Weight Class Breakdown
125 - The ?Pokes will look to redshirt freshman Tyler Cox at this weight to begin the season, with two-time NCAA qualifier and NCAA West Regional champion, junior Michael Martinez making a jump up to 133. Cox wrestles an exciting style and if he can keep his weight up he could provide the front end of a valuable 1-2 punch for the Wyoming lineup. The option remains for Martinez to return to this weight if need be.
133 - UW lost Cory Vom Baur, a four-time NCAA qualifier at this weight to graduation, but the addition of Martinez in this slot could translate into more team points. Martinez will be the back end of two strong weight classes for the Cowboys and his health should benefit from the move to a more natural body weight.
Wyoming has much depth at this weight, as sophomore Kasey Garnhart is a valuable option and redshirt freshman Jake Eitzen shows promise. Freshman Zach Zehner will likely redshirt, but his talent will be tough to keep off of the mat in the future. Senior transfer Shane Doughman will look to help the Cowboys out in any way he can in the practice room.
141 - There are a lot of options for the UW coaching staff here, beginning with junior Chase Smith, who has two years of starting experience. Smith will be pushed by transfers McCade Ford and Conrad Snell, as well as redshirt freshman Kyle Komata, who has improved vastly. Ford is leaning toward taking his redshirt season.
The wild card at this weight could be true freshman Mike Hamel. As with most true freshmen, the first choice for Hamel might be a redshirt season, however his desire to contribute immediately might earn him some mat time if it is in the best interest of all involved.
149 - Senior Cole Dallaserra and sophomore Jimmy Belleville give the ?Pokes two very strong options at this weight. Dallaserra has three years of starting experience, ranging from 141 to 157, while Belleville is coming down a weight class after providing UW with some excitement last year as a true freshman starter at 157. The competition should be fierce for the starting role, as both Cowboys have good upsides.
Freshman Brandon Richardson will likely use his redshirt season and Smith could always wrestle up at this weight if necessary.
157 - Two-time NCAA qualifier and NCAA West Regional champion, junior Shane Onufer will make the move down to 157 this year. Onufer spent his first two years at 174 and 165, respectively, but has certified at this weight class and feels that he can make a deep NCAA Tournament run here.
Behind Onufer are four true freshmen who are on track to use their redshirt seasons: Dakota Friesth, Andy McCulley, Trevor Sterling and Robert Stroh. All have bright futures, but McCulley has immediately impressed and could push for mat time. Richardson could also factor in at this weight.
165 - Talented redshirt freshman Patrick Martinez will be first in line to fill Onufer?s shoes at this weight and he is looking like a capable contributor. Martinez is anxious to show off the fruits of his redshirt season and UW?s coaching staff is confident that he can get the job done.
Behind Martinez is true freshman Joe Raygor, who will look to use his redshirt year, and there is the possibility that Onufer could move back up into this weight class.
174 - Junior Dallas Hintz and sophomore Michael Poulos will be the two headliners competing for the starting job at this weight class. Hintz has seen limited action in each of the last two years, while Poulos missed all of last season while rehabbing a foot injury. Both are eager to prove how they can contribute to the team if given an opportunity. Martinez could factor into the equation here as well.
184 - Two-time All-American Joe LeBlanc is back to win a national title during his junior year and he solidifies the upper weights. Anything less than an NCAA title will not satisfy LeBlanc and he will lead the ?Pokes with his example. Junior Joe O?Farrell, as well as freshmen Tommy Thoman and Shane Woods are all possibilities here. Both Thoman and Woods should redshirt.
197 - Wyoming?s two-year starter at this weight, junior Alfonso Hernandez, had off-season back surgery and will miss most of the season. That leaves an opening that sophomore L.J. Helbig is poised to slide into. Helbig helped the team at 197 and heavyweight last season, but should benefit from going at this more natural weight consistently. O?Farrell and true freshman Leland Pfeifer are also listed at 197. Pfeifer will likely redshirt.
Hwt. - UW?s team drastically improves if senior Bubba McLaughlin is in the lineup at heavyweight. He is a physical force to be reckoned with and possesses all the tools of a true heavyweight. However, McLaughlin has yet to be a consistent presence in this spot, as last year he missed time due to academic issues. His ability to fill the big man spot in the lineup could be a key to Wyoming?s team success this year. If McLaughlin needs a break, any one of the Cowboy 197-pounders could wrestle up against smaller opponent heavyweights.