LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell head wrestling coach Dan Wirnsberger on Tuesday announced the incoming class of Bison grapplers that will join the Bucknell program this fall. The highly ranked class consists of nine wrestlers and has made national headlines, garnering a No. 18 ranking among recruiting classes from Intermat and a No. 25 ranking from TheOpenMat.com.
“This class is full of potential and talent,” praised Wirnsberger. “I can’t wait to start working with these young men. This group will have the opportunity to reach their goals both academically and athletically here at Bucknell. This talented group understands the importance of performing in the classroom and in the athletic arena. They are lifestyle guys that we want to build our program around.”
The Class of 2018 will be joining a Bison program that will lose just two seniors to graduation this offseason. The entire regular starting lineup is expected to return from a team that posted the program’s best season since 2010.
Bucknell’s wrestling program has posted tremendous success in recent years with 12 different student-athletes combining for 24 NCAA berths and four All-America certificates over the last eight seasons.
Bucknell Wrestling Recruits
Collin Boylan, 149/157, Three Bridges, N.J./Hunterdon Central Regional
John Faugno, 157/165, Glen Ridge, N.J./Glen Ridge
Italo Merante, 133, Peters Township, Pa./Peters Township
Andrew Millsap, 157, Junction City, Kan./Junction City
Chad Reese, 165/174, Lock Haven, Pa./Central Mountain
Tom Sleigh, 184/197, DuBois, Pa./DuBois Area
Tyler Smith, 141, Export, Pa./Franklin Regional
Zach Valley, 133, Bath, Pa./Northampton
Connor Wagh, 174/184, Ellicott City, Md./St. Paul’s School
Collin Boylan (Three Bridges, N.J./Hunterdon Central Regional) – 149/157 – Collin William Boylan … born July 3, 1996 in Flemington, N.J. … son of Matt and Susan Boylan … three-year wrestling varsity letterwinner at Hunterdon Central Regional High School … two-year team captain … three-time district placewinner and 2014 district champion … two-time region placewinner … two-time state qualifier and eighth-place finisher as a senior … All-West New Jersey First Team … 2012 MAWA Eastern National Finalist … three-time Scholar-Athlete Award winner … named team’s Most Valuable Wrestler as a senior … has two brothers, Matt and Stephen … relative, John Boylan, played football at Knox College and played in the Arena Football League for the Chicago Cardinals.
John Faugno (Glen Ridge, N.J./Glen Ridge) – 157/165 – John Thomas Faugno … born Jan. 15, 1996 in Glen Ridge, N.J. … son of Gerard and Bonnie Faugno … member of wrestling, football and lacrosse teams at Glen Ridge High School … two-time wrestling All-American … placed seventh at New Jersey state championships … three-time district champion … Region 4 champion … 2014 Essex County MVP … First Team All-Essex County … Essex County champion … four-time First Team All-SEC Conference … two-time First Team All-SEC Conference in football … has one younger brother, Michael.
Italo Merante (Peters Township, Pa./Peters Township) – 133 – Italo Giuseppe Merante … born Nov. 7, 1995 in Pittsburgh, Pa. … son of Anthony and Domenica Merante … three-year wrestling and lacrosse letterwinner at Peters Township High School … two-year wrestling team captain … lacrosse team captain as a senior … wrestling section runner-up and champion … has two siblings, Salvatore and Antonio.
Andrew Millsap (Junction City, Kan./Junction City) – 157 – Andrew James Millsap … born March 1, 1996 in Manhattan, Kan. … son of Tim Rexrode and Natalie Frakes … member of wrestling and football teams at Junction City High School … posted 150-9 career wrestling record … team captain as a senior … three 6A state titles … placed at states as a freshman … named team’s Best Incoming Wrestler … Southern Plains Regional Outstanding Wrestler in 2013 … placed fifth at FILA Cadet Open in 2013 … two-time Greco All-American at Fargo … earned Honorable Mention All-Centennial League for football as a safety … has two siblings, Sara and Justice.
