Wresting Recruits Garner National Honors

June 03, 2005
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

June 3, 2005

NORFOLK, Va. -- Incoming freshmen wrestlers, Braxdon Scaletta (Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio), Kaylen Baxter (Fairbanks, Alaska), Bryan LaShomb (Chesapeake, Va.) and Chris Brown (Chesapeake, Va.) were named to the Wrestling USA Magazine Scholastic All-America Team, while Ben Fiacco (Kennesaw, Ga.) and Cam Watkins (Magruder, Md.) were honorable mention All-Americans.

"These are the type of wrestlers that will become synonymous with Old Dominion wrestling," said Old Dominion head coach Steve Martin, who will begin his second year at the helm of the Monarch team. "It's the goal of this program to become a national powerhouse and these type of student-athletes are the first step in helping us accomplish that goal."

Scaletta, a two-time Division III Ohio state champion amassed a career record of 175-12 at Cuyahoga Heights High School and finished sixth at the NHSCA Senior Nationals back in April.

"Scaletta is an incredibly tough athlete," Martin said. "He's hungry and tenacious. He'll do good things for the wrestling program at Old Dominion."

Baxter, a four-time state finalist and three-time state champion at Fairbanks' West Valley High School, went 138-7 and is a five-time Alaska state freestyle champion as well as a Cadet Greco-Roman All-American.

"Baxter is one of those kids that snuck in under the radar because he's from Alaska," Martin said. "We recognized his talent and his high school accomplishments really speak for themselves."

LaShomb, a four-time state finalist and three time North Carolina state champion, notched 87 falls in his high school career en route to a 151-21 record and is a FILA Cadet national freestyle champion and a Junior National freestyle All-American.

"LaShomb is a nationally-tested wrestler, he will help our lightweights and strengthen our lineup," Martin said.

Brown was one of two high school wrestlers in the nation during the 2004-05 season that won both the Ironman and Beast of the East tournament titles. The Ironman and Beast are the top two regular season high school wrestling tournaments in the nation. Brown was a two-time state champion at Great Bridge and a four-time state placewinner and finished with a prep record of 176-18. Brown was also an NHSCA senior national All-American, finishing in eighth place.

"Brown had a phenomenal year. There are very few wrestlers that win both of those elite tournaments and he's going to be a real asset to the program in the future," Martin said.

Fiacco won three Georgia state titles and was a Cadet freestyle national runner-up. Fiacco had 107 falls in his high school career with 217-6. Fiacco also holds a 3.5 GPA.

Watkins won two state titles at Magruder and McDonogh high schools in Maryland and went 189-16 during his prep wrestling career. Watkins also sports a 3.57 GPA and was selected to the all-state academic team.

The teams are determined by seven factors: Overall high school accomplishments, national junior freestyle and Greco-roman success, national high school senior championships, cadet national placement and nomination forms and letters by coaches and parents.