ODU Heads to Penn State Open Amidst Seven Ranked Teams

November 29, 2006
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Nov. 29, 2006

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NORFOLK, VA -- The ODU wrestling team heads into the toughest tournament of the young season as they face off against seven ranked teams and a host of ranked individuals. The all-day event is scheduled for Sunday, December 3rd. The Monarchs host their first event of the 2006-07 season at Blair Middle School Friday, December 8th.

Pit Stop at Penn State
The Monarchs of Old Dominion continue its grueling schedule with a stop at another tough tournament in 2006-07. They head back to Pennsylvania to face off at the Penn State Open. Expected at the open are nationally ranked opponents Penn State-7th, Edinboro-13th, Pennsylvania-14th, Michigan State-14th, Lehigh-20th, Rider-27th, and Navy-30th.
It should also be a useful scouting tool as CAA foes Rider, Boston, Drexel, and Binghamton will all be in attendance. Rider has five nationally ranked wrestlers including 7th in the nation at 141, Don Fisch.

Nationally Ranked
Christian Staylor was ranked 18th in the pre-season polls for the 125-pound weight class. Chris Brown has moved up to 17th and Ryan Williams stays at 20th in the national rankings by Amateur Wrestling News. ODU has an immensely growing program including back-to-back top eight (W.I.N. Magazine) recruiting classes.

Rockin' Rookies
Coach Steve Martin has called upon his inexperienced grapplers early and many are answering to that call. The Monarchs continue to test themselves early with one of the toughest schedules in collegiate wrestling as ODU has faced off against a number of ranked teams and individuals already this season. The Monarchs continue to throw a roster full of freshman at the field and continue to get significant results.
True freshmen Adam Koballa and Jesse Strawn both placed in all three tournaments so far this season. At the Mat Town Open, red-shirt freshman Matt Pellar and sophomore David Mendoza took first in their weight classes. Another red-shirt freshman making a name for himself this season is Chris Brown. Brown has also placed in all three tournaments this season including a second place finish at the MSU Open.
Cam Watkins and Kaylen Baxter round out the red-shirts that have placed and Kyle Hutter, a true freshman, took 4th in his second collegiate opportunity at the Mat Town Open last weekend.

Two Nationally Ranked Recruits Comin' To Norfolk
Earlier this month, ODU received letters of intent from two nationally ranked high school wrestlers for next season. Both Gary Frazier and Roy Dragon III will add depth to the upper-weight divisions for head coach Steve Martin. Frazier, ranked 25th by Wrestling USA, is a two-time Oklahoma state champion and has compiled a 102-8 record in his career. He will most likely wrestle in the 197-pound weight class. Dragon, ranked as high as 11th, will jump in at the heavyweight spot. Dragon has a career 107-10 record with over 75 percent of his wins coming by way of the pin.