The No. 5 ranked NC State wrestling team will look to continue its flawless season as it competes in two northern duals this weekend against Drexel and Hofstra.
The Pack is coming off a big win over No. 12 Princeton 29-12. The team won seven of the 10 bouts, four of which the Wolfpack earned extra points in. The Pack’s No. 17 ranked, 174-pound wrestler redshirt junior Daniel Bullard was one of the highlights of the dual with a 1:58 pin in the opening bout.
Drexel is entering the weekend 5-4 overall, its last dual a loss to American University 27-14. The Pack faced the Dragons for the first time last season, beating them 25-16.
Drexel has only one wrestler ranked in the 165-pound weight class, Ebed Jarrell. Jarrell is ranked No. 19 overall with a record of 12-5. He should make for a good matchup against NC State’s Thomas Bullard, who is ranked No. 12 overall with a record of 18-5.
The Hofstra Pride is entering 3-4 overall and is on a current two-dual winning streak after toppling both Citadel 36-7 and Binghamton 25-11. The Pack faced Binghamton earlier in the season, Nov. 23, and won the dual 28-9.
NC State last faced the Pride in 2016 and has won each of two duals the teams have had against one another.
The Pack’s more experienced members have been leading the way, especially redshirt junior Hayden Hidlay in the 157-pound weight class, who is ranked No. 2 overall. However, NC State has several other top-ranked redshirt juniors, such as No. 14 Tariq Wilson in the 141-pound weight class and the Bullard twins, Daniel and Thomas, each ranked in the top 20 of their respective weight classes.
Supplementing them are a few young guns who have really made names for themselves, snatching up starter roles despite being only redshirt freshmen: Jakob Camacho in the 125-pound weight class; Jarrett Trombley in the 133-pound weight class; and another brother combo with Hayden’s brother Trent Hidlay, who is ranked No. 3 overall in the 184-pound weight class.
The Pack’s balance of older leadership and young energy is a great sign of the extended success the program has enjoyed, and all of them should be poised for big wins to cap off nonconference play.
These weekend duals will be the Wolfpack’s last before the start of ACC play. NC State is one of three undefeated programs in the nation and looks to go 10-0 to start a season for the third time in the last five seasons.