LANCASTER, Pa. ? Franklin & Marshall head wrestling coach Mike Rogers announced the Diplomats' incoming freshmen class. The 11-member group of recruits features three from Pennsylvania, two each from New York and New Jersey as well as one representative from Maryland, Maine, Connecticut and Florida.
The class of 2020 joins a projected group of 16 returners next winter as F&M lost seven grapplers to graduation, including five members of the dual lineup. Highlighting the class is Brett Kulp (133 lbs.), a two-time PIAA Class AAA District III Champion, as well as Cole Timothy Aaron (141/149 lbs.), who placed fourth in the PIAA Class AA.
"This will be one of our largest and most talented recruiting classes we have ever brought in," said Rogers. "Based on the list of their individual accomplishments, each one of our recruits is expected to bring a lot to the table."
Also included in the group is Reid Robilotto who joins his brother Phil - a second-semester transfer from the University of Maryland - now giving the Diplomats two sets of siblings along with Tom and Paddy Quinlan.
"The coaching staff has worked hard to bring together a top class. We are excited about all of their potential and believe that F&M wrestling is continuing to move in a positive direction."
F&M Wrestling Class of 2020Cole Timothy Aaron ? 141/149 ? Brookville, Pa./Brookville Area Michael Berkowitz ? 149 - Old Brookville, N.Y./Long Island Lutheran Shane Brackup ? 149 - Yardley, Pa./Blair Academy Nolan Foster ? 125 ? Hoosick, N.Y./Hoosick Falls Brett Kulp ? 133 ? Reading, Pa./Exeter Township Emmett LiCastri ? 157 ? Easton, Conn./Joel Barlow Nicholas Maher ? 141/149/157 ? West Windsor, N.J./West Windsor Prep. Steven Anthony Mercadante ? 184 ? Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota Reid Robilotto ? 165/174 ? Laytonsville, Md./The Heights School Eli Smith ? 157 ? Hope, Maine/Camden Hills Regional Jimmy Stillerman ? 174/184 ? Blairstown, N.J./Blair Academy
The Recruit Breakdown
Cole Timothy Aaron (Brookville, Pa./Brookville Area)
Projected Weight Class: 141/149
Highlights: Career record of 120-40... Team captain? Four-year starter? Team was a three-time District 9 Champion? 2016 PIAA Class AA Team Champions? 2015-16 team record of 29-0? Received the Clint Puller Outstanding Wrestler Award? Four-time Academic-Athlete Award? Two-time PIAA Class AA State Qualifier? Placed fourth at PIAA Class AA States? Two-year member of varsity soccer and track teams.
Michael Berkowitz (Old Brookville, N.Y./Long Island Lutheran)
Projected Weight Class: 149
Highlights: Career record of 184-24... Three-time Prep. All-American (6th, 7th, 4th)? Six-time N.Y.S. Prep. Champion? 2015 N.YS. Freestyle Champion? 2015 N.YS. Greco-Roman Champion? Member of the National Honor Society.
Shane Brackup (Yardley, Pa./Blair Academy)
Projected Weight Class: 149
Highlights: 2016 National Prep. All-American? 2016 Geary Invitational Finalist Team? Pennsylvania National Freestyle Team Member? Two-time Team National Champions.
Nolan Foster (Hoosick, N.Y./Hoosick Falls)
Projected Weight Class: 125
Highlights: Career record of 143-28? Two-time N.Y. State Section Two Champion? Two-time State Qualifier.
Brett Kulp (Reading, Pa./Exeter Township)
Projected Weight Class: 133
Highlights: Career record of 172-27... Two-time PIAA Class AAA District III Champion? Three-time PIAA Class AAA State Medalist (2014 - 5th, 2015 - 4th, 2016 - 4th)? Secured fourth at High School Senior Nationals... Ranked 23rd out of 387 students in his class.
Emmett LiCastri (Easton, Conn./Joel Barlow)
Projected Weight Class: 157
Highlights: Career record of 187-14? Fifth-most wins in state history? 2016 Connecticut State Open Champion? Four-time State Placer? Three-time New England Placer? 2015 Journeyman Classic Champion? 2016 Academic All-State? 2015 United States Army Reserve National Scholar-Athlete? 2015 Joel Barlow Legacy Society Inductee.
Nicholas Maher (West Windsor, N.J./West Windsor Prep.)
Projected Weight Class: 141/149/157
Highlights: Career record of 133-31... Two-time Mercer County Champion? Three-time District 20 Champion? Region Five Champion? Two-time N.J. State Qualifier? Fifth place in 2016 N.J. State Tournament (138 pounds)? 2013 Cross Country Group Four Team State Champion.
Steven Anthony Mercadante (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota)
Projected Weight Class: 184
Highlights: Career record of 140-30, including 79 pins... Three-year captain? Two-time District Champion? Regional Champion? Fifth in Florida State Championships? Two-time Disney Duals All-American? Landed in top-12 percent of high school class? Relay for Life volunteer, Breast Cancer Awareness volunteer.
Reid Robilotto (Laytonsville, Md./The Heights School)
Projected Weight Class: 165/174
Highlights: Four-year varsity starter? Two-time MAWL Champion? Two-time St. James Holloway Tournament placer (champion and runner-up)? Two-time Covenant Life Tournament placer (champion and runner-up)? Member of baseball, soccer and track teams? Brother Philip also attends Franklin & Marshall College.
Eli Smith (Hope, Maine/Camden Hills Regional)
Projected Weight Class: 157
Highlights: Career record of 103-35, including 54 pins? Second place at Conference Tournament? Two-time regional runner up? Four-time state qualifier? Placed second and third at Maine State Championships? Fourth at Maine All-State Tournament? Two-time captain? Team was two-time state champions and runners-up? Twelve-time state qualifier in cross-country, wrestling, and track? Conference All-Academic cross-country? Conference All-Academic wrestling.
Jimmy Stillerman (Blairstown, N.J./Blair Academy)
Projected Weight Class: 174/184
Highlights: Career record of 75-40? N.J. Cadet and Junior team member? Started wrestling in the third grade? Violinist.