Southern Oregon University wrestling coach Mike Ritchey is looking forward to the possibilities of the 2007-08 wrestling season.




With his wrestling program coming off a rebuilding year in 2006-07, when the Raiders had three NAIA All-Americans.




Ritchey is excited to add 25 new members to a strong group of grapplers. In 2006-07, the Raiders were strong in the lower weight classes, with Trevor Lofstedt, a 125-pound junior, leading the way with a fourth-place finish at the NAIA national championships.




This season, Ritchey looks forward to a more balanced team after signing 13 of his 25 recruits in the 157-, 165-, 174-, 184-, 197- and 285-pound weight classes.




Ritchey's latest recruiting class, made up of 16 freshman and nine transfers, is highlighted by seven junior college All-American transfers and five high school state champions. The Raiders will add 17 Oregonians, four of whom are local to Southern Oregon; as well as seven Californians and one Hawaiian to their roster. Ritchey gives much credit to the Western Undergraduate Exchange program for allowing him his seven California recruits. The WUE recently added California to its program, making it more possible for Californians to attend SOU.




"I am excited for this season," Ritchey said. "Although this is a large quantity, there is good quality in these recruits, bringing in a lot of experience and accomplishments. This is the strongest group of freshman I think I've ever had. There are lots of newcomers as well as a strong returning class, and that will make for some good battles to see who will be under the lights this coming season."




With four home meets, Southern Oregon's four locals, Shyne Tourville of Phoenix High School; Dusty Culver of Illinois Valley High; Jake Vizzini of Crater High; and Sam Broggi of Riddle High will have a chance to shine.




"The local kids will create interest," Ritchey said. "This will really help to continue our strong fan base. It's also nice for the kids to wrestle in front of a hometown crowd."




The Raiders will kick off an 18-meet schedule with the Red and Black Intrasquad match on Oct. 30. From there, SOU will host its first dual on Nov. 16 against Simon Fraser University and will follow with the annual Best of the West Open on Nov. 17.




The Raiders will host Pacific University on Jan. 31 and a dual against Menlo on Feb. 16 to close out there home season. The Raiders also face tough competition in four duals this season, competing against NCAA Division I opponents Portland State, Arizona State, University of Oregon and Oregon State.




With a solid 2007-08 roster and a challenging schedule set, Ritchey hopes to guide the Raiders to their 37th consecutive winning season.




2007-08 Raider Wrestling Recruits




Incoming Freshmen (16)




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162; 125-pound Levi Root of Burns High School. He placed three times in states; second in 2006.




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162; 125-pound Justin Tracy of Thurston High School. He is a 5A state champion.




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162; 125-pound Shyne Tourville of Phoenix High School. He placed two times in states; third in 2007.




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162; 125-pound Dusty Culver of Illinois Valley High School. He has placed in states; sixth in 2007.




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162; 133-pound Tyrel Peasley of Burns High School. He is a two-time 3A state champion in 2005 and '07.




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162; 133-pound James Frankie Newport of Toledo High School. He is a three-time state qualifier.




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162; 141- to 149-pound Jake Vizzini of Crater High School. He is a two-time state finalist in 2006 and '07.




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162; 149-pound Justin Mills of Clear Lake (Calif.) High School. He qualified for states in 2007.




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162; 149-pound Tommie Hooper of Burns High School. He is a 3A state champion in 2007.




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162; 157-pound Jeremy DuPont of Madras High School. He is a 5A state finalist in 2007.




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162; 157-pound Brad Tamashiro of Hilo (Hawaii) High School. He is the 2007 Hawaii BIIF champion.




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162; 157-pound Sam Broggi of Riddle High School. He is a 2007 state champion.




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162; 165- to 174-pound Lane Locke of West Linn High School. He placed third at the 6A state championships in 2007.




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162; 174-pound Andrew Marshall of Oregon City High School. He placed in states in 2007.




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162; 184-pound Levi Morgan of Thurston High School. He placed third at the 3A state championships in 2007.




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162; 285-pound Sam Sprauer of Silverton High School. He placed in states in 2007.




Transfer Students (9)




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162; 133-pound Brian Jacobs, a sophomore, from Clackamas Community College. He placed seventh in the 2007 NJCAA.




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162; 133- to 141-pound Caleb Mack, a junior, from Delta Junior College. He is a two-time CJCAA qualifier.




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162; 149- to 157-pound Seth Roy, a junior, from Clackamas Community College. He placed seventh in the 2007 NJCAA.




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162; 157-pound Stuart Cole, a junior, from Palomar Junior College. He has placed in CJCAA twice, in 2005 and 2007.




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162; 157- to 165-pound Luis Cisneros, a junior, from Clackamas Community College. He placed fifth in regional.




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162; 165-pound Dan Barraza, a junior, from Sierra College. He placed fourth in the CJCAA.




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162; 174-pound Mike Leslie, a junior, from Sierra College. He placed fifth in the CJCAA.




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162; 285-pound Marcus Moore, a junior, from Sierra College. He placed first and third in the CJCAA.




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162; 285-pound Matt Klimek, a sophomore, from Palomar Junior College. He placed in CJCAA in 2007.