Nov. 1, 2002
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The 2002-2003 Wyoming wrestling campaign looks to be promising with thereturn of several starters for head coach Steven Suder. The Cowboys have oneof the toughest schedules in the nation as they visit perinal powerhousesNebraska, Missouri and Northern Iowa. The Pokes have the luxury of competingat home only six times during the season.
Some new faces should add depth to the Cowboy roster this season as theCowboys welcome 13 new members to the squad (11 freshman and 2 juniorcollege transfers).
Coach Suder and his staff expect a lot from the upper classmen and see thePokes to be in the hunt for a 2003 West Regional Championship.
The 2002-2003 weight by weight breakdown looks like this:
125- Coach Suder will be looking at a very young starter this season inBryce Leonhardt. Bryce had a good freshman year and got a lot of qualitymatches under his belt. Now the step up to the varsity spot will be a bigone. Bryce is a tough competitor and can be counted on to give everythinghe's got every time out. The Pokes have another hungry, talented truefreshman in Barret Duell waiting in the wings who probably won't see muchaction this year as he recovers from a slowly progressing injury.
133- Again it looks like the Cowboys will be counting on a redshirt freshmanto make a big jump to varsity competition at this weight. Like BryceLeonhardt, Tyson Shatto is comming off a valuable redshirt year and is goingto be counted on to 'grow up' very fast. Tyson is hard nosed and doesn'ttake to loosing very well.
141- Thad Trujillo, who finished the year starting at 149 will move down toa more natural weight to try and earn the top spot from junior collegetransfer Blake Gunter. Both are seasoned competitors and both will addconsistency and experience to the middleweights.
149- This was initialy Chad Plummer's spot early in the 2001-2002 campain,having recovered from an injury. Plummer will be battling redshirt freshmanPatrick Shuler and junior Paul Peterson. Laramie High School standoutRemington Trabing could join the mix for the spot in 2002-03.
157- Levi Prevost, the starter at this weight the last two seasons, will bemoving up to 165 pound opening the way for Andrew Shuler and redshirtfreshman Cameron Davidson to duke it out for the starting position. Shuler,a redshirt junior, who is comming off a solid 'over 20' win redshirt seasonis the likely guy. Colorado three-time state champion Gary Dack will likelyredshirt adding real depth to this weight for the future.
165- Justin Salas owned this spot as a redshirt freshman during 2001-02 andmade tons of progress througout the season finishing in the finals of the2002 West Regional. Two-time NCAA qualifier Levi Prevost will move up to 165this year to take his shot at this weight class. Northwest Junior Collegetransfer Trevor Murray and Colorado three-time state placer Danny Clum willround out this weight well.
174- An unexpected tranfer leaves 174 a wide open weight class. The optionsfor filling this apparent void are many and possibly involve Prevost, Salas,or one of two talented freshman; Josh Prevost ( a four-time Montana stateplacer) and Ryan Goodman (a Norfolk Catholic High School standout).
184- Kevin Kessner is the returning starter from 2001-02 who may end up at197 again possibly leaving the spot open to youth and, at least, collegeinexperiene. The immediately obvious go to guys would be Montana two-timestate champ Sam Wendland or California state placer Tim Pridmore.
197- Malcolm Havens took over this spot in January last season, earning 14wins and placing 3rd at the 2002 West Regional. Kessner may challenge forthe spot up from 184 with true freshman Arizona champ Jake Severn andColorado state placer Ricky Robbins waiting in the wings.
Hwt.- Three-year starter Brad Steele returns as the favorite hoping toimprove on his 29-9 record, 3rd place finish at Las Vegas Invite and 3rdplace finish at 2002 West Regional during his junior campaign. Redshirtfreshman Drew Severn and Northwestern Wyoming transfer Layne Stewart willmake Steele earn the spot.