Cumberland remained eighth in the NAIA wrestling coaches’ top 20 poll and Billy Ward, Jake Williams, Michael Gonzalez, Kirk Johnson, Zeke Hunt, Jacob Shirley, Cody Linton and Scott Stewart were all ranked in the top 16 in their respective weight classes, as announced this week by the national office.
The Bulldogs will return from a three-week break this Sunday with a 10 a.m. match against St. Andrews at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center. CU has compiled an 8-6 mark in dual matches this season with victories over Anderson and Missouri Baptist.
Ward, a freshman from Buena, N.J., has compiled a 14-4 mark this season and is ranked 11th at 133 in the latest rankings for the Bulldogs, while Williams, a redshirt junior from Rio Rancho, N.M., jumped into the rankings at No. 4 at 149. Williams will make his season-debut for CU in the coming days after participating in tournaments unattached this fall.
Gonzalez, a junior from Hesperia, Calif., ranks 15th at 157 and Kirk Johnson, a sophomore from Indianapolis, Ind., is eighth at 165 after registering a 10-5 record this fall.
Hunt, a senior from Dacula, Ga., remained fifth at 174, posting a 10-2 mark in November and December, while Shirley ranks 14th at 174 as well, collecting a 5-4 record.
Linton dropped two spots to fourth at 184. The junior from Winters, Calif., has a 5-1 record this fall, and Stewart moved down three spots to 12th at 197 while posting an 11-6 record.
Cumberland will participate in the NWCA National Duals on Jan. 11 in Des Moines, Iowa, after this Sunday’s dual match.