Three Incoming Wrestlers Named All-American At USA Wrestling Cadet & Junior Nationals
By ODU Athletics
Aug. 1, 2006
FARGO, N.D. - Three members of Steve Martin's incoming class of grapplers, James Nicholson (Iowa), Adam Koballa (Ohio), and Kyle Hutter (Illinois) earned All-American honors at the 2006 ASICS/Vaughan USA Wrestling Cadet & Junior Nationals held at the Fargodome on the campus of North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D.
"The performance of the incoming freshman class at the USA Wrestling Cadet & Junior Nationals are very impressive," said ODU head coach Martin, who enters his third season with the Monarchs. "The USA Wrestling Cadet & Junior Nationals is by far the toughest high school tournament in the world. The finalists and place winner from this event often emerge later on down the road as NCAA Champions and All-American. What was more impressive was the fact that for the second straight year Old Dominion wrestling had the most incoming signees to All-American at this event. Student-athletes like this will help to put Old Dominion wrestling on the mat."
James Nicholson's run to the finals in the 87-man 119 lbs. bracket included victories over former All-Americans Mark Webber of Michigan, North Carolina state champion Brandon Davis, California state champion Nikko Triggas and Wisconsin state champion T.J. Wunnicke.
Nicholson, who wrestled scholastically at Roosevelt High School, went undefeated during his senior year at 42-0 and won the Iowa State Championship at 119 pounds. He has been bestowed several honors including All-America honors from Wrestling USA and two Brute Adidas All-America honors. A two-time state Greco State Champion, Nicholson compiled a 132-19 career record and was ranked No. 9 by W.I.N. Magazine.
Koballa's run was just as impressive, as the Division III Ohio state champion from St. Peter Chanel High School in Twinsburg, Ohio, scored victories over Missouri state champion and former All-American Scott O'Donnell, Virginia three-time state champion Collin Dozier of Cox H.S. in Virginia Beach, former New Jersey state champion Jimmy Conroy and future Old Dominion teammate Kyle Hutter of Illinois.
A native of Bedford Ohio, Koballa attended St. Peter Chanel where he was an Ohio State Champion and two-time state place winner at 130 lbs. He was a state qualifier as a freshman at 112 pounds, state champion as a sophomore at 125 pounds, and placed third in the state his junior year at 125 lbs.
Koballa earned a career record of 108-22, was an All-American at the NHSCA Junior Nationals at 125 lbs. in 2005, and was ranked 14th in the nation by W.I.N. Magazine at 130 lbs. More recently he was named an All-American by Wrestling USA.
Hutter, who fell to his fellow incoming teammate, finished eighth and also had victories over All-American O'Donnell and former New Jersey State Champion Conroy.
Hutter was among the four ranked incoming Monarchs by W.I.N. Magazine coming in No. 11 at 125 lbs. A two-time Illinois State place winner, he took third in the state championships as a senior and fourth as a junior. He completed his career at 165-27. He was a 2005 Junior National All-American in freestyle and placed third at the FILA Cadets.
This marks the second consecutive year an Old Dominion signing class has won the most medals in the Junior National Freestyle Championships. Last season, Ben Fiacco, Cam Watkins and Kaylen Baxter earned All-American status as the Monarchs tied Cornell for the most incoming All-Americans with three and had the most total medals including Greco-Roman with five. Additionally the Monarchs were the only team with two national finalists.
Martin's incoming class of grapplers have been considered one of the top groups in the country. For the second year in a row Martin has compiled a Top Ten class. W.I.N. Magazine listed incoming Old Dominion recruits at No. 8 and were featured among some of the powerhouses of collegiate wrestling.
All five members of the BIG 12 were featured on the list with Old Dominion ranking just behind four-time national champion Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Missouri and ahead of Oklahoma and Iowa State. Martin's class featured four wrestlers ranked by W.I.N., one of 11 schools in the magazine's Top 25 to have as many incomers ranked. IntermatWrestle.com listed the incoming Monarch class at No. 10. Old Dominion was the only CAA team in the top 30 on the list and joined Lehigh, Oklahoma State, and Penn State as the only programs to have signed at least five nationally ranked wrestlers.