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2019-20 SoCon Season Preview

original photo courtesy of Cam Kramer

Our third conference preview of the season will focus on a conference that often gets overlooked, the Southern Conference (SoCon). This league will have a new team hit the mat in 2019-20, the Presbyterian Blue Hose. Their addition brings the SoCon’s total team count to an even eight. When looking at the conference overall, one thing that you notice is that three of their seven returning teams have hired a new head coach within the last three years. Those additions have seemed to breathe a new life into their respective programs, and as a result, recruiting has increased. With some new, youthful head coaches and high school wrestling improving by the year in the southern part of the country, the SoCon is a conference that bears watching for the future. For proof that a program from the south can be built from the ground up, look no further than the defending champion Campbell Camels. This should be a big year for Cary Kolat’s team, who returns a ton of talent and will be a national player. 

Here’s what to expect from the SoCon in 2019-20. We have a look at all eight teams, impact freshmen, a master conference dual schedule, and, of course, conference rankings.

Appalachian State Mountaineers

Head Coach: JohnMark Bentley (11th year)

The 2019-20 Mountaineers of Appalachian State will be a group that blends a group of battle-tested veterans with some new faces. Three national qualifiers return, Codi Russell (133 lbs), Matt Zovistoski (157 lbs), and Cary Miller (285 lbs). Russell and Miller were both SoCon champions in 2019, while Zovistoski has qualified twice and won the conference in 2017. Only Russell starts the year ranked (19th) for JohnMark Bentley’s squad, but Zovistoski and Miller were not far from cracking the top-20. In his first trip to nationals, Miller came away with a solid 3-2 win over Virginia Tech’s Billy Miller. In Zovistoski’s 2017 national tournament, he was able to log two wins; however, he was shut out in Cleveland. 

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