Dec. 3, 2009
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Cowboy wrestlers have another decorated group of recruits on deck, as University of Wyoming head coach Mark Branch announced today that six high school state champions have signed national letters of intent to wrestle for the `Pokes beginning in the 2010-11 season.
Joining the Cowboy squad next fall will be Michael Hamel (Gilbert, Ariz.), Cody Mansur (Clackamas, Ore.), Andrew McCulley (Rock Springs, Wyo.), Brandon Richardson (Rathdrum, Idaho), Shane Woods (Tuttle, Okla.) and Zach Zehner (Tomahawk, Wis.).
"This is a solid class that will take care of many of our weight class needs," said Branch as he described his incoming freshmen for next season. "I am very excited about these young men and their attitudes towards competition and success. These are young kids that, in the end, wanted to be Cowboys and chose to come here because they felt like this is the place where they can be All-Americans and NCAA Champions. I have no doubt that they will find success here and help us build a nationally powerful program at Wyoming."
Michael Hamel will come to UW from Gilbert, Ariz. He is projected to wrestle at 133 or 141 pounds collegiately. After placing fifth as a freshman and third as a sophomore, Hamel was the 2009 Arizona State 5A High School Champion at 130 pounds for Mesquite High School as a junior. He was an Arizona National Team member in 2008 and was an All-State selection as both a sophomore and junior. Michael was born in Gillette, Wyo., and is the son of Wyoming's All-Time Pins leader Mike Hamel. The elder Hamel lettered at UW from 1983-86, was a two-time WAC champion and had 61 career pins.
Cody Mansur has developed as a prep wrestler in Clackamas, Ore., where he was the Oregon State 6A High School Champion at 215 pounds during his junior year. Wrestling for Clackamas High School he also placed third in the state tournament as a sophomore at 189 pounds. In 2008, Mansur placed third at the Reno World of Wrestling Championships at 200 pounds. As a collegiate student-athlete he is expected to compete either at 197 pounds or heavyweight (285).
Andrew McCulley is a Wyoming native from Rock Springs. At Rock Springs High School, he was the Wyoming 4A State Champion in 2008 at 130 pounds as a sophomore. As a junior in 2009, he was injured at the state tournament competing at 145 pounds. McCulley is a two-time 4A West Regional Champion. In 2008 he was the Wyoming USA Wrestling Triple Crown winner, as well as a Cadet All-American by placing fourth at USA Wrestling Nationals. McCulley has been on the honor roll each year at Rock Springs H.S. At UW he will compete at 157 or 165 pounds.
Brandon Richardson, 5'10", hails from Rathdrum, Idaho and should wrestle for the Cowboys at 149 or 157 pounds. Richardson was an Idaho 4A High School State Champion in 2007 as a freshman at Lakeland High School. He was a USA Wrestling National Champion in 2008, the 4A State runner-up as a junior in 2009 and the 2008 Tri-State Champion. Richardson served as Lakeland Student Council Vice President in 2007-08 and has been an honor roll student each year of high school. He also played soccer for Lakeland H.S., lettering twice.
Shane Woods will join the Wyoming Cowboys after wrestling in high school at Tuttle H.S., in Tuttle, Okla. There he was a Oklahoma State 4A High School Champion in 2009 as a junior at 215 pounds. He led his team to a state title that same season and placed third individually at the Midwest Classic in Kansas City. As a sophomore, Woods placed third at the state tournament in the 160-pound weight class. At UW he will compete at 197 pounds.
Zach Zehner is a product of Tomahawk, Wis., where he was a Wisconsin State High School Champion at 125 pounds in 2009. Wrestling for Tomahawk H.S., Zehner was a Regional and Sectional Champion in 2009, as well as First Team All-Conference as both a sophomore and junior. He was a member of the Wisconsin National Dual Team, was the Freestyle State Champion in 2009 and was runner-up at the 2009 Junior National Tournament. In addition to four years as a wrestling letterman, Zehner also will letter four years in track and field and once in football. His expected weight class while at UW is 141 or 149 pounds.