Averett Wrestling New Beginnings with Record Size Recruiting Class


Bryant Quaye

Shown here is a picture of the massive wrestling team that coaching staff brought together this year.

Alex Driggs, Staff writer

Averett wrestling is climbing to become a big name in NCAA Division III, with growing success and the addition of the largest freshman/transfer class in program history.

“Last year’s recruiting class added a solid team culture to the program, and we’re excited to be bringing in a large class of guys to join and add to it,” Assistant Coach Keaton Gomez said.

This is a season of new beginnings for Averett wrestling, with the graduation of star athletes like Brandon Woody, Sam Braswell and Trent Ragland. There was a passing of the torch and new leadership emerged with new team captains Billy Baldwin, Hunter Campbell, Khalil Mitchell and Anthony Taylor. 

The record recruiting class brought in by the coaching staff serves to build a foundation for the continued success that Averett wrestling is working for.

“The family aspect is important to our team, so being able to add large numbers to our wrestling family is big and upperclassmen get the opportunity to mentor younger guys, which helps the upperclassmen grow too,” Woody, former All-American and current assistant coach, said.

There is much to look forward to this year with wrestling as Averett enters the ODAC.

“We are excited for ODAC competition this year and we are set on winning our first ODAC championship as a team,”  Woody said.

Gomez shares Woody’s high expectations for the team.

“The main goal for the program is the same and that is to make it on the podium as a team at the NCAA tournament,” Gomez said.

As a recent graduate turned coach, Woody is looking forward to watching his former teammates grow.

“I am looking forward to seeing the progression of each of these guys not just on the mat, but as people too.”