eric Feuerbacher (2011, 125, Blackman) and Michael Kennedy (2010, 189, Blackman) will join Cody Quick (2008, 215, Tullahoma) as a state champion on the team.

Key Returners: 125 Anthony Patnode (White House, Nat'l Qualifier, Academic AA, 21-19 in 2010-2011), 133/141 Cagg Cabell (Overton, NQ, 7-15), 141 Trey Thigpen (Overton, Preseason AA, 18-10, injured prior to conference), 149 Kyle Chandler (MLK, 1-1, injury redshirt), 157/165 Nick Appleby (Dallas, PA, NQ, top-16, 23-18), 165 Randall Jennings (Coffee Co, 2-4), 174 Lorenzo Colbert (McGavock, 8-10), 184 Miles Taylor (Oakland, NQ, 19-17 at 235), 197 Isaiah Bradley (Milton, GA, 2009 All-American at 235), 235 Cody Quick (Tullahoma, NQ, All-American at 285, Academic All-American, 18-7)

Key Losses: 133 Charlie Warfield (Franklin, 7-8 ~ joining coaching staff), 197 Jackie Miller (Greenback, NQ, top-16, 27-14 ~ freshman record)

Key Signees/Walk-ons: 125 Kendall Kermick (Germantown, 3rd at 112 in 2011, 3x TN placer), Brandon Greer (Antioch, 3x state qualifier), Shane Shaffner (Kingsbury, 4x state qualifier), 133 Eric Feuerbacher (Blackman, 1st at 125 in 2011, 2x TN placer), Patrick Chadwick (Overton, 5th at 125 in 2011), Joey Tamburello (Dade Co, GA, 3rd at 119 in 2011, 2nd in 2010) ~ IR for 2011-2012 season, 157 Joseph Melson (Antioch), 165 Hunter Badon (Arlington, 4x state qualifier), 174 Jonathan Roberts (Beech, 5th at 171 in 2011), 184 Adam Wells (Blackman, 3x state qualifier), Rakim Talley (Dickson Co, 4th at 189 in 2011), Denzel Caldwell (Antioch, 5th at 189 in 2011), 197 Michael Kennedy (Blackman, 1st at 189 in 2010 (undefeated), 3x state placer, was ranked #100 InterMat at beginning of 2011 season prior to injury), Jonathan Taylor (Millington Central), 235 Tyler Bond (Rossview), 285 Kristauf Tate (Overton).

Key Transfers: 133/141 Eddie Long (Greenback via King), 157 Everett Colbert (McGavock via Tusculum football), 165 Garrett Reagan (Lookout Valley via Tennessee Temple), 174/184 Michael LaBadie (East Stroudsburg, PA via King), 285 Taylor Bain (Warren Co via Maryville football)

Womens' Roster addition: 130 Jasmine Cothran (Antioch)

Preliminary Schedule (subject to change):

10.18-20.11 T, W, R 7:00 pm MTSU Blue Raider Challenge (intrasquad) MTSU Rec Center
10.29.11 Saturday 10:00 am Bear Invitational (Mercer) Macon, GA

11.5.11 Saturday 10:00 am MTSU Alumni Duals MTSU Alumni Memorial Gymnasium
vs. Spartanburg Methodist (NJCAA) / Arkansas Baptist (NJCAA) / Liberty (tbd) / Lindenwood-Bellville (tbd)
11.13.11 Saturday 9:00 am Roman Open (Shorter-NAIA) Rome, GA
11.19.11 Saturday 10:00 am Campbellsville Duals (NAIA) Campbellsville, KY
vs. Univ of the Cumberlands (NAIA) / Calumet (NAIA) / Indianapolis (NCAA-DII)
11.22.11 Tuesday 7:00 pm vs. Southern Indiana @ Beech H.S. Hendersonville, TN

12.10.11 Saturday 4:00 pm vs. ETSU / Spartanburg Methodist Johnson City, TN
12.16-17.11 F, S TBA Middle Tennessee Grand Championship Franklin, TN

1.7.12 Saturday vs. Lindenwood-Belleville / SIU-Edwardsville-B / tbd Belleville, IL
1.15.12 Sunday 9:00 am Cumberland Open (NAIA) Lebanon, TN
1.17.12 Tuesday 7:00 pm vs. Austin Peay / Vanderbilt Murfreesboro, TN
1.21.12 Saturday 9:00 am Builder Invitational (Apprentice) Newport News, VA
1.27-28.12 F, S ALL DAY NCWA National Duals Dalton, GA

2.4.12 Saturday 9:00 am Classic City Championship (Georgia) Athens, GA
2.9.12 Thursday 7:00 pm vs. Kennesaw State / UT-Knoxville Chattanooga, TN
2.11.12 Saturday 11:00 am Glass City Duals (Toledo) Toledo, OH
2.15.12 Wednesday 6:00 pm NCWA TN Duals (UT-Knoxville) Knoxville, TN
2.25.12 Saturday 9:00 am NCWA Mid-Atlantic Conference TBA

3.8-10.12 R, F, S ALL DAY NCWA Nationals (tba)

Coaching Staff:
Bryan Knepper (5th year, Toledo) 931-222-7213 coach.knepper@gmail.com
Kenneth Hammonds (5th year, UT-Chattanooga/MTSU)
Mike Westcott (3rd year, Gloucester)
Cory Watson (2nd year, MTSU)
Troy Steffy (2nd year, MTSU)
BJ Malone (1st year, UT-Chattanooga/Campbellsville)
Charlie Warfield (1st year, MTSU)