3x NCAA qualifier Josh Finesilver (Photo/Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
Duke Blue Devils
Glen Lanham has continually made the most out of a challenging setup in Durham; roster limitations and lack of scholarships, combined with the high academic standards of Duke, make this an admirable achievement. The Blue Devils have had at least one All-American in six of the past seven years, with Josh Finesilver falling one win short of continuing that streak last season. The Blue Devils will have a mix of veteran leadership and high-upside young wrestlers looking to make the most of this season. The recent addition of Coach Ethan Ramos could pay dividends with the middle and upper weights having an active world-level coach to roll with.
As go the Finesilver's, so go the Blue Devils. Two brothers remain on the roster in Durham and both are ranked top 12 nationally in the Intermat Preseason Rankings. Josh is ranked 11th at 149, while Matt is ranked 9th at 174.
Two Duke wrestlers who had been starters in previous seasons, Jimmy Stillerman (174/184) and Harrison Campbell (125/133), graduated and are no longer in the program.
Gabe Dinette transferred from Stanford and will jump into the starting lineup for the Blue Devils immediately. Dinette was a spot starter at 157, 165 and 174 for the Cardinal and had an overall record of 6-4. He will step in at 165 for the Blue Devils.
WRESTLER TO WATCH
One Blue Devil I am keeping my eye on this season is Kaden Russell. He is a four-year starter now and has shown his ability with wins over Chris Kober (Campbell) by major and pins over conference foes Dakota Howard (VT) and Isaac Trumble (NC State). Having new assistant coach Ethan Ramos in the room to roll with every day could help add some consistency to what we see from Russell.
Another interesting story to keep an eye on is heavyweight Ben Frye. Ben is a two-sport athlete, starting on the defensive line and playing a spot role in the heavyweight spot. Frye was a state runner-up in Ohio for Dublin Coffman before committing to Duke for football. He joined the team after a couple years on the football field in Durham and has gone 2-2 in his four starts.
125: Logan Agin
133: Drake Doolittle
141: Patrick Rowland
149: #11 Josh Finesilver 3x NCAA Qualifier; NCAA Round of 12
157: Brandon LaRue
165: Gabe Dinette
174: #9 Matt Finesilver 2x NCAA Qualifier
184: Vincent Baker
197: Kaden Russell
285: Jonah Neisenbaum