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Castro Inks Three-Time State Champion

April 22, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Head coach Jesse Castro has announced the signing of Sam Rakes to a national letter of intent.

Head coach Jesse Castro has announced the signing of Sam Rakes to a national letter of intent.

Liberty University Head Wrestling Coach Jesse Castro has announced the addition of three-time Virginia state champion Sam Rakes to the Flames roster, as the Christiansburg High School standout has signed a national letter of intent for the 2008-09 academic year.

"Sam is an extremely talented wrestler who brings a lot of national experience to Liberty," commented the two-time NCAA East Regional Coach of the Year about his new signee.

"He is the product of an in-state 'wrestling factory,' as Christiansburg is a perennially ranked program which has produced great wrestlers," continued Castro. "Sam is coming for the right reasons, desiring to wrestle for something bigger than himself."

Rakes is one of the state's highly touted 152-pounders and is ranked No. 12 nationally by WIN magazine. Competing at a national level, Rakes posted a 170-32 record at Christiansburg (84.1 winning percentage), which included 79 wins by fall. As a senior, he finished with a 47-9 mark, aided by 29 pins.

Rakes placed first during 20 different tournaments as a part of Christiansburg's heralded program, including titles at the Powerade Championship as a junior and senior. The grappler, who will wrestle at 149 pounds for Liberty, also placed three times at the Ironman and twice at the Beast of the East tournaments.

Rakes, the son of Wes and Lori Rakes, is the first signee of the year for Liberty's wrestling program, which is fresh off a stellar 2007-08 campaign. The Flames claimed their second-straight NCAA East Regional title this year, while sending a program-record six wrestlers to the NCAA National Championship, which yielded a pair of "Sweet 16" performers.