BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State Wrestling opens the 2018-19 season ranked No. 25 in the initial NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll that was released Wednesday.
The Mountaineers return eight of their 10 primary starters from a 9-4 team that went unbeaten against its 2017-18 league schedule en route to a third straight Southern Conference title and secured a championship sweep by winning the conference tournament. Additionally, App State has two more returning wrestlers with multiple dual team starts in the last two seasons for head coach JohnMark Bentley, who takes an 88-59-1 record into this year after being a National Coach of the Year finalist last season.
The Mountaineers are one of just seven ranked teams from outside a Power Five Conference such as the Big Ten or ACC.
In the last three seasons, with its 20-1 league record, App State is tied for fourth place nationally with the fewest conference losses behind just the unbeaten trio of Penn State, Oklahoma State and Cornell.
App State cracked the Top 25 of the NWCA Coaches Poll for the first time in 2015-16 thanks to an 8-2 start and reached as high as No. 16 in the InterMat rankings with its 13-2 start to the 2016-17 season.
The Mountaineers were No. 24 in the final NWCA Coaches Poll of that season. That group moved into the Top 25 by the second poll of 2016-17 and spent the rest of it ranked, climbing to as high as No. 20 thanks to the 13-2 record that preceded a finale against Indiana.
Last season, Appalachian was close to being ranked, sitting unofficially at No. 28 in the NWCA Coaches Poll, following its 8-3 start with a young lineup that came together to claim another conference title.
The 2018-19 Mountaineers compete next on Nov. 4 at the Southeast Open in Salem, Va., and they will appear again at Varsity Gym on Nov. 25 for a nonconference dual meet against No. 23 North Carolina.
Season tickets for App State Wrestling are available for $35 (adults) and $15 (youth) by clicking HERE for an online purchase, contacting the ticket office at 828-262-2079 or going to the App State athletics ticket office located at the Holmes Center. It is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.
Single-match tickets are $7 (adult) and $3 (youth), with the visits from UNC, Oklahoma and Chattanooga set as premium matches with a price of $10 for adults and $5 for youth.