CLEVELAND, Ohio – According to Eastern Wrestling League head coaches, senior Evan Cheek of the Cleveland State University wrestling team was selected as the League's preseason favorite at 141 pounds.
Cleveland State came in sixth place in the team preseason rankings, based on a tournament points rubric. CSU was one of four teams projected to have an individual champion.
Cheek topped the rankings at 141, receiving five of a possible six first-place votes and 29 points overall. He won the EWL title at 141 last year and was named Outstanding Wrestler of the EWL Championships, becoming the first Viking to claim that honor in 35 years. Cheek pinned two opponents at the 2018 EWL Championships that went on to the advance to the NCAA Championships, including winning by fall against an undefeated, top-five opponent in the title bout.
Senior John Vaughn placed third in the preseason rankings at 157 pounds and received a first-place vote. Vaughn was injured during the first period of his opening bout at the 2018 EWL Championships but won 13 matches last season while dropping from 165 to 157 during the season. Vaughn placed fourth at 165 pounds at the 2017 EWL Championships.
Redshirt senior Armando Torres was tabbed fourth in the preseason rankings at 133 pounds. An offseason transfer from Eastern Michigan, Torres competed at multiple weight classes for EMU the past few seasons while claiming 29 wins.
Other Vikings listed in the rankings were: redshirt freshman Cody Moosman (6th, 125 pounds), redshirt freshman Brady Barnett (6th, 149 pounds), sophomore Georgio Poullas (6th, 165 pounds), redshirt junior Caleb Stockmaster (5th, 174 pounds), junior Chris Morrow (6th, 184 pounds), sophomore John Kelbly (6th, 197 pounds) and junior Collin Kelly (7th, 285 pounds).
Poullas won two matches to place fourth at 165 as a true freshman last season at the EWL Championships after he began the season at 157.
Individual rankings were done on a 5-4-3-2-1-0 basis, with coaches not allowed to vote for their own wrestlers. Ties were broken based on the wrestler who was ahead on more ballots.
2018-19 Eastern Wrestling League Preseason Poll
Rank – School – Points (Projected Individual Champions)
1. Lock Haven – 89 (5)
2. Rider – 73 (2)
3. Clarion – 55.5 (2)
4. George Mason – 25
5. Bloomsburg – 22.5
6. Cleveland State – 21.5 (1)
7. Edinboro – 18.5