The Mid-American Conference Coaches poll has come out for December, and the UNI Panthers are well represented, putting men at eight of the ten weights, including a pair of number one rankings and another pair of number twos. At 174 pounds Taylor Lujan joins Dylan Peters as the second Panther to hold a number one spot. This is the first time that Lujan has appeared in the MAC Coaches poll. Lujan was named MAC wrestler of the week last week after defeating #8 Zach Epperly from Illinois.
Joining his teammate for the first time in the poll is Drew Foster at 184 pounds. Foster has had an impressive start to his season as well, dropping only the first place bout at the UNI Open to Illinois’ Emery Parker. Foster was leading the entire match before he got caught and pinned. JJ Everard comes in as the squads next number two ranked wrestler at heavyweight. Everard has been nursing an injury and hasn’t wrestled since the Virginia Tech dual.
Jake Hodges and Max Thomsen also make their debuts in the coaches poll, both coming in fourth at 141 and 149 pounds respectively. Both men have had good starts to their seasons, going a combined 19-3 early on.
Josh Alber bumped up one spot at 133 pounds to number three. Bryce Steiert, now at 165 pounds, moved up to number two at his new weight.
The entire MAC poll can be found below, including team rankings. Missouri continues to lead there, but the Panthers are certainly closing the gap.
2016-17 MAC December Weight Class Rankings:
125 – 1. Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa, Senior); 2. Barlow McGhee (Missouri, Junior); 3. Brent Fleetwood (Central Michigan, Junior); 4. Shakur Laney (Ohio, Sophomore).
133 – 1. Jaydin Eierman (Missouri, R-Freshman); 2. Corey Keener (Central Michigan, Senior); 3. Josh Alber (Northern Iowa, Sophomore); 4. Cameron Kelly (Ohio, Sophomore).
141 – 1. Matt Manley (Missouri, Senior); 2. Kyle Springer (Eastern Michigan, Junior); 3. Noah Forrider (Ohio, Junior); 4. Jake Hodges (Northern Iowa, Junior).
149 – 1. Lavion Mayes (Missouri, Senior); 2. Justin Oliver (Central Michigan, Sophomore); 3. Steve Bleise (Northern Illinois, Sophomore); 4. Max Thomsen (Northern Iowa, R-Freshman).
157 – 1. Joey Lavalle (Missouri, Junior); 2. Colin Heffernan (Central Michigan, Junior); 3. Caden McWhirter (Northern Illinois, R-Freshman); 4. Casey Sparkman (Kent State, Sophomore).
165 – 1. Daniel Lewis (Missouri, Sophomore); 2. Bryce Steiert (Northern Iowa, Sophomore); 3. Austin Reese (Ohio, Sophomore); 4. Seldon Wright (Old Dominion, Sophomore).
174 – 1. Taylor Lujan (Northern Iowa, R-Freshman); 2. C.J. Brucki (Central Michigan, Junior); 3. Trace Engelkes (Northern Illinois, Senior); 4. Dylan Wisman (Missouri, R-Freshman).
184 – 1. Jordan Ellingwood (Central Michigan, Junior); 2. Drew Foster (Northern Iowa, Sophomore); 3. Jack Dechow (Old Dominion, Senior); 4. Willie Miklus (Missouri, Junior).
197 – 1. J’den Cox (Missouri, Senior); 2. Kevin Beazley (Old Dominion, Junior); 3. Shawn Scott (Northern Illinois, Senior); 4. Bailey Faust (Ohio, R-Freshman).
HWT – 1. Jake Gunning (Buffalo, Sophomore); t-2. JJ Everard (Northern Iowa, Senior); t-2. Gage Hutchison (Eastern Michigan, Junior); 4. Austin Myers (Missouri, R-Freshman).
2016-17 MAC December Wrestling Rankings
1. Missouri (30)
2. Northern Iowa (20.5)
3. Central Michigan (18.0)
4. Northern Illinois (8)
5. Ohio (7)
6. Old Dominion (6)
7. Eastern Michigan (5.5)
8. Buffalo (4)
9. Kent State (1)