Sept. 27, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army wrestling head coach Joe Heskett unveiled the program's incoming recruiting class earlier this week. The 14-member group, which includes multiple state champions and high school All-Americans, will immediately bolster the Black Knights' depth.
"The class of 2016 is a special group because it is the combination of our first recruited prep school class meshed with an outstanding class of direct admits," said Heskett. "We have some very talented freshman, and we are expecting tremendous contributions from our underclassmen."
Bryce Barnes and Travis Mallo headline Army's group of wrestlers entering the program from the United States Military Academy Prep School (USMAPS). Both wrestlers figure to make an immediate impact on the program with Barnes competing at 197 pounds and Mallo projected to wrestle at 184.
Barnes captured the Virginia state championship as a senior at Kempsville High School, before spending last season at USMAPS. While at the prep school, Barnes won an individual title at the NCWA Mid-East Championships.
Mallo, who hails from the wrestling hotbed of Iowa, was a three-time state placewinner during his standout career at Mason City High School. The talented athlete also starred as a football player, earning all-conference honors on the gridiron.
Brett Benedict, who was a four-time district qualifier at Jamestown High School in Jamestown, Ohio, also arrives at West Point after spending last year at USMAPS. Benedict authored an impressive 130-20 career record during his four years at Jamestown.
Javier Rodriguez, who went 51-0 and captured the Florida state title as a senior at Archbishop McCarthy High School, leads the group of direct admits to the program. Rodriguez, who was tabbed the Wrestler of the Year in Broward County by the Sun Sentinel, earned NHSCA Senior All-America honors following his spectacular senior season. The 149-pounder was also a two-time all-county pick and placed fourth in the state as a junior.
A former Indiana state champion at Cathedral High School, Brian Harvey is projected to wrestle at 157 pounds for the Black Knights this season. Harvey, who was a four-time sectional qualifier, was presented with team MVP plaudits at the conclusion of his standout senior campaign. He authored a perfect 7-0 record at the Junior Duals just prior to reporting for Reception Day this spring.
Ryan Marble arrives at the Academy after forging an impressive resume at Jackson Senior High School in Jackson, Mo. A three-time Missouri state placewinner, Marble spent last year at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. He won two conference titles and was named the district's Wrestler of the Year during his four-year career at Jackson Senior.
Austin Wilding, who is projected to wrestle at 174 pounds, was a three-time all-county pick at Upper St. Clair High School in Pittsburgh, Pa. Wilding, who piled up 114 career wins at Upper St. Clair, finished sixth at the Pennsylvania State Championship as a senior.
William Grayembarks upon his freshman season at West Point after a solid four-year career at Ozark High School in Ozark, Mo. Gray placed runner-up at the state championship as a senior, while also capturing a conference title.
Derek Allen, Shane Connolly, Nathan Dow, Nate Ohl, Justin Seim and Peter Stanley round out Army's 14-member class.
Allen, who hails from Peoria, Ariz., was a two-time Arizona state placewinner who graduated from Desert Vista High School with a career record of 104-28. He finished with 74 career pins and established a single-season school record with 34 pins as a senior.
Connolly is a local product who arrives at Army from nearby Warwick, N.Y. A four-time all-section performer at Warwick Valley High School, Connolly will wrestle at 141 pounds during his plebe season.
Dow, who also hails from the tri-state region, enters the program following a productive career at Belvidere High School in Belvidere, N.J.
Ohl is a 125-pounder who twice earned all-league honors at Newark Catholic High School in Alexandria, Ohio.
A Somers, N.Y., native, Seim wrestled at the Hackley School.
Stanley, who hails from the wrestling hotbed of Pennsylvania, was a District IV runner-up at Easton Area High School in Easton, Pa.
The Army wrestling team will usher in its 2012-13 season on Saturday, Nov. 3, when the Black Knights travel to Buffalo, N.Y., to compete at the Buffalo Open.
Army Wrestling Class of 2016
||Hometown/High School (Prep School)
||Peoria, Ariz./Desert Vista
||Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville (USMAPS)
||Jamestown, Ohio/Greeneview (USMAPS)
||Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley
||New Palestine, Ind./Cathedral
||Mason City, Iowa/Mason City (USMAPS)
||Jackson, Mo./Jackson Senior
||Alexandria, Ohio/Newark Catholic
||Davie, Fla./Archbishop McCarthy
||Somers, N.Y./Hackley School
||Easton, Pa./Easton Area
||Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair