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TOM’s Recruiting News – October 24th, 2016

Travis Wittlake

Army (EIWA)

The newest additions to the Black Knights wrestling squad are Travis Layton, of Woodstown, NJ, and Ben Sullivan of National Trail, OH. Layton was successful in placing sixth in the state tournament last season. He should be in the running to win the 133-pound varsity spot for the Black Knights in the near future. Sullivan is one of the top upper-weight wrestlers in the state of Ohio. He has medaled three times in the state and has advanced to the finals twice. He will be a great asset in the 285-pound weight division.

Fargo Cadet Freestyle runner-up Markus Hartman of Barrington, IL, has also made up his mind to attend and compete for Army West Point. Only a junior, Hartman got the attention of college coaches when he gained All-American honors in both styles during the summer. Hartman looked great three weeks ago when he won the Grappler Fall Classic by defeating Cameron Amine of Michigan, 6-2. Amine is the son of former Michigan All-American Mike Amine. Hartman is ranked # 17 in the country and will be aiming to compete at either 149/157 weight class in college.

Central Michigan (MAC)

Last season, Nick Jenkins, of Detroit Catholic Center, entered the Michigan state tournament with a modest record and was not favored to win the Class I state tournament. Despite that, he worked his way to the finals and upset the top-ranked wrestler in the nation to win the state tournament. His work habits and strong willpower got the attention of some of the top college coaches. Even though he could have gone to an out of state college, he decided to continue his collegiate career at Central Michigan University. Jenkins will be anticipated to challenge for the 285-pound weight spot in the near future.

Drexel (EIWA)

Even though Evan Barczak, of Monroe-Woodbury, NY, only placed sixth in the state tournament last season, he has defeated foes this year that have previously won state titles in their respective states. This year so far, he won the tough Journeymen Classic and was the runner-up at the Freak Show tournament to a tough kid from California. Barczak, who is ranked # 18 in the country, will be challenging for the 157-pound spot for the Dragons in the near future.

Iowa (BIG 10)

2016 Iowa state runner-up Aaron Costello, of Epworth-Western Dubuque, decided to continue his education and wrestling career with the mighty Hawkeyes. Costello will be a big asset for Iowa in the 285-pound weight division. He should be a great workout partner for Sam Stoll and eventually take over the spot once Stoll graduates. Costello is the #13 heavyweight in the nation.

Minnesota (BIG 10)

Jake Bergeland, of Centennial, who is considered by many as one of the top middleweight wrestlers in the state of Minnesota, announced his commitment to continue his education and wrestling career at the University of Minnesota. Bergeland is the ninth-ranked wrestler in the nation at 138lbs., was successful last season in winning the Class AAA state championship, and was a Super 32 finalist already this season.

Daniel Kerkvliet, of Simley, who is only a sophomore, made waves this year as he placed fourth in the always tough Super 32 tournament by defeating many ranked wrestlers on his path to the podium. A 2016 Minnesota Class AA state champion in the 170-pound weight class, Kerkvliet went on to garner Fargo Cadet honors during the summertime.

Bergeland is expected to compete for the 141/149 starting spot, while Kerkvliet will take aim at the 197-pound spot.

Northwestern (BIG 10)

Coach Matt Storniolo and staff had a great weekend as they were able to land the top heavyweight from the state of Illinois and one of the top juniors in the country. Seventh-ranked Anthony Cassioppi of Honoegah, IL, is a four-time Fargo All-American, including being the runner-up in the Junior division, and was triumphant in winning the UWW Cadet title this past season. Ryan Karoly of Malvern Prep, PA, who is ranked fifth at 182 and is the 14th ranked junior overall, is a three-time Fargo champion and four-time finalist. Last season he competed for powerhouse Blair Academy, where he was a medalist at the tough Beast of the East and Walsh Ironman tournaments. Cassioppi will challenge for the 285-pound spot in Evanston, while Karoly will aim to contend in the 184lb weight class.

Oklahoma (BIG 12)

Coach Lou Roselli landed another great recruit over the weekend when PIAA state champion Jake Woodley, of North Allegheny, PA, announced his decision to continue his wrestling career for the Sooners. Woodley, who is the #12 wrestler in the nation at 195, should be a great addition to the University of Oklahoma as the Sooners will be graduating Brad Johnson this year, the longtime starter at 197 pounds. Woodley could become a starter in his inaugural season with the Sooners.

Penn State (BIG 10)

This weekend was a huge one for the professor, Cael Sanderson, as he landed Roman Bravo-Young of Sunnyside, AZ, and Travis Wittlake, of Marshfield, OR. Both athletes are ranked in the top two at their weights nationally with Bravo-Young holding the top spot at 126 and Wittlake claiming the second spot at 170. Bravo-Young has won most events in the country and should be a great addition to the Nittany Lions. Wittlake is a three-time Fargo champion and one of the best wrestlers from the Pacific Northwest. Both wrestlers competed for Team USA at the Cadet World Championships last month with Wittlake earning a bronze medal. Bravo-Young, who is the third-ranked junior overall, should be challenging for the 125/133 spot in the future, while Wittlake, the ninth-ranked overall junior, will take aim in at either 174 or 184.

South Dakota State (BIG 12)

The South Dakota State wrestling team will be getting the services of two-time Minnesota state medalist Samuel Grove of Moorhead High. Grove is a talented wrestler that has garnered All-American honors many times in Fargo and at Folkstyle Nationals. The #15 195 in the country, he will be challenging for the 197-pound varsity spot for the Jackrabbits in the near future.

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