HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Coker College Head Wrestling Coach Derrick Nelson has announced the signing of 21 new recruits to the 2018-19 wrestling roster.
Nelson inked John Watts, Dalton Haywood, Alex Braden, Alex Miller, Jaylon McCaslan, P.J. Wunderlich, Jayshawn Dixon, Ethan Welsh, Chris Poland, Brandon Mills, Devon Varnadore, Ayush Patel, Brandon Mills, Jaylon McCaslan, Zach Dixon, Pedro Daher, Chase Clark, Mason Brown, Zane Corey, Christian Williams, and Ramon Correa.
"We are a young team, but I am excited about how good we can be," Nelson said. "It will be fun to watch them come together as a team and hopefully we can get Coker wrestling back to the national tournament with this group of young men."
Watts finished his career at Coffee High School in Douglas, Georgia with an astonishing record of 190-13. Watts, who wrestled at 125 pounds in high school, was a two-time Georgia state champion, and three-time Georgia state finalist. He's the son of Jessica Baker, Cade Paulk, and Amy Paulk, and he's planning to major in biology.
Poland is a transfer from Eastern Michigan University via Thornapple Kellogg High School in Middleville, Michigan. Poland compiled a 127-31 career record at Thornapple Kellogg, and was named a USA Wrestling Junior National Greco-Roman All-American. He competed in seven tournaments at Eastern Michigan where he totaled 12 wins. He placed sixth at the Alma Open and fourth at the Findlay Open at 133 pounds. Poland is the son of Wade Poland, Hope Middlemiss, and Lori Poland, and he plans to major in communications.
Wunderlich was a decorated member of the Carolina Forest wrestling program in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Wunderlich was a three-time county and region champion, and finished his high school career with a 122-33 record. Wunderlich is the son of Angela and Patrick, and plans to major in history in the fall.
Braden attended Hilton Head High School where he wrestled for the Seahawks. He was the 138-pound and 145-pound 4A State Champion. His parents are Nic and Michelle, and he plans to major in business at Coker.
Christie attended Burrell High School where he played baseball, golf, and wrestled for the Buccaneers. He finished with 112 career victories, and was County Champion, Section Champion, and WPIAL runner-up. Corey's parents are James and Lori Christie, and he plans to major in biology in the fall.
Corey attended Allegan High School in Hastings, Michigan where he wrestled for the Tigers. Corey was a four-time conference champion, and three-time state qualifier in high school. He wrestled at Grand Valley and Muskegon Community College before transferring to Coker. His parents are Sean and Jennifer Corey, and he plans to major in business administration.
Dixon attended Aynor High School in Aynor, South Carolina where he played football, ran track, and wrestled. Dixon was a state qualifier and three-time regional champion in high school. He's the son of Corey and Kellie Dixon, and he plans to major in criminology.
Patel attended Wake Forest High School where he wrestled for the Cougars. Patel was first in conference and first in the region at Wake Forest High. He's the son of Manish and Heta Patel, and he plans to major in computer science.
Welsh attended Hartsville High School where he was a member of the competitive cheer team and a wrestler. Welsh qualified for the state tournament three times as a member of the Red Foxes wrestling team. He's the son of Tiffany and David Welsh, and he's currently undecided on his major.
Daher attended Tallwood High School in Virginia where he wrestled for the Lions. Daher was a two-time state qualifier and finished first in the region and first in the state. He's the son of Abdallah Daher and Elian Tayar, and he plans to major in architecture.
Mills attended Rock Hill High School where he wrestled for the Bearcats. Mills tallied 189 wins in his high school career, and was the 2018 Upper State Champion. He was selected as a 2018 North/South All-Star. Brandon is the son of Robert and Mittenee Mills, and he plans to major in business.
Clark attended Suwannee High School in Florida where he wrestled for the Bulldogs. He finished his senior season with an impressive 43-13 record. Chase is the son of Chris and Katie Clark, and he plans to major in exercise science.
McCaslan attended Emerald High School where he played football, ran track, and wrestled for the Vikings. He won his region, and went to state qualifying twice. He's the son of Hope McCaslan, and he plans to major in computer science.
Varnadore and Brown were members of the National Guard and will be joining the Cobras in January.
The Coker College wrestling team will open up their 2018-19 campaign at the Hokie Open on Nov. 4. For the full wrestling schedule, visit www.cokercobras.com.