Old Dominion Wrestling Picked First in CAA Preseason Rankings

October 13, 2009
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Oct. 13, 2009

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. - The Old Dominion University wrestling team was selected first in the Colonial Athletic Association Preseason Poll, released Tuesday. The Monarchs edged Rider by one point as both schools had wrestlers ranked in all 10 weight classes.

ODU garnered 36 points in the poll, followed by Rider (35) and Hofstra (30). Binghamton and Drexel rounded out the top-five, while George Mason and Boston University followed closely behind. Rounding out the poll in eighth was Sacred Heart.

The Monarchs and Broncs had 10 individual wrestlers ranked, while the Dragons had nine. Both the Pride and the Bearcats had seven ranked wrestlers.

Headlining the rankings for ODU are James Nicholson, Kyle Hutter, and Chris Brown. All three are ranked first in their respective weight classes. Additionally, Jesse Strawn ranked second at 197-pounds and Eric Decker is third at 174-pounds. Nicholson is currently ranked fifth nationally, while Hutter (16th), Brown (12th) and Strawn (9th) are also ranked in the national preseason polls.

The league also announced its Preseason All-Freshman team and the Monarhcs had four of the 10 selections. Boston University had two, while Binghamton, Rider, Hofstra and Drexel were also represented.

Making the team for ODU was Justin LaValle, John Nicholson, Joey Sheridan and Billy Curling.

LaValle is a two-time Minnesota State Champion and was ranked seventh by InterMat and Wrestling USA and eighth by W.I.N. Magazine. The freshman won the Greco Championship at Fargo in 2009.

Nicholson is a two-time Iowa State Champion who placed second at the NHSCA Junior Nationals. He was the Iowa Championships' Most Outstanding Wrestler.

Sheridan is a three-time Oklahoma State Champion who was ranked 10th in the nation and was the 2007 USA Wrestling Cadet National Champion.

Curling was an All-American at the Sophomore High School nationals and placed among the top three twice in the Virginia State Championships.

CAA Wrestling 2009-10 Preseason Rankings

1. Old Dominion 36
2. Rider 35
3. Hofstra 30
4. Binghamton 28
5. Drexel 26
6. George Mason 25
7. Boston University 23
8. Sacred Heart 7