BLACKSBURG - Virginia Tech head wrestling coach Kevin Dresser announced Monday the addition of nine athletes who will join the Hokie wrestling program in the fall of 2011. Led by the 2011 Virginia Group AAA heavyweight champion, this class features four upperweights, along with two middleweights and three lightweights.
Taylor Horner, who hails from Rocky Mount, Va., captured the Virginia Group AAA state title at heavyweight for Franklin County High School this past year, picking up a pin in the championship bout. He took fourth place in the state as a junior and was eighth at the 2010 Beast of the East Tournament.
Two Virginia products will come in as projected 197 pounders, helping give depth to a thin part of the Hokies’ roster. Jake Semones was a two-time Virginia Group AA state champion at 215 pounds for Salem High School in nearby Salem while Darren Hankins placed second at the Group AAA state meet at 215 pounds for Hickory High School in Chesapeake. He recently placed fourth in the country at the High School Nationals.
Jordan O’Donnell is a two-time state placewinner who is projected as a 133-pounder. He attends James River High School in Richmond. The Central Region Outstanding Wrestler placed fifth in the state at 130 pounds this past year as a senior after finishing third at 125 pounds his junior year with a 47-10 record.
Taylor Whitt is a projected 133/141-pounder from Norfolk Academy who posted a career record of 164-24 with 104 pins and was a three-time VISAA state champion. He was also a two-time national prep placewinner and was ranked the No. 1 135-pounder in Hampton Roads (public and private schools) all year by The Virginian Pilot.
Christian Funder is one of three out-of-state products in this year’s class. He hails from Winston-Salem, N.C., and attends Forsyth Country Day School. The projected 149/157-pounder was a state champion as a junior and took second as a senior.
Sean Van Dyke was also a state champion this past year, winning a Group AA title at 125 pounds for Grundy High School. Van Dyke is projected as a 125/133-pounder in college.
Dan Garwood hails from Mullica Hill, N.J., where he attends Clearview Regional High School. The projected heavyweight went 40-3 as a senior, taking fifth place at 215 pounds at the New Jersey state meet. He went 28-7 as a junior, qualifying for the state meet and also earned a pair of letters in football and lacrosse.
Jordan Rosa is a projected 141/149-pounder who is from Wyomissing, Pa. He compiled a 127-31 career record, including a 30-1 his senior year before an injury cut his season short. Rosa attends Wilson High School and was a two-time Pennsylvania state sectional champion and finished fifth at 2010 Junior Nationals.
These additions join those who signed in the fall: two-time Ohio state champs Matt Stephens (165/174) and Nick Brascetta (141/149) from Graham High in St. Paris, Ohio, three-time Maryland champs Bubba Scheffel (174) and Lex Ozias (141/149) from Southern Garrett in Oakland, Md., and three-time Colorado state champ Austin Gabel (184/197).
The class is ranked ninth in the country by WIN Magazine. This is the fifth-straight national top-11 class pulled in by head coach Kevin Dresser and his staff.
For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).