PAINESVILLE, OHIO -- Lake Erie College sophomore All-American Matt Vandermeer (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) headlines the early list of Storm wrestlers in the preseason rankings according to both the Division II Wrestling Coaches Association and the Basford Ratings released Friday (Oct. 19).
Vandermeer, coming off a sixth-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Division II Championships, is ranked second nationally by the coaches and third by Basford at 165 pounds heading into the season.
At the regional level, Vandermeer is one of six individuals listed in the top eight at their respective weight classes. He is listed at second at 165, ranking behind the University of Findlay's Mason True, the NCAA Division II national runner-up a year ago who tops both the regional and national lists. In their two meetings last season, Vandermeer earned a 3-0 decision at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championships while True edged out a 3-2 win in the Super II Regional finals.
Two Storm wrestlers are ranked fifth regionally heading into the 2012-13 campaign. Sophomore Ian Ross (Newark, N.Y./Newark) holds that spot at 125 pounds while classmate Austin Gillihan (Corry, Pa./Corry Area), a national qualifier at 125 pounds last season, ranks fifth at 133 pounds.
Junior Josh Linden (Broadview Heights, Ohio/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) is ranked sixth at 174 pounds while sophomore Bobby Zappitelli (Painesville Twp., Ohio/Lake Catholic) is sixth in the heavyweight division.
Rounding out the Storm contingent in the preseason regional Basford Ratings is freshman Devin Smith (Salem, Va./Salem) who checks in at eighth at 184 pounds.
Lake Erie is ranked eighth in Super Region II heading into the campaign.
The Storm open the season on Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Eastern Michigan University Open in Yspilanti, Mich.