*NOTE* - I want to make it clear what this is and what this is not. What this is NOT is an overview of the entire team. What this is, is a who’s who preview of THIS season 2022-2023. Meaning that I am going to talk about the starters who I feel will have an impact THIS year. Those who will win big matches in duals. Those who will earn placings in major tournaments like CKLV, RENO, MIDLANDS, MATMEN INVITE, SOUTHERN SCUFFLE, CONFERENCES & NCAA’s. In some cases a weight class will have multiple talented wrestlers. I will note that & I will also be making posts later on about the best wrestle-offs to look forward to this season. Then after that is determined I will make post later into the season of who our best backups are in the nation.
This post will NOT include redshirts. Those who are redshirting this season will be included in a separate post entitled “22’-23’ Best Redshirts.”
I think we're gonna see a pretty good year for the Bears. I see at least six qualifiers with at least one All American. Gone is four time NCAA qualifier & four time Southern Scuffle Place-winner Alan Clothier as well as three time NCAA qualifier Jacob Seely. I'm not sure on the status of Jackson Hemauer.
A redshirt freshman transfer of North Carolina State, Stevo Poulin took a 6-0 record as a redshirt last season. An impressive 7-1 victory over Anthony Moulton of Campbell.
An NCAA qualifier at 125 lbs last season, Jace Koelzer posted a 15-11 record.
The Bears have only had one All American at the NCAA Division I level and that was back in 2010 with MMA star Justin Gaethje. Not only do I think they'll crown DI AA #2 this season, but I think among his competition, Andrew Alirez is good enough to win an NCAA title. 25-5 on the season he's been to the NCAA championships twice, barely missing out on his first All American honor last year. Among his accomplishments he's won a BIG 12 title as he's made the finals of both CKLV & the Southern Scuffle.
An NCAA qualifier in 2019, Chris Sandoval has thus far had BIG 12 finishes of 5th & 7th. He's also been 5th in the Southern Scuffle & he did defeat MAC champion Kody Komara of Kent State 4-2.
Injuries have hampered their ugly head the last two seasons for Minnesota transfer Baylor Fernandes. If he can get healthy, he will certainly be an asset to the Bear's program. Among his victories, Luke Weber of North Dakota State, Cade DeVos of South Dakota State & Bubba Wilson of Nebraska.
The Bears pick up another tough transfer in former Cornell Big Red Andrew Berreyesa. 15-8 on the season last year, he was 7th in the Southern Scuffle.