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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    Never Too Early Lineup Look: West Virginia

    In the 2023 preseason our Big 12 correspondent, James Hackney, stated that West Virginia was his wild card team. What he meant was the pieces seemed to be in place for potentially a big year for the Mountaineers. That proved to be the case as two West Virginia wrestlers earned All-American honors and the team finished 17th in the nation. You’d have to go back to 2004 to find the last time that West Virginia finished that high. 

    The sixth year with Tim Flynn at the helm also yielded a 10-5 dual record, the same mark the Mountaineers hit in 2022-23. Now the trick is surpassing even higher expectations. 

    That should be the case in 2024-25 as West Virginia has a largely veteran cast featuring as many as eight potential starters with NCAA experience. Both of their All-Americans from 2024 are back. You don’t have to squint very hard to imagine at least one other returning starter getting on the podium. 

    If that isn’t enough, West Virginia also will get the services of an excellent recruiting class - one that was ranked 17th in the nation by InterMat. The 2024 signing class features three of the top-58 wrestlers in the country and is very heavy with Western Pennsylvania talent. Even with a strong crop of returners, we could see one or two of the true freshmen push for a regular spot in the lineup. 

    So, what could the WVU lineup look like in 2024-25? We’ve got a weight-by-weight peek below at a team that probably shouldn’t be labeled a wild card or a dark horse in the future. They’re just going to be really good. 

    125 lbs - Jett Strickenberger

    West Virginia needed help at their opening weight after two-time All-American Killian Cardinale used his final year of eligibility in 2022-23. In came, Jett Strickenberger, a transfer from Northwest Kansas Technical College

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