2009-10 College Preview - Grand Valley State
Coach: Rick Bolhuis (4th Year)
Last year: 12-4, 2nd @ NCWA National Championships, 1st in
North Central Conference
Top Returners: 157-Mike Leonard (All-American), 197-John
Aikens (2x All-American), 285-Corey Melin (2x All-American)
Impact Newcomers: 133-Andrew Stepanovich (Freshman/FHN),
141-Zach Johnson (Freshman/Rockford), 165-Ryan Thomas
(Freshman/Novi), 165-Kyle Summerfield (Freshman/Hartland),
197-Kyle Hillard (Transfer/Heidelburg), 197-Frank Bastien (
Freshman/GR West Catholic), Corey Drury (Freshman/Byron)
Outlook: Grand Valley has been one of the powerhouse NCWA
programs over the past decade and this year should be no
different as they return 15 National Qualifiers from last year's
squad that finished as National Runners-Up. While the Lakers
were 2nd at the NWCA National Tournament, they did claim
the NWCA National Duals Title during the regular season.
"We have several athletes who experienced the national tournament last year and received a taste of what it will take to medal there. They have made a commitment to work even harder toward stepping on the podium at the end of this season." said Laker coach Rick Bolhuis.
Three returning All-Americans headline this year's Grand Valley lineup. Senior John Aikens is the most expierenced and proven wrestler as he is a 2x All-American and was a NCWA National Runner-Up last year at 197lbs. Heavyweight Corey Melinn is a also a 2x All-American after finishing 3rd last year at 285lbs. Mike Leonard also returns at 157 after finishing 5th last year in his first season at Grand Valley. Leonard is a senior this year, and was Junior College National Qualifier at Muskegon before coming to GVSU.
"Several of our returners were within one win of placing and three have previously been All-Americans. This is tremendous depth which has been strengthened with a talented incoming class that includes seven All-State athletes from Michigan joining our team - we have a very competitive room," said Bolhuis.
Among the talented freshman group that Bolhuis brings in is former state champ Andrew Stepanovich, state finalist Zach Johnson, and 2x all-stater Kyle Summerfield. All three of these guys could be major players right away in the Laker lineup.
As the NWCA continues to grow in competetiveness and popularity, it is impressive how Grand Valley remains as one of the premiere programs in the country. It is also a testament to wrestling in the state of Michigan. Many NWCA athletes have enjoyed success on the NCAA Division 1 or Division 2 level and two former NWCA wrestlers have gone on to wrestle in the Olympics.
This year, Michigan's own Grand Valley State University will be a favorite to win a National Title in this ever-growing organization.
Projected Starting Lineup:
125 - TJ Sobeck
133 - Andrew Stepanovich/Brennan Leeuwenburg
141 - Ian Martin/Zach Johnson
149 - Brad Frey/Nate Hall
157 - Mike Leonard/Travis Eisen
165 - Kyle Summerfield/Ryan Thomas
174 - Robert Hall
184 - Derek Marshall
197 - John Aikens
235 - Frank Bastien
285 - Corey Melinn
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