BUFFALO, NY - Six members of the 2010-11 Bulls wrestling squad were recognized as top competitors in their weight classes in the Mid American Conference's preseason rankings. The Bulls were also picked to finish in a tie for third in the conference standings. All four returning national qualifiers earned spots in the poll, highlighted by a number one rank for junior Desi Green.
Green, who won the conference championship at 149 pounds last season begins this season at the top of the 149-pound class. Green needs just 30 wins to become the first junior in program history to win 100 matches.
Fellow junior Kevin Smith ranks second at 133 pounds following a second straight season with 29 wins and his first trip to the NCAA championships. Aside from his dominance on the mat, Smith has also won a spot on the NWCA All-Academic Division I Team and All-Mac Academic team for two straight seasons.
Building off a breakthrough season, junior John-Martin Cannon ranks second at 165 pounds. Cannon finished third in the MAC championships last season and was named the conference's wrestler of the week for the week of January 26. Much like his classmate Smith, Cannon was named to the NWCA All-Academic Division I Team and All-MAC Academic team. He also earned the prestigious State University of New York Chancellor's Scholar-Athlete Award for his work in the classroom.
Senior Jimmy Hamel is making a shift down to 184 pounds, but still earned a number two ranking at his new weight class. Hamel is poised to become just the fifth wrestler in program history to reach 100 career wins, currently sitting at 88 heading into the season. The Natick, MA native is also hoping to become the fourth grappler in program history to be a three-time national qualifier and the first since Kyle Cerminara. Hamel was also just one of three Bulls to earn wrestler of the week honors in 2009-10 and he finished second in the MAC championships to become a two-time national qualifier.
Two other Bulls earned preseason rankings as well. Sophomore Andrew Schutt is ranked fourth at 141 pounds after winning 15 matches as a true freshman starter for the Bulls. Senior Brian Sheehan is also ranked fourth at 174 pounds after winning 17 matches and leading the team in escapes, with 29. Sheehan finished fourth at the MAC championships and hopes to become a national qualifier in his senior campaign.
Buffalo kicks off the season November 5 in a road dual meet against Boston University. The team will then return home to host the UB Open on November 7. The event will begin at 10 am.
125– 1. Nic Bedelyon (KSU); 2. Gabe Ramos (OU); 3. Kyle Waldo (CMU); 4. Jared Germaine (EMU).
133– 1. Scott Sentes (CMU); 2. Kevin Smith (UB); 3. Mike Leholm (EMU); 4. Kevin Fanta (NIU).
141– 1. Germane Lindsey (OU); 2. Pat McLemore (NIU); 3. Chase Skonieczny (KSU); 4. Andrew Schutt (UB).
149– 1. Desi Green (UB); 2. J.J. Johnson (EMU); 3. Mallie Shuster (KSU); 4. Ryan Cubberly (CMU).
157– 1. Bryan Deutsch (NIU); 2. Eric Cubberly (CMU); 3. Matt Cathell (KSU); 4. Aaron Sulzer (EMU).
165– 1. Mike Miller (CMU); 2. John-Martin Cannon (UB); 3. Ross Tice (KSU); 4. Alex Ortman (EMU).
174– 1. Ben Bennett (CMU); 2. Nick Purdue (OU); 3. Keith Witt (KSU); 4. Brian Sheehan (UB).
184– 1. Dustin Kilgore (KSU); 2. Jimmy Hamel (UB); 3. Brad Dieckhaus (NIU); 4. Chad Friend (CMU).
197–1. Erik Schuth (OU); 2. Joe Tymoszcuk (KSU); t-3. Craig Kelliher (CMU); t-3. Nick Whitenburg (EMU).
HWT– 1. Jared Trice (CMU); 2. Brandon Barlow (KSU); 3. David Wade (EMU); 4. Jeremy Johnson (OU).
20010-11 MAC Preseason Poll
1. Central Michigan (24.5)
2. Kent State (24)
t3. Buffalo (15)
t3. Ohio (15)
5. Eastern Michigan (11.5)
6. Northern Illinois (10)