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Scouting the NCAA Division II programs

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Updated: November 2, 2010

The following is an alphabetical list and 2010-11 Scouting Reports of all NCAA Division II programs

Adams State (Colorado) — The Grizzlies returns just two starters from last year’s team that finished 13th and was picked to finish fifth in the RMAC. Among the newcomers is Max Ortega, a sophomore from Rio Rancho, N.M., who competed last year at Division I Indiana.

American International College (Massachusetts) — The Yellow Jackets failed to send anyone to the nationals last year but return 125-pound junior Este Lara, who finished 17-7 last year.

Anderson University (South Carolina) — The Trojans, who finished 17th last year, must replace 157-pound NCAA champion J.J. Jackson.

Ashland University (Ohio) — Two of three qualifiers return from last year’s Eagle team that finished 36th overall: 125-pound Brandon Davis and 165-pound Tommie Graszi.

Augustana (S.D.) — Defending champion Jay Sherer (141) is among five returning All-Americans for the Vikings, who finished second in Omaha. The others are Nate Herda (149/4th last year), Marcus Edgington (157/4th), Gavin Nelson (165/8th) and Ty Copsey (197/2nd).

Belmont Abbey (N.C) — The Crusaders, 32nd last year, have four ranked wrestlers, headlined by sophomore Jake Varilek, an NCAA tournament qualifier at 165 as a freshman, where he finished 1-2.

Central Missouri —  Justin Ensign was name interim coach for the Mules, who finished 22nd last year.

Central Oklahoma — The Bronchos have two wrestlers ranked from last year’s team that finished 15th: two-time national qualifier Jarrett Edison (197) and Tanner Keck (184) who wrestled at three different weights last year.

Chadron State (Neb.) — Coach Scott Ritzen was selected to the RMAC Hall of Fame. As a team, the Eagles (33rd in last year’s nationals) are picked to finish eighth in their conference with Jimmy Savala (141) the top returnee.

Colorado School of Mines — Josh Hutchens was named coach of the Orediggers who failed to send anyone to last year’s nationals.

Colorado State-Pueblo — Seniors Patrick Carey (HWT) and Justin Grant (165) each finished one victory shy of AA honors last year for the Thunderwolves who finished 33rd as a team.

East Stroudsburg (Pa.)  — Junior Adam Hluschak (141) finished among the top 12 last year for the former Division I program that claimed 24th in 2010.

Findlay (Ohio) — Dan Stevenson (197) and Mat Clum (HWT) are both returning national qualifiers for the Oilers who finished 31st last winter.

Ft. Hays State (Kan.) — Andre Harrison (141) and Chance Rencountre (174) were recognized on the RMAC Preseason All-Conference team while the Tigers are expected to finish fifth as a team after claiming 12th in last year’s nationals.

Gannon (Pa.) — Junior Tony Petrella is ranked second at 174 after going 16-8 last year for the Knights who finished eighth as a team in Omaha.

Grand Canyon U (Ariz.) — The No. 12 preseason ranking is the highest in the history of this program that finished 19th in 2010 and returns a pair of All-Americans: junior Victor Carazo (174) and Ryan Becerra (184).

Indianapolis — Sophomores Ethan Harris (133) and David Lopes (149) were both selected academic All-Americans for the Greyhounds that tied for 33rd last March.

King College (Tenn.) — Frank Morgan, an NAIA national runner-up in 2009 at 197 pounds, is the highest rated Tornado, which is competing in its first season at Division II.

Kutztown (Pa.) — Tim Darling was ranked third in Division II in the 174-pound weight class as the Golden Bears, which finished 16th last year, received their highest preseason mark (15th) in school history.

Limestone (S.C.) — Sophomore Mike Magaha (133) and Jeremy Parker (141) earned All-American honors as the team claimed 21st.

Mary (N.D. — Brady Anderson (184) returns as the Marauders only national qualifier for a team that finished 36th.

Mercyhurst (Pa.) — Defending national champion Josh Shields (165) is a three-time All-American and owns an 89-17 record, which ranks seventh on the Lakers’ all-time wins list. They look to improve on last year’s 14th-place finish.

Mesa State (Colo.) — The Mavericks failed to score at last year’s nationals.

Minnesota State-Mankato — Senior Andy Forstner, a two-time All-American who finished fourth at last year’s nationals, is ranked No. 1 at 125 for the Mavericks. Senior Ben Becker, a two-time national qualifier who posted a 20-17 mark last year, is ranked seventh at 174 pounds and junior Aaron Norgren, who went 16-11 last year and earned All-American honors with a seventh-place finish, is ranked third at 184 pounds.

Minnesota State –Moorhead — All-American Derek Bornstad (149) will be joined by fellow national qualifiers Corey Ullmer (125) and Tallen Wald (157) for the Dragons who finished 26th overall in 2010.

