photo courtesy of Belmont Abbey athletics
Kenn Caudell started the Crusader wrestling program at Belmont Abbey in 2005, and still leads the BAC program today. In 15 years there have been 20 to make the trip to the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships for Belmont Abbey, with three of those Crusaders making it to the podium as All-Americans.
“Belmont Abbey Wrestlers live a SHIELD lifestyle,” Caudell said. “The SHIELD lifestyle encompasses striving to be the best version of yourself in ALL aspects of one’s life. In addition to developing good wrestlers our program builds great people.”
The Crusaders will be led by a pair of returning National Qualifiers from 2020, with one of those wrestlers earning NWCA All-American status. Josh Blatt, the Super Region 2 Freshman of the Year, lost just one match against Division II competition last season, and was also named the Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year and was the Super Region 2 Champion at 157. He’s joined by fellow Super Region 2 Champion Mitch Dean, who was a 2020 All-American as the six seed at 174 going into the cancelled National Championships.
In all, seven starters will return for Belmont Abbey next season, and another three Crusaders will come off of redshirts. With a recruiting class of almost 20 set to join the 2020-21 roster from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and Maryland, Caudell’s roster will number 50 next season.