By Matt Leon
DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – It should be a great weekend of wrestling up in Doylestown as one of the nation’s premier programs welcomes two nationally ranked squads to town.
Delaware Valley College is ranked 8th in the country in Division III and on Friday night they host #3 SUNY-Cortland. Then on Saturday afternoon it’s a dual meet with #13 Ithaca College.
The Aggies are 6-1 in dual meet action so far this season and second-year head coach Steve Cantrell is looking forward to this weekend’s challenge.
“We work to get the best teams that we could on our schedule,” Cantrell says. “Got to wrestle the best to be the best. And we’re ready to compete with them. We’re planning on beating them both, so we’re working real hard to do that. Real excited about it, we match-up real well – particularly against Ithaca – and Cortland. We just need to go out and perform.”
After going 10-11 in dual meet action in his initial campaign at the helm, Cantrell has the Aggies right back in their usual spot near the top of the polls.
“It’s an exciting year here because we are a relatively young team,” Cantrell says. “We’ve had matches where we’ve actually started seven freshmen out of ten weight classes. We’re led by three great captains. It’s been designed out the entire year to peak at the right time. Real excited. We have expectations to go quite a bit further. The talent and the hard work has been put in.”
Cantrell says while they are young, they have a couple of seniors that are leading the way.
“We have (captain) Charlie Frankel down at 125 (pounds),” Cantrell says. “Returning All-American. Also an Academic All-American this year. He’s really come on strong. He moved down to the weight class over the season. We expect a lot of great things out of him. We also have Emmanuel Ajagbe. He’s our 149-pounder, another captain. He’s a senior and he’s just rock solid all year long. Has wrestled fantastic. Ranked #1 (in the nation) at one point just a couple weeks ago, he’s still #4, he’s right there in the mix at the very top. It’s going to be exciting watching him go through nationals this year.”
Cantrell has high praise for one of his underclassmen as well.
“We also have a sophomore at 197 (Aaron Karns), he’s ranked 3rd and 4th depending on what poll you look at,” Cantrell says. “Real strong competitor. He has only had losses to Division I and Division II wrestlers. It’s going to be exciting to see what he can do as well. This weekend he’s got #1 in the country coming in here, so that’ll be a real opportunity for him to perform.”
The Aggies meet with SUNY-Cortland on Friday will start at 6:00pm in Doylestown, Saturday’s showdown with Ithaca is a noon start.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.