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Appalachian State Wrestling Adds 11 To Recruiting Class

Appalachian State Wrestling Adds 11 to Recruiting Class

With the start of the fall semester arriving, App State wrestling coach JohnMark Bentley officially announced the Mountaineers’ Class of 2020 recruits.

Moving forward from a fourth consecutive SoCon regular-season title in 2018-19, Bentley oversaw an App State program that went 9-3 overall in 2019-20 and had a school-record six NCAA qualifiers, including all four NCAA qualifiers who were products of North Carolina high schools.

The 11 wrestlers in the 2020 recruiting class combined for 13 individual state championships and 20 state finals appearances in their prep careers. Six members of the class are homegrown talents from North Carolina, while Bentley also secured commitments from wrestlers who hail from Pennsylvania, New York, Georgia and Virginia.

“I’m extremely excited about this freshman class,” said Bentley, who is 106-69-1 as App State’s head coach. “This is an extremely talented group with a lot of high school accomplishments. Their success in the Black & Gold will depend on their toughness, work ethic and buy-in to our core values. I can’t wait to get to work.”

Class of 2020 recruits
Tommy Askey (149/157 pounds, Pine Bush, N.Y./Pine Bush)
Jacob Barlow (heavyweight, Greensboro, N.C./Northern Guilford)
Jackson Boles (174 pounds, Madison, N.C./South Stokes)
Casey Bolick (197 pounds/heavyweight, Claremont, N.C./Bunker Hill)
Jack Campbell (149/157 pounds, Abingdon, Va./Abingdon)
Kobe Early (125 pounds, Cary, N.C./Cary)
Heath Gonyer (141 pounds, Greensboro, N.C./Northern Guilford)
Francis Morrissey (149 pounds, Bonaire, Ga./Veterans)
Ethan Oakley (133 pounds, Trinity, N.C./Wheatmore)
Tristan Pugh (149/157 pounds, Friedens, Pa./Shanksville-Stonycreek/Berlin Brothersvalley)
Connor Quinn (157 pounds, Pottstown, Pa./Owen J. Roberts)

Tommy Askey (149/157 pounds, Pine Bush, N.Y./Pine Bush)
High School: Won a New York Division I state title at 152 pounds as a senior, claiming an 8-5 decision against highly ranked reigning state champ A.J. Kovacs … Produced Pine Bush High School’s first state champion in 30 years … Capped a 41-0 senior season as a two-time state placer who competed at 145 pounds as a junior and placed fourth in the state … Also the lone Section 9 champion at the Eastern States Classic as a senior, was named the Varsity 845 wrestler of the year … Was taken down only two times as a senior … Listed at No. 17 on Intermat’s final 152-pound national ranking … Posted a 42-6 record as a junior … Sectional finalist as a sophomore.

Jacob Barlow (Heavyweight, Greensboro, N.C./Northern Guilford)
High School: Three-time state qualifier at 220 pounds … Fourth place at the state 3-A championships as a senior, going 62-3 at 220 pounds … Won his match by a major decision as Northern Guilford captured the 3-A state dual-team title — the program’s first — in 2020, using the four points to push his team ahead 28-23 in a 40-29 victory against Enka … Went 34-8 as a junior at 220 pounds and won two matches at the state championships … Went 26-13 while qualifying for the 3-A states at 220 pounds as a sophomore … Also a two-way lineman for Northern Guilford’s football team.

Jackson Boles (174 pounds, Madison, N.C./South Stokes)
High School: Three-time state champion at the 1-A level and set South Stokes’ career wins record while going 155-15 in high school … Became the first-ever three-time state champion wrestler in Stokes County … Capped 44-0 senior season with a 1-A state championship at 170 pounds, as he pinned all three championship opponents in the first period … Ranked No. 9 at 170 pounds in the Southeast by Southeastwrestling.com … Wrestling at 160 pounds as a junior, used a pin in the 1-A state final to cap a 45-2 season … Won the 1-A title at 145 pounds during a 39-4 season as a sophomore, winning a 7-0 decision in the final … Went 27-9 as a freshman.

Casey Bolick (197 pounds/heavyweight, Claremont, N.C./Bunker Hill)
High School: Two-time regional champion, two-time state placer and three-time state qualifier at 220 pounds … Won 153 matches in his prep career … As a Bunker Hill senior, placed sixth at the 2-A state championships to cap a 40-5 season at 220 pounds … Won regional title at 220 pounds as a junior and placed fifth at the 2-A state championships to end a 48-4 season … Capped a 32-20 season as a sophomore by winning one match at the 2-A state championships at 220 pounds.

Jack Campbell (149/157 pounds, Abingdon, Va./Abingdon)
High School: Three top-three finishes at the VHSL 3-A state tournament in Virginia, with runner-up finishes at 145 pounds (as a sophomore) and at 152 pounds (as a senior) while competing for Abingdon High School … Career record of 145-27 in high school … Posted a 33-3 record as a senior, a 35-3 record as a junior, a 41-7 record as a sophomore and 36-14 as a freshman … Took third place at 152 pounds as a junior and was also a state qualifier at 145 pounds as a freshman … Regional champion as a senior following runner-up finishes as a junior and sophomore.

