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Castro Unveils Wrestling Roster Featuring Nationally-Ranked Recruiting Class

June 27, 2006  Lynchburg, Va.   RSS
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Castro Unveils Wrestling Roster Featuring Nationally-Ranked Recruiting Class
Liberty wrestling head coach Jesse Castro announced his roster for the newly reinstated program for the upcoming 2006-07 season, including a nationally-recognized recruiting class. The Flames recruiting class has been named among the Top 25 in the nation for Division I schools according to the web site Intermat Wrestling
With a solid foundation built upon the 2006-07 recruiting class, Castro believes the reinstated program is off to a good start. "To start from scratch has been challenging. The program is attracting some very accomplished wrestlers who are looking for a Christian education," stated Castro. "It is exciting for us to be named among some of the premier programs in Division I wrestling."  
The Liberty wrestling programs returns after a 12-year hiatus as the school sponsored the sport from 1974 to 1994 under coaches Bob Bonhiem and Don Shuler.  The reinstatement of the program has been aided by the support of the Liberty Wrestling alumni and fan base.  Liberty Founder and Chancellor, Dr. Jerry Falwell has stated "In years past, Liberty built a wrestling tradition that was a very positive influence on this campus and we are committed to a return to excellence in this program".   Wrestling becomes Liberty's 18th NCAA Division I sport with its return to this fall.
The program will mark its return to competition on Saturday, November 4 in a quad match with Anderson, Gardner Webb and host Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
The Flames roster has 27 wrestlers from 12 different states.  Nine members of Castro's first squad hail from the Commonwealth of Virginia, while five others come from the neighboring state of West Virginia.
The Liberty roster follows:
Christian Smith - 3X VA state champ ACC champ NCAA qualifier
Daniel Earley - 05 OH state champ - 2nd in the senior nationals
Sean Katz - 4th in AAA state championships Va.
Dustin Hicks -
GA state champ 3AA, 3rd place
Zach McCray - WV state runner-up 2X, Reno placewinner
Anthony Emana – 2X state qualifier Va.
Sam Walters – 2X state qualifier Pa.
Tim Harner - Pa. 5th, 3rd, 3rd  Nationally ranked 9th all weight classes  - NCAA qualifier       
Ryan McDonnell -  Fla. state qualifier
Aaron Kelley -
2X W.Va. state champ - 3rd in Reno
Brandon Holbert - 2X Va. state champ
Colt Franklin – Fla. state qualifier 
Shaun Smith –
W.Va. state champ, 2nd
Andrew Derr – Pa. regional Qualifier        
Wyatt Graham -  Canada (British Columbia freestyle gold medalist)
Jonathan Woods – Fourth in state Md.
Chad Porter -
3X state champ W.Va., ranked nationally - 2nd in Reno
Joseph Son - 3rd Ga. AAAAA
Taylor Hartsfield – Va.
Kyle Walters -
2X W.Va. state champ
Jonathan Campbell – N.J. state qualifier 
Chris Daggett –
transfer WVU – WV state champion
Rory Bosek - 5th Md.
Cory Vasbinder – Pa. regional place winner
Brian Nielson – Va.
Tyler Ryan – Colo. state runner-up
Levi Madison – 3rd in Va. states
Mike Nielson – Va.
Patrick Walker -
2X Del. state champ
Ed Lynch - state champ Va. A
Judson Miller – State Runner-up Ala.