June 14th, 2017

Bellarmine wrestling announces signees

John Spugnardi

Bellarmine University S.I.D.

Bellarmine wrestling announces signees
photo provided by Bellarmine

Bellarmine University Wrestling Coach Spencer Adams has announced the first full recruiting class in program history, a considerable assemblage of 12 incoming freshmen.

The Knights are coming off their inaugural season of competition after the inception of the wrestling program was officially announced in June of 2016. Bellarmine absorbed Saint Catharine College's program after the school closed, and the majority of the Knights' 2016-17 roster was comprised of transfers from Saint Catharine.

The influx of talented student-athletes will be welcomed after Bellarmine completed its first season with an understandably thin roster. The Knights, for instance, defeated Marian (Ind.) in a dual match in their regular-season finale despite having to forfeit three matches.

"This year I am more excited than ever to announce our signees for the 2017-2018 freshman class," Adams said. "The talent within this class is outstanding, but what's more exciting is the fact that all of these young men are top notch in terms of character. They exemplify what it means to be a Knight here at Bellarmine University, which includes top performance in the classroom, servant leadership in the community, sportsmanship on the mat and success during competition.

"This season we laid a foundation and this incoming class will be given the challenge of building this program up from here."

Here are the 12 signees:

Eric Beck

Weight Class: 165/174

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

High School: LaSalle (OH)

Accomplishments: Two-time Ohio state placer

Coach Adams on Beck: "Eric wrestled 145 this past season in one of the toughest weights at the Ohio State Tournament. He still managed to place, which doesn't surprise me given his hard-nosed wrestling style. He is a very hard worker and I see that paying off for him early in his career. I'm not sure what weight he will wrestle next year because he is still growing and could easily jump up into one of our upper weight spots. If that's the case then he will be one of the more technical wrestlers in the upper weights nationwide."

Brett Bryant

Weight Class: 184/197

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

High School: Moeller (OH)

Accomplishments: Ohio state placer

Coach Adams on Bryant: "Brett wrestled up a weight class this year at 195 but could easily be a 184 or 197 for us next season. He comes from a great wrestling program at Moeller High School in Cincinnati, which is known nationally for their academics and for their success on the mat. He is a pinning machine and should be able to add bonus points for our team late in duals. One of his best attributes is the fact that he doesn't shy away from any opponent. This is very important given the fact that he will be facing mostly junior and senior competition at the upper weights."

Clayton Catanarite

Weight Class: 141

Hometown: Broadview Heights, Ohio

High School: Brecksville (OH)

Accomplishments: Ohio freestyle state placer

Coach Adams on Catanarite: "Clayton wrestled this year at 126, 132 and 138 for Brecksville-Broadview Hts High School. Brecksville is a very well-respected team in Ohio that placed fifth this past year in the state tournament. Clayton played a crucial role for the team in duals because of his versatility. He is a true team player and has proven that he can step in and compete with the best guys around. I expect Clayton to compete for a spot at 141 or 149 this upcoming season."

Connor Fletcher

Weight Class: 149

Hometown: Greenfield, Indiana

High School: Greenfield Central (IN)

Accomplishments: Indiana semi-state qualifier

Coach Adams on Fletcher: "Connor wrestled 145 this year and looks very solid around that weight. I could see him wrestling 149 or 157 next season. He is definitely an 'under the radar' type of kid. He has battled with some of the best wrestlers in Indiana and was only a point or two away from beating them. I can see him making an impact for us as a freshman. He is a well-rounded young man and can do great things for our program."

Clayton Hanson

Weight Class: 149/157

Hometown: Radcliff, Kentucky

High School: St. Xavier (KY)

Accomplishments: State finalist, Kentucky two-time state placer

Coach Adams on Hanson: "Clayton wrestled 145 this season and came very close to winning a title. He has a high-paced wrestling style and can put up some bonus points for our team. He comes from a very distinguished St. Xavier wrestling program here in Louisville, and has trained with some great coaches throughout his high school career. I remember watching him wrestle as a freshman against state champions and giving them a run for their money. Although he is very accomplished on and off the mat, I see an even brighter future ahead for him."

Corey Knoth

Weight Class: 157

Hometown: New Jersey

High School: Meade County (KY)

Accomplishments: Kentucky state placer

Coach Adams on Knoth: "Corey wrestled 160 this year and was very successful. He spent this season actually wrestling in New Jersey before returning back to Kentucky to finish his high school education. New Jersey is a very tough wrestling state, and Corey gained a lot of experience wrestling some of the best competition nationally. He has a very positive attitude, and I expect him to make some great gains as a freshman. Corey will likely stick around 157 or 165 as a freshman, but I could see him filling out into a 174 later in his career."

