ODU Wrestling To Open 2008-09 Season With Annual Blue/Silver Intersquad

September 26, 2008
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Sept. 26, 2008

NORFOLK, Va. - The No. 22 ODU wrestling team will return to the mats for its annual Blue/Silver Intersquad to kick off the 2008-09 season on October 26 at 12:30 pm. The intersquad will be held in the Athletic Administration Building at ODU with parking available behind the building off of Elkhorn Avenue. The team is coming off one of the best seasons in school history after posting a 17-3 record in duals and qualifying six wrestlers to the NCAA Tournament. Returning eight of ten starters from last year, head coach Steve Martin, now in his fifth year at the helm, is anticipating another solid year from his program.

The 2008-09 team boasts seven national qualifiers, including 2008 All-American James Nicholson at 125 lbs and two-time NCAA Qualifier Ryan Williams at 141 lbs. Kyle Hutter (133), Chris Brown (165), Eric Decker (184), Jesse Strawn (197) and Andy Totusek (Hwt.) are the other national qualifiers.

The projected lineup was good enough to be ranked 22nd in the nation according to the Pre-Season rankings offered by W.I.N. Magazine. Several Monarchs are ranked individually by W.I.N. and also by Wrestling USA. Nicholson comes in at fourth (W.I.N.) and fifth (Wrestling USA) after his All-American run, while Chris Brown also checks in among the top ten in his weight, listed as the ninth best 165-pounder by W.I.N. Magazine; Brown also ranks 19th by Wrestling USA. Hutter ranks 15th (W.I.N.) and earned a Special Mention by Wrestling USA, while Williams comes in at 20th (W.I.N.) and also earned a Special Mention in Wrestling USA. Strawn, bumping up to 197 lbs this season, ranks 18th in the nation by Wrestling USA in his third year for ODU.

In addition to an already deep roster, the Monarchs coaching staff brought in yet another top ten recruiting class in 2008. Rookies David Wilson (Hwt.) and Joe Budi (184) could provide a boost to the starting lineup, with newcomers Jacob Kahnke (197), Craig Wilson (141), and Brennan Brumley (133) also adding depth to the Monarch roster. Transfer Eric Decker, an NCAA qualifier, will battle to earn a spot in the starting lineup for ODU as well.

The full ODU schedule will be forthcoming, but Monarch fans can look forward to home dates against the ACC's Virginia and Virginia Tech, as well as duals against No. 25 Northern Iowa, Purdue, UNC Greensboro and George Mason. ODU will also travel to face top competition this season, including a weekend swing against No. 6 Oklahoma State and No. 20 Oklahoma, who boast 41 national championships between the two schools. ODU will also travel to the Northeast Duals, which will include a dual against No. 5 Missouri. All dates and times for the ODU schedule will be released at a later date.