Nov. 19, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State wrestling team and head coach Tom Minkel announced Monday that three student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent and will join the program for the 2013-14 season. Joining the Spartans will be Javier Gasca (Kingsburg, Calif./Kingsburg), Josh Pennell (St. Johns, Mich./St. Johns), and Mitch Rogaliner (Temperance, Mich./Temperance Bedford).
"This is a really excellent group of young men and really fills some of our needs," Minkel said. "As we look to the future, we are really looking for young men who are outstanding wrestlers and also good students. In every case here, every one of these individuals fits that mold."
Below is a look at the accomplishments of each wrestler:
Javier Gasca - 133 pounds - Kingsburg, Calif./Kingsburg
Ranked the No. 57 recruit in the nation according to InterMat ... Is currently ranked 14th nationally at 138 pounds according to FLO Wrestling ... Earned all-state honors in 2012 by placing third in the California State Championships at 132 pounds ... Is a 2012 Five Counties Champion, 2012 Doc Buchanan Champion, placed second at the 2012 FLO Nationals, second at the 2012 SW Kickoff Classic, and eighth at 2012 Super 32 ... Is projected to wrestle at 133 for the Spartans.
Minkel on Gasca: "Javier is really one of the more gifted athletes that I've seen in the senior class this year. He is just enormously talented and you can tell he has exceptional athletic skills. He has really done a lot of his development on his own. He is clearly a young man that has unlimited potential; we think he will be a big time kid for us."
Josh Pennell - 141 pounds - St. Johns, Mich./St. Johns
Ranked the No. 5 recruit in the state by MichiganGrappler.com ... Division 2 state runner-up in 2011 and 2009 ... Placed third in the state as a sophomore ... Placed third at the 2011 Junior Greco All-American Tournament ... Was runner-up at the 2011 FILA Cadet Freestyle Nationals ... Finished fourth at the 2010 Cadet Freestyle All-American Tournament ... Was the runner-up at the 2010 Cadet Greco Nationals ... Is projected to wrestle at 141/149 for the Spartans.
Minkel on Pennell:"Josh has wrestled at St. Johns and done very well. He's part of the dominant high school program in the state of Michigan and actually one of the better high school programs in the country. He has really been a factor in that team's success. He is a 4.0 student with great test scores and is just an outstanding young man. We are excited to have him and he will join the St. Johns kids that we have here in Travis Curley and Jordan Wohlfert. He has a great work ethic, a great student, great kid and he lives nearby so it's a good fit."
Mitch Rogaliner - 125 pounds - Temperance, Mich./Temperance Bedford
Ranked the No. 6 recruit in the state by MichiganGrappler.com ... Four-year letterwinner for head coach Kevin Vogel at Temperance Bedford High School ... Won the state title at 103 pounds as a freshman ... Finished runner-up as a sophomore and won the state title at 112 pounds as a junior ... Is projected to wrestle for the Spartans at 125/133.
Minkel on Rogaliner: "Mitch is a pretty phenomenal young man; he is a two-time state champion and has been a little bit under the radar. He has wrestled at 103 and 112 and we weren't really sure that he would be big enough to be a 125 pounder but he has lifted hard, worked hard and has grown. He is going to be a solid 125 and he might move into 133 at one point down the road. Another thing Mitch brings is that he is a really outstanding student and comes from a really strong academic background. He is the whole package and we are really excited to have him."