Walnut Ridge, Ark. - The NAIA released its latest Coaches’ Top 20 Poll on Wednesday, and the Williams Baptist College wrestling team found itself ranked third. It is the highest ranking in school history.
Head Coach Todd Allen said while the Eagles are pleased to climb in the rankings, they are still working to reach number one.
“It is an honor to be ranked so high, but at the end of the day we do not want to be ranked third. There is a lot of wrestling left in the season. I know our guys will echo this feeling, but we are not sitting back and resting on third place. We have a lot of work left, and our team is ready to end the season strong,” Allen commented.
Ten individual wrestlers are ranked. Defending national champion Demetrius Thomas leads the way, ranking second in the 285 lb. class. All-American Tyler Fraley follows him as the third ranked wrestler in the 149 lb. class. Meanwhile, Joshua Chiles (184 lb.), Nicholas Drendel (157 lb.), and Tanner Irwin (133 lb.) all rank fifth in their respective classes.
Khaleel Johnson climbs to sixth in the 125 lb. class, while Keion McVay sits in eighth in the 174 lb. division. Jaitlan Pitts earns the 10th ranking in the 133 lb. division. Meanwhile, Kyle Lee (149 lb.) and Jonathan Stewart (165 lb.) come in at 15th place in their divisions to round out the Eagles’ ranked wrestlers.
The Eagles will travel to Marshall, Mo., on Jan. 19-20. They will compete in the Missouri Valley Invitational beginning at 9 a.m. each day.