Wednesday, June 3, 2015


St. Catharine, Ky. – In just their second year of existence the Patriot wrestling program signed by far their best recruiting class.

Entering their inaugural year on the mat, Spencer Adams and Gary Canter got a late start on recruiting and had to take what they could get. Entering their second year, Adams and Canter were able to get a much quicker jump on recruiting. The duo went out and signed a new crop of 22 wrestlers to add to the talent returning from last year’s team. They also signed four managers who will help with traveling and game day duties.

“I believe that we have one of the most talented recruiting classes in the country. I think that we would have one of the top-five nationwide in the NAIA,” noted head coach Spencer Adams. 

Last year the Patriots had to forfeit weight classes because they had no one to wrestle in those spots, but as Adams noted it won’t be a problem this year. “Last year we really had to take what we could get because we got a late start on recruiting, but this year we filled every void that we had and we should be able to go at least three deep in every weight class.”

Adams also noted that the added depth will pay off in the long run. “Last year we didn’t really have a back-up plan, but this year we are well equipped to handle any possible injuries or eligibility issues.” He also noted that there will be some really good competition among the weight classes. “The freshman we have coming in are really going to push our returners to get better, the competition that we have in practice will push everyone to get better.”

Adams and Canter reached to their roots from both Kentucky and Ohio. Both are from Ohio and both have coached in Kentucky. The class features 10 signees from Kentucky and seven from Ohio. Adams noted of his connections in both Kentucky and Ohio saying, “Me and Gary are both from Ohio so we feel that we know the area really well. We know where the top programs are located in Ohio and it helps us when we are talking to a recruit. And as far as Kentucky, we have both coached in Kentucky for numerous years and we have coached against some of the best teams in the state.”

Out of the 10 signees from Kentucky, four have qualified for state and five have placed at the state tournament. All of the seven commits from Ohio have placed in the state tournament, including a FARGO All-American and a finalist from the heavyweight division.

Adams and Canter also reached out to new states to form new connections. They reached out and signed the first signees in the history of the program from Virginia, Alabama and Michigan. Both of the signees from Alabama are state champions with one being a three-time state champion. The list features two from the state of Michigan that have both qualified for the state tournament with one placing in the tournament. The recruiting class also includes a state placer from Virginia.

Not only did the talent on the mat get better in their second recruiting class, but as coach Adams noted, they are better students. “From last year to this year our average GPA is up .4 points and our average ACT score is up 2.8 points from last year.”

“I feel that we could definitely be ranked in the top-20 and if we are able to wrestle to our potential we could crack the top-10,” stated Adams.

The complete list of signees for the 2015-16 recruiting class are listed below:

Trevor Marable

Virginia State Placer

TJ Edwards

Alabama State Champion

Coby Mize

3X Alabama State Champion

Zachery Farris

2X Kentucky State Placer

Andy Dobben

3X Ohio State Placer

Kenneth Sells

Kentucky State Placer

Josh Morris

Kentucky State Qualifier

Mikey Smith

3X Kentucky State Placer/Finalist

Gage Branson

Ohio State Qualifier/FARGO All-American

Andrew Mattingly

Kentucky State Qualifier

Dale Hensley

Kentucky State Placer

Tony Ashford

Kentucky State Placer

Jonathan Sanders

Kentucky Regional Qualifier

Mario Miles

Kentucky State Qualifier

Cecil Nevels

Kentucky State Placer

Devon Cannon

2X Ohio State Placer

Garrett Carter

2X Ohio State Placer

Cole Tawney

2X Ohio State Placer

Austin Pawlak

Michigan State Qualifier

Jordan Adams

Michigan State Placer

Deaken McCoy

Ohio State Placer/Finalist

Zach Sullivan

2X Ohio State Placer

Destiny Hughes


Spencer Harper


Shelby Peppers


Dakota Prichard