Kobe Early (125 pounds, Cary, N.C./Cary)
High School: Three-time state champion went 198-1 in his career, with his only loss coming in state final as a freshman … North Carolina’s winner of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award, presented by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, citizenship and community service … In 2020, lone North Carolina wrestler to be named an All-American by Wrestling USA Magazine … Named Most Outstanding Wrestler of 4-A state championships as a senior, when he capped a 52-0 season at 126 pounds with a 3-1 decision in the state final … Ranked No. 4 at 126 pounds in the Southeast by Southeastwrestling.com … Went 47-0 as a junior, winning the state title at 120 pounds with a 4-3 decision … Had a 39-0 record as a sophomore, when he won the state title at 106 pounds with a 7-4 decision … Won the first 46 matches of his prep career before dropping a decision in the state final at 106 pounds as a freshman … NHSCA National All-American as a sophomore (eighth place) … Helped lead Cary to the 4-A state dual-team title as a junior in 2018 … Born March 8, 2001 … Son of Peter and Stephanie Early … Has four siblings: Zoe, Alexandra, Jake and Maizey.

Heath Gonyer (141 pounds, Greensboro, N.C./Northern Guilford)
High School: Three-time state finalist, four-time state placer and four-time regional champion won the 3-A state title at 138 pounds to cap a 64-0 season as a Northern Guilford senior … Finished career with a 181-11 record … Named MVP while helping lead Northern Guilford to the 3-A state dual-team title — the program’s first — in 2020 … Ranked No. 5 at 138 pounds in the Southeast by Southeastwrestling.com … All-area wrestler of the year by the Greensboro News & Record and finalist for HighSchoolOT.com wrestler of the year in North Carolina … Needed just 1:29 to win his final match by fall in the state final … Went 43-2 and placed second at 132 pounds at the 3-A state championships as a junior … Had a 33-2 record and was the 3-A state runner-up at 126 pounds as a sophomore … Fourth place in the state at 106 pounds as a freshman who finished with a 41-7 record … Born Oct. 23, 2001 … Son of William Gonyer.

Francis Morrissey (149 pounds, Bonaire, Ga./Veterans)
High School: Two-time state champion and three-time state finalist in Georgia at the 5-A level … NHSCA Junior Nationals All-American in 2019 … Super 32 place winner … Top-20 national ranking at 152 pounds … Career record of 228-11 … Won 5-A state titles as a sophomore 138 pounds) and junior (152 pounds) before placing second at 145 pounds as a senior … Went 61-0 as a sophomore and 61-0 as a junior before going 60-2 as a senior … The four-time state qualifier competed at 120 pounds as a freshman and was 46-9 overall that season.

Ethan Oakley (133 pounds, Trinity, N.C./Wheatmore)
High School: Four-time state finalist won three NCHSAA titles (as a freshman, junior and senior) … Went 220-7 in his career … NHSCA Nationals All-American (third place in Virginia Beach in 2019) and Super 32 place winner (eighth in 2019) during his high school career … Capped 60-1 season as a senior with a major decision in the 2-A state final at 132 pounds … Ranked No. 3 at 132 pounds in the Southeast by Southeastwrestling.com … Won 2-A state title while representing Providence Grove as a freshman and wrestled at Wheatmore for his final three seasons, taking second at 120 pounds as a sophomore and winning the 2-A title at 126 pounds as a junior … Born April 22, 2002 … Son of Rodney and Melinda Oakley … Has two siblings: Megan and Nathan, who wrestled at Belmont Abbey.

Tristan Pugh (149/157 pounds, Friedens, Pa./Shanksville-Stonycreek/Berlin Brothersvalley)
High School: Three-time district champion and three-time state qualifier who went 156-26 in his prep career … Attended Shanksville-Stonycreek High School but wrestled for Berlin Brothersvalley as part of a co-op … Placed sixth in the state as a junior and finished career with 79 pins … Went 43-5 as a senior with 27 pins as a senior at 145 pounds while placing first in his district and third in his region … Had a 39-5 record with 15 pins as a junior who was a regional runner-up … Posted a 42-7 record with 22 pins as a sophomore who won his first career district title and placed fourth in his region … Pennsylvania USA Wrestling scholastic third-team selection based on his academic success … Daily American Male Athlete of the Year and Codispoti/Maslak County Pin Award as a sophomore … Born Dec. 17, 2001 … Son of Michael and Jennifer Pugh … Has one sibling: Teegan.

Connor Quinn (157 pounds, Pottstown, Pa./Owen J. Roberts)
High School: Three-time state qualifier and fifth-place finisher at the 3-A state level as a senior to cap a 134-29 career in Pennsylvania … Finished with 41 career pins … Wrestled final three years at Owen J. Roberts High School and went 34-5 with 12 pins as a senior at 160 pounds … Won regional title and third straight sectional title as a senior while also placing second at the King of the Mountain event … Qualified for 3-A state championships during a 24-4 junior season in which he placed third in the region at 160 pounds … Made first state championships appearance during 34-10 season as a sophomore and went 42-10 as a freshman at Malvern Prep … Helped Owen J. Roberts go a combined 48-14 overall and 13-2 in league competition over his final three seasons … Named OJR’s Male Athlete of the Year as a senior and was the Potts-Merc area wrestler of the year … Father, Matt, wrestled collegiately at Eastern Michigan, Missouri Valley and Kutztown … Mother, Angela, also wrestled and was a national team member.