Smith Excited About West Liberty Mat Recruits

October 7, 2015

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – As Mitch Smith prepares for his inaugural season as head coach of the West Liberty University wrestling team, the former Hilltopper All-American can't wait to get on the mat with his first recruiting class at WLU.

"I really believe we brought in a great group of kids," Smith said. "All of these guys have the experience to get the job done. A number of them were state placers in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia and more than a few posted quality wins against nationally-ranked wrestlers.

"We have a good nucleus coming back and more than half of the guys we brought in had more than 100 wins during their high school careers so I'm really looking forward to seeing our guys on the mat."

After wrapping up a stellar mat career in Black and Gold, Smith remained on the hilltop as an assistant wrestling coach before being hired as the founding head coach for Alderson-Broaddus' NCAA Division II program.

The former Hilltopper didn't hesitate to return to his alma mater in the spring when long-time West Liberty head coach Brian Davis announced his retirement and he obviously wasted little time hitting the recruiting trail.

Here's a look at the 13 new faces that have been added to the Hilltopper roster:


Jonathan Bodkin, fr., Martins Ferry, OH (Martins Ferry HS)
Battled through a leg injury to finish 6th at 285 pounds in Ohio Division III state meet as a senior after placing fifth as a junior. OVAC heavyweight champion as a junior and runner-up as a senior. Won more than 150 matches for the Purple Riders

C.J. Campbell, fr., Hilliard, OH (Hilliard Bradley HS)
Scrappy 125-pounder qualified for back-to-back Ohio Division I state meets at 113 pounds and won more than 100 matches while wrestling for Hilliard Bradley HS just outside of Columbus

Bryce Coleman, fr., Rayland, OH (Martins Ferry HS)
3-time OVAC Tournament placer was 6th at 152 as a senior and 5th at 152 as a junior after placing 8th at 138 pounds as a sophomore. 4-year football and wrestling letterman at Martins Ferry HS had more than 100 wins on high school mat.

Josh Cornell, fr., Chester, WV (Oak Glen HS)
4-year letterman placed in back-to-back West Virginia state tournaments at 120 and 126 pounds. A 3-time placer at the OVAC Tournament, he went 115-34 on the mat at Oak Glen while maintaining a 3.56 GPA

Tyler Dodd, fr., Carrollton, OH (Carrollton HS)
Multi-sport athlete also plays football at West Liberty. 3-time Ohio Division II state qualifier was regarded as one of the top prep wrestlers in Ohio. Went 51-1 as a senior with only loss coming in the 220-pound state championship match in overtime

Jimmy Galbraith, fr., Carrollton, PA (Carrollton HS)
Posted a sparkling 42-9 record and qualified for the Ohio Division II state tournament at 170 pounds as a senior at Carrollton HS. …Helped Carrollton to Top 10 finish in team standings

Daniel Law, fr., Belpre, OH (Belpre HS)
2-time Ohio Division II District qualifier from Belpre HS. Came up one match shy of state tournament berth each of his last two years. Finished his high school career with more than 100 wins

Dante McCarroll, fr., Ranson, WV (Jefferson HS)
2-time West Virginia Class AAA state qualifier. 4-year letterman in football, track and wrestling. Outstanding sprinter and long jumper.

Josh Ridgeway, fr., Mannor, PA (Norwin HS)
Made impressive run through Pennsylvania state tournament to place 7th at 132 pounds. Also finished third in the WPIAL and Westmoreland County Coaches Tournaments. Placed 5th in the prestigious Powerade Tournament, ranked as the third-toughest high school tournament in the country

Jonathan Spence, Rfr., Salt Rock, WV (Huntington HS/Gardner-Webb U.)
Sat out redshirt year at NCAA Division I Gardner-Webb last season. 3-time West Virginia Class AAA state qualifier was state runner-up at 120 as a junior and 126 as a senior. More than 100 high school wins.

Dominic Vagnier, fr., Circleville, OH (Logan Elm HS)
Placed fourth in Ohio Division II state meet at 120 pounds as a junior and made it back to the state tournament as a senior with a sparkling 45-6 record. Had more than 100 career wins at Circleville Logan Elm HS

Tyler Windland, fr., Cairo, WV (Parkersburg South HS)
Standout middleweight from perennial Mountain State big-school power Parkersburg South. Finished third in West Virginia Class AAA at 152 as a senior. 2-time placer at OVAC Championships

Dalton Wood, fr., Cameron, WV (Cameron HS)
Talented middleweight posted more than 100 wins at Cameron HS. …3-time placer at the OVAC Championships and a 2-time placer in the West Virginia state meet

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