SIUE head coach Jeremy Spates
EDWARDSVILLE — SIUE wrestling head coach Jeremy Spates has announced the addition of eight student-athletes to his 2014 recruiting class.
“I am excited about this class. We have a lot of depth up and down,” Spates said. “This class has more potential than what they realize. We have good, hard-working kids. It will be exciting to see how they work and progress over the years.”
Spates welcomes Kenny Baldridge (Morris, Ill.), Clayton Bass (Yorkville, Ill.), Cameron Kelly (Franklin, Mass.), Jake McKiernan (Richmond, Mich.), Angelo Silvestro (Geneva, Ill.), Cameron Throneberry (Edwardsville), K.J. Minor (Channahon, Ill.), and Eric Travers (Cumberland, R.I.).
Baldridge, who was an Illinois state wrestling champion at the 132-pound weight class, finished his senior season posting an impressive state tournament run and undefeated season.
“We are pretty excited about Kenny,” Spates said. “He is a workhorse, a great kid, and he really likes to get after it.”
Bass had a successful career at Yorkville High School, placing twice at the Illinois state championships. But he has been impeded by injuries, causing him to miss some practice time on the mat.
“He is a great kid and will add some depth in the middle weights for us,” Spates said. “This year he has been working with his club team and can’t wait to get back on the mats.”
Kelly finished No. 1 in the state of Massachusetts in his weight class and compiled an overall record of 151-23, garnering accolades during his high school career.
“Cam has done well both in wrestling and his academics,” Spates said. “He has placed multiple times in New England and has been around some good wrestling.”
Spates will fill the void at heavyweight left by graduated senior David Devine with the addition of McKiernon, who will be one of the more versatile wrestlers on the Cougar roster.
“Jake is a very athletic wrestler; he was a three-sport athlete in high school, and we are eager to see what he can do for us,” Spates said.
Silvestro, a transfer from Tompkins Cortland Community College, enjoyed an illustrious prep career at Marmion Academy. During his time at Marmion Academy in Aurora, Silvestro amassed a program-record 149 total wins.
“I have known him for a long time,” Spates said. “We are really excited to bring in Angelo, who has been a part of some great programs.”
Throneberry was a local standout at Edwardsville High School.
“He has a ton of talent and potential. We are looking for big things from him down the road.”
Minor, a 125-pounder, was a two-time state qualifier at Minooka Community High School and placed at the regional tournament three times.
“KJ has a very strong upside,” Spates said. “He comes from a great wrestling program.”
Travers, who expects to compete at the 157-pound weight class, finished in the top three at the Rhode Island state championships four times. That includes a second-place finish as a sophomore and a senior and a third-place finish as a freshman and a junior.
He previously attended the Community College of Rhode Island and is a national powerlifting champion in addition to earning All-State honors in wrestling.
“We are excited to see what Eric can do,” Spates said. “He is very quick and athletic.”
These eight student-athletes join John Muldoon and Nate Higgins in what looks to be a deep 2014 recruiting class.