The Wolfpacker

November 2019

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 114 of 139

NOVEMBER 2019 ■ 113 Les Merritt CPA-CFP NCSU Graduate Certified Public Accountant Certified Financial Planner Your CPA! (919) 269-8553 1014 N. Arendell Avenue Zebulon, NC 27597 You worked your way through NCSU, one of America's great universities. Why then, would you take your professional or personal taxes to someone who graduated from Taxmart U? Greensboro Fayetteville 336-996-6060 910-483-5975 Truck & Trailer Centers The Wolfpack's dealer for the award-winning Isuzu Truck Noting The Pack • In late September, FloWrestling expert Willie Saylor released his "crystal ball" predictions for the NCAA Championships. In it, he projected 125-pound redshirt freshman Jakob Camacho and 141-pound redshirt junior Tariq Wilson to each finish one win shy of All-America honors (top eight), while he had 157-pound redshirt junior Hayden Hidlay winning a national title, 184-pound redshirt freshman Trent Hidlay placing fourth and 197-pound redshirt junior Nick Reenan finishing second. Based on his top 12 picks at each weight, the corresponding team points resulted in NC State finishing fifth. • NC State enters the year as a consensus top-20 team. The Pack was listed 13th by both Flo and The Open Mat, while Wrestling Insider Magazine (WIN) projected NCSU to finish 17th nationally. • The Wolfpack has been one of the nation's top recruiting teams since head coach Pat Popolizio ar - rived. In the last six years, it has inked two top-six groups (including No. 1 in 2016) and an additional pair of top-20 classes per Flo. NC State has a loaded group of commits that should continue that momentum on the recruit- ing trail. In the 2020 class, it currently has pledges from the nation's No. 12, No. 35, No. 60, No. 143, No. 148 and No. 151 wrestlers according to Flo, while its 2021 class already has one top-50 commit (No. 41), in addition to being in the lead group for several other highly touted athletes. Newcomer To Watch Redshirt freshman Trent Hidlay won the U.S. starting spot for the Junior World Championships this summer and placed third in the world, losing by only one point to the runner-up that lost on criteria to a competitor from India who went on to place second in the world on the senior level. That shows the 184-pounder is not far off from the best in the world — regardless of age — at his weight. Popolizio predicted he'll "be one of the most exciting guys we've ever had wrestle for NC State, right off the bat." ■ By The Numbers 8 Of a possible 10 starters were ranked in FloWrestling's preseason national rankings: 125-pound redshirt freshman Jakob Camacho (No. 21), 133-pound redshirt freshman Jarrett Trombley (No. 23), 141-pound redshirt ju- nior Tariq Wilson (No. 7), 157-pound redshirt junior Hayden Hidlay (No. 1), 165-pound redshirt junior Thomas Bul- lard (No. 12), 174-pound redshirt freshman Daniel Bullard (No. 20), 184-pound redshirt freshman Trent Hidlay (No. 14) and 197-pound redshirt junior Nick Reenan (No. 9). 12 Top-20 NCAA placements in school history (since 1925) before NC State went on its active streak of six straight. Eleven of those first 12 occurred from 1980-93 under legendary coach Bob Guzzo. 14th Has been NC State's average national finish over the last six years under head coach Pat Popolizio. That time includes a 97-21 mark overall (.822 winning percentage) and 22-9 ledger in the league (.710), two ACC championships, a pair of regular- season conference titles and an NCAA team trophy (fourth-place tie in 2018).

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