Josh McCorkle

Weight Class: 197/285

Hometown: Jeffersonville, Indiana

High School: Jeffersonville (IN)

Accomplishments: Indiana semi-state qualifier

Coach Adams on McCorkle: "Josh wrestled at 220 this past season and had a very successful year. He lost some close matches in the beginning of the year but came back at the end of season and avenged those losses. This doesn't surprise me given the fact that he is an extremely brilliant young man. I like the fact that he learns from previous matches and continues to adapt, which is key to winning those postseason bouts. I could see Josh wrestling 197 or 285 for us next year. He is right in between weights and could be a big 197 or a smaller, athletic 285."

Alex Rhine

Weight Class: 133/141

Hometown: Mechanicsburg, Ohio

High School: Mechanicsburg (OH)

Accomplishments: State champion, Ohio two-time state placer

Coach Adams on Rhine: "Alex wrestled 132 this past season and won a state title as an individual while helping lead his team to a state title as well. He is one of the most technical wrestlers coming in. He lives on the wrestling mat year round and trains with some of the best wrestlers in the nation. I look for him to wrestle 133 or 141 next season. His positive attitude is contagious and will be a great benefit to his teammates."

Andrew Sams

Weight Class: 174

Hometown: Fairfield, Ohio

High School: Fairfield (OH)

Accomplishments: Ohio three-time state placer

Coach Adams on Sams: "Andrew wrestled 170 this past season and placed fourth losing only to two nationally ranked opponents in very close matches. Andrew is one of the most athletic wrestlers we have coming in next season and has a style that will transition into college wrestling very easily. On his feet, he is one of the most impressive wrestlers in the state of Ohio. I look for him to come in and be a force to reckon with right away. He will likely be wrestling at 174 next season."

Chris Spano

Weight Class: 125

Hometown: Ellicott, Maryland

High School: Marriotts Ridge (MD)

Accomplishments: State champion, Maryland three-time state placer

Coach Adams on Spano: "Chris wrestled 120 this past year and could be a 125 or 133 for us next season. He has a lot of drive and determination and loves a challenge. Weight lifting is one of his passions, so it wouldn't surprise me to see him bulk up and make a jump to 133 in the near future. Chris is a natural leader as well, and I look for him to help lead our lightweights on and off the mat."

Ethan Wigand

Weight Class: 149/157

Hometown: Jasper, Indiana

High School: Jasper (IN)

Accomplishments: Indiana semi-state qualifier

Coach Adams on Wigand: "Ethan wrestled at 145 this past season and did very well making it to semi-state. I look for him to stick around the 149-pound weight class and fill out this season. Off the mat, Ethan has also been very impressive volunteering his time and leading clubs in his school. He is a great addition to our program on and off the mat and could be a solid leader in our middle weights."

Caleb Yates

Weight Class: 125

Hometown: Whitehouse, Ohio

High School: Anthony Wayne (OH)

Accomplishments: State champion, Ohio three-time state placer

Coach Adams on Yates: "Caleb is a very talented wrestler who will likely be a four-year 125, which is rare. He comes from a high school where he is used to having the added pressure to pick up bonus points for his team in duals. Setting the tone with some bonus points right off the bat is going to help our dual team tremendously in terms of momentum. Caleb's matches are high pace and high energy, which matches his positive personality. Although he is a state champion, he has a lot of room to grow and could be one of the top 125-pound wrestlers in the nation in due time."

Adams expects the growth of Bellarmine's wrestling program to mirror the maturation of his robust first recruiting class.

"There's no doubt we will have challenges being such a young team with the majority of our lineup next season being true freshmen," Adams said. "Most of our guys coming in are used to being the best on their team and statewide; now they will come into the college ranks and have to earn their way back to the top. To add to that, they will have to adapt to a new environment socially and in the classroom. I have no doubt that these guys will rise to the occasion and embrace the grind. I am looking forward to adding these guys to our room and watching them grow as individuals and as wrestlers.

"I am equally excited to welcome our parents and family members of our incoming student-athletes," Adams added. "Throughout the year I have been able to spend a lot of time with the family members of our guys, and I am truly grateful for such an outstanding group of people. We will set a milestone in the fall when these guys step foot on campus, but the true milestone comes when these guys walk across the stage for graduation in four years wearing some championship rings and holding on to fond memories of their great experience as a Knight here at Bellarmine. I am truly blessed and honored to have the opportunity to coach my current wrestlers and this incoming class of 2017-2018. I can't wait for that first whistle to blow in November!"


Recent Articles