Chad Reese (Lock Haven, Pa./Central Mountain) – 165/174 – Chad Ryan Reese … born Jan. 19, 1996 in Williamsport, Pa. … son of Robert and Jacquie Reese … four-year member of wrestling team at Central Mountain High School … also ran cross country for one year … two-time wrestling district champion … finished in top three in Regional twice … two-time state qualifier, including an eighth-place finish as a senior in 2014 … two-time all-league selection … helped team to three district titles and one second-place showing … one of seven children … siblings: Brady, Erin, Tara, Seth, Megan, Jeremy … mother, Jacquie, ran cross country at Lock Haven University and Springfield College.
Tom Sleigh (DuBois, Pa./DuBois Area) – 184/197 – Thomas Gerard Sleigh … born Dec. 14, 1995 in DuBois, Pa. … son of Jim and Kim Sleigh … four-year wrestling letterwinner … also earned one letter in football … finished career ranked first in school history in wrestling single-season wins (43) and career victories (140) … four-time state qualifier … placed third in state at 170 pounds in 2013 … followed that with a third-place finish at 195 in 2014 … two-time Regional champion … twice named District Outstanding Wrestler … four-time District champion … three-time team captain … named Courier Express Outstanding Wrestler in 2012-13 … four-time TCS/C-E Wrestling All-Star … two-time champion at King of the Mountain … Flo National champion at 195 in 2014 … placed fifth at Flo Nationals at 170 in 2013 … fifth-place finisher in Super 32 at 182 pounds in 2013 … voted as Most Athletic by the senior class in 2014 … has two brothers, Sean and Justin … Justin is a twin and plays baseball at Lock Haven … Sean is a member of the baseball team at St. Bonaventure.
Tyler Smith (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional) – 141 – Tyler Anthony Smith … born Aug. 3, 1995 in Pittsburgh, Pa. … son of Todd and Mary Beth Smith … 158-21 career record at Franklin Regional Senior High School … three-time state placewinner … won state title as a junior in 2013 … also finished third (2014) and fifth (2012) … helped team to state title in 2014 and third place in 2013 … three-year team captain .. 2013 Freestyle All-American … 2014 Dapper Dan participant … voted Outstanding Wrestler at Dapper Dan … USA Wrestling “Dream Team” selection … All-USA First Team in 2014 … Powerade champion in 2013 and runner-up in 2012 … four-time WPIAL runner-up … four-time section champion … three-time Westmoreland County Tournament champion … has six siblings, Brett, Brooke, Brandon, Brandan, Chase, Miranda.
Zach Valley (Bath, Pa./Northampton) – 133 – Zachary Steven Valley … born March 27, 1996 in Bethlehem, Pa. … son of Keith Valley and Shelley Gilbert … three-time AAA state placewinner while at Northampton High School … state finalist … District 11 champion … NE Regional Champion … two-time Beast of the East placewinner … won titles at Escape the Rock and Bethlehem Holiday Classic … Flo-National runner-up … team captain … has two siblings, Macy Gilbert and Megan Valley.
Connor Wagh (Ellicott City, Md./St. Paul’s School) – 174/184 – Connor Arnett Wagh … born Oct. 2, 1995 in Cherry Point, N.C. … son of Ganpat and Virginia Wagh … four-year member of wrestling team at St. Paul’s School … two-time team captain … posted 116-37 career record, including 48-9 as a senior … three-time Maryland State Championship placewinner, including third as a senior in 2014 … two-time MIAA runner-up … two-time Powerade placewinner, including fourth in 2013 … two-time member of Maryland State Wrestling Association All-Academic Team … 2014 Second Team Baltimore Sun All-Metro … member of Maryland State National Team from 2009-14 … 2013 Maryland Greco Roman state champion … 2013 Maryland Freestyle runner-up … has three sisters, Margaret, Emma and Clara … cousin, Daya Wagh, is a member of the cross country team at Western Michigan University.