Turnbull Signs Eight for Fall

By Scott Castleman and Tim Goodenow
WVU Sports Information Office

June 14, 2005

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia University wrestling coach Craig Turnbull today announced the signing of eight recruits for the 2005-06 season.

Giving the coach signatures in the late signing period were Mark Andersen (Lemoore, Calif./Lemoore), Cody Butzer (Canal Fulton, Ohio/Canal Fulton Northwest), Dan Diaz (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North), Micah Gerasimovich (Morgantown, W.Va./Morgantown High), Donnie Jones (Slickville, Pa./Greensburg-Salem), Chance Litton (Parkersburg, W.Va./Parkersburg), Brandon Rader (Parkersburg, W.Va./Parkersburg) and Dustin Rogers (Corning, Calif./Southwest Oregon CC).

“We feel very good about this recruiting class and believe that it deserves Top 5 consideration in terms of rankings by recruiting services,” says Turnbull. “We feel all eight recruits are Top 5 in their respective weight classes and can pursue their goals of winning a national championship.”

The class has already gained national notoriety as W.I.N. Magazine has tabbed it as the 11th best in the country and InterMat.com has listed it as the 12th best.

Andersen is the 2005 California state champion at 125 pounds and placed third at 2005 senior nationals. He was honored by Wrestling USA Magazine as a member of its 2005 All-America team. Under coach Kent Olson Anderson posted a career record of 146-28 with 58 falls and finished the 2005 season ranked eighth in his weight class by Amateur Wrestling News.

Butzer is a 2004 Ohio state champion at 152 pounds. The 5-9, 170 pound grappler finished his illustrious high school career with a 121-23 record including a school record 66 pins. During his senior season Butzer posted a 34-4 record including titles at the prestigious Medina tournament as well as the Bill Dies Memorial. Along with winning the state title in his class he was named first-team Northeastern Buckeye Conference, first-team Stark County and was the 2004 Stark County Wrestler of the Year. He also holds the career rushing record for Northwest High’s football team.

Diaz was a standout in the 112-pound weight class in New Jersey. Diaz was tabbed as the ninth-best wrestler nationally at the 112-weight class and also earned a spot on Wrestling USA Magazine’s 2005 special mention list for best high school wrestlers. The Star-Ledger selected the Toms River High star to its third team all-shore in 2005.

Gerasimovich is a solid local product that produced a stellar senior campaign. After finishing fifth in state tournament competition as a junior, the Morgantown High wrestler captured that state championship in the 145-pound weight class in 2005 and was named a NHSCA Academic All-American. Gerasimovich also captured the title at the NCAC conference tournament and was named the conference wrestler of the year.

Jones is a three-time PIAA Class AAA finalist and two-time champion who competed at 152 during his senior season. Jones held a 90-match win streak that was broken his senior season. Regarded as one of the top wrestlers in the nation, he completed an exceptional 37-2 senior season with a second-place finish in PIAA Class AAA. Jones’ 154-7 career record ranks him fourth all-time in WPIAL career victories and earned him first-team Tribune-Review, all-area and wrestler of the year accolades. Jones was also selected to represent Pennsylvania in the 152-pound weight class as a senior at the 31st Dapper Dan Classic in Pittsburgh. He is the brother of former WVU national champion Greg Jones and All-American Vertus Jones.

Parkersburg High teammates Rader and Litton gained local and national attention as the pair became the first wrestlers from West Virginia to win national titles at the 16th annual Senior Nationals.

Litton completed an extremely successful senior season for PHS where he was all-state in wrestling, football and baseball. In the 171-pound weight class Litton lit up the mats, posting a 154-15 career record. He tallied a 45-2 mark as a senior en route to winning the United States high school national championship in Cleveland, Ohio. In four years Litton finished as the state runner-up three times and state champ once. The All-American also won titles for PHS at the 2004 Powerade Championships and took third at the Ironman and Beast of the East tournaments.

Litton’s teammate Rader put together a storied career at Parkersburg high as well as he claimed the state championship all four years of high school. The 2005 state tournament outstanding wrestler award winner and Robert Dutton Award winner finished his career with a 161-9 record. Rader captured the national title at the 135-pound weight class at the United States high school national championship in Cleveland, Ohio. Also highlighting his senior season were titles at the Powerade Championships and Beast of the East tournament as well as a third-place finish at the Ironman tournament.

Rogers comes to WVU as a junior college national champion at Southwest Oregon Community College. The dominant heavyweight redshirted his freshman season before posting a 31-3 mark as a sophomore. He was a state runner-up at his California high school.
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