The big news on the college wrestling scene in the Carolinas is the fast start of brand new Division II program Coker College out of Hartsville, S.C. Coker is 2-0 on the season with a win at Limestone and they celebrated their first ever wrestling match on the school’s campus with a 25-13 win over the Knights of St. Andrews University. The Cobras attracted a crowd of over 400 fans on Nov. 25 to secure their first wrestling victory at home in school history.
Former Scotland High School three-time state champion Nick Kee is continuing his winning ways in college as he won the Citadel Open on Nov. 2, and placed third in the Wolf-Pack Open on Nov. 17 for Appalachian State at 174-pounds. ASU is still deciding whether or not to redshirt Kee this year. Also on the roster for the Mountaineers is Scotland High School product and former state champ Adrian Soto-Perez, who placed fourth at the Citadel and has a dual-meet win for ASU at 165-pounds.
St. Andrews University’s next competition is set for Jan. 4 as they travel to NAIA foe Lindsey Wilson College (Columbia, Ky.), who is ranked No. 5 nationally, and then wrestle the next day and attempt to takedown No. 12 Cumberland University in Cumberland, Tenn.
The state of North Carolina has the second most Division I colleges in the United States with seven. Only Pennsylvania has more with 11. The Division I schools are: Appalachian State, Campbell, Davidson, Duke, Gardner-Webb, N.C. State and the University of North Carolina. So far, none of these seven have made the Top 25 USA Today/NWCA Coaches poll. Individually, in the 10 college weight classes: 125, 133, 141, 149, 157, 165, 174, 184, 197 and 285 the Wolfpack have Nick Gwiazdowski ranked No. 3 at 285-pounds and the Tar Heels have Evan Henderson at No. 8 at 141-pounds.
The Newberry Wolves are the only college team in the Carolina Region who are nationally ranked. Newberry is ranked No. 5 in the latest rankings.
In the latest series of the”War on 74 Trophy,” UNC-Pembroke thrashed the Belmont Abbey Crusaders 42-6, on Nov. 21. Next up in the series will pit SAU at UNCP on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. UNCP is 1-0 on the season, Belmont is 1-3 and St. Andrews University is 2-2.
SAU assistant coach Tyler Wozniak assisted in this report.