Nebraska-Kearney — The Lopers, who finished third in 2010, will host this year’s national tournament, have one wrestler ranked this year: junior T.J. Hepburn who will move up to 157 pounds.

Nebraska-Omaha — Coach Mike Denney’s troops will try to make it four in a row, but they’ll need to do it on their rival’s mats down the road at Nebraska-Kearney. Three of the Mavericks’ school-record five finalists return, including champ Elijah Madison at heavyweight.

New Mexico Highlands — Coach Doug Moses will look to reload after senior Seth Wright set school history in 2010 after becoming the school’s first national champ in any sport with his 125-pound title.

Newberry (S.C.) — After tying for eighth place at the 2010 national tournament, coach Jason Valek’s troops come into the season ranked fifth. The Wolves will be led by returning champ Bryant Blanton (184), and NQs Matt Oliver (133) and Sean Byrnes (157).

Neman (Ka.) — Mitch Arnold became the first wrestler in program history last year to win at match at nationals for the Jets. He returns at 149, as well as NQ Blake Fisher at 133.

NC-Pembroke — Three Braves start the season ranked, All-Americans Russell Weakley and Mike Williams as well as national qualifier Shane Nolan. Weakley is ranked No. 4 at 125, Williams and Nolan seventh at 165 and 197 respectively.

Northern State (S.D.) — Matt Meuleners returns as an All-American (8th at 197) for coach Pat Timm who signed nine wrestlers in the spring to letters of intent in the spring.

Pitt-Johnstown (Pa.) — Coach Pat Pecora’s team earned the No. 14 ranking in the preseason coaches poll. Pecora returns an All-American in Chris Dempsey (8th at HWT) and national qualifier Ryan Link, who will be moving up a weight to 133.

San Francisco State (Calif.) — Two Gators made their way into the coaches preseason poll — Zach Jimenez (184) and Naveed Bagheri (141). Both qualified for nationals last year but failed to place.

Seton Hill (Pa.) — All-American Kenny Trumbetta (125) and national qualifier Dallas Evans (141) lead the Griffins into the 2010-2011 campaign in which the school is gunning for a top-20 finish at the NCAAs.

Shippensburg (Pa.) — Second-year head coach Seth Bloomquist will lead the Raiders as they return All-American Christopher Barrick at 174. Barrick is one of only four seniors on the Shippensburg roster.

Southwest Minnesota St. — Returning national qualifier Brian Rodas (HWT) leads a Mustang team which was 4-6 in 2009-2010.

St. Andrews (N.C.) — The fifth-year program led by coach Joe Baranick. Due to expansion in Div. II, Baranick’s troops will have to qualify for Kearney through Findlay and the Super Region II tournament, taking them out of the East Region they had previously competed in.

St. Cloud State (Minn.) — With a shaky state and school athletic budget that has the football team threatened, Coach Steve Costanzo’s troops need another strong top-ten finish like last year (seventh). The Huskies were 14-7 last year and placed four at nationals. They’re ranked No. 2 to start the season.

Truman State (Mo.) — The Bulldogs will look to get back to their winning ways after failing to qualify anyone for nationals last year. Their Midwest Regional will go through Findlay (Ohio) in late February.

Upper Iowa — Coming off their best Div. II season yet after tying Neb.-Kearney for third place, the Peacocks will now have to rebuild with only one All-American back in Kyle Pedretti, who took third last year and is ranked No. 1 going into the 2010-2011 season.

West Liberty (W.V.) — The Hilltoppers are ranked second in the Super Region One preseason rankings, behind only Newberry. Coach Brian Davis returns All-American Mitch Knapp (197) from his squad that finished in the top 20 last year. One other NCAA qualifier in J.D. Ramsey at heavyweight also returns.

Western State (Colo). — Coach Miles Van Hee’s squad is picked sixth nationally in the preseason poll. Van Hee returns a national champ in Donovan McMahill (197) and two other All-Americans in Charlie Pipher (184) and Charlie Alexander (HWT). If the Mountaineers can stay healthy, they should have a strong tournament team with the three top weights all ranked in the top three, with two other weight ranked.

Wisconsin-Parkside — National runner-up Luke Rynish (174) will lead a Ranger team ranked ninth with four wrestlers ranked. Besides Rynish, Dillon Bera (No. 3 at 157), Matt Gille (No. 5 at 165) and Cody Zimmerman (No. 7 at 125) are listed in the preseason poll.

(The following teams are listed as NCAA Division II programs but are not eligible to compete at the nationals: California Baptist, Lake Erie College (Ohio), Lindenwood (Mo.), McKendree (Ill.), Minot State (N.D.), Notre Dame College (Ohio), Quachita Baptist (Ark.), Sioux Falls (S.D.) and Tiffin (Ohio).)

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