The Eastern Oregon men’s wrestling team was selected sixth in the inaugural Cascade Collegiate Conference Coaches’ Preseason Poll for the 2017-2018 season.

The Mountaineers will look to build off a strong first year in 2016-17 after receiving 27 points in the poll, just five points behind fifth-ranked Embry-Riddle.

Second-year head coach Dustyn Azure is hoping to continue the program’s growth with 22 newcomers this season. In Azure’s first season, Eastern Oregon finished with a 3-8 record for the year. The team dominated Lassen College (42-9) and West Hills College LeMoore (42-15) in duals at the beginning of the season. The men also prevailed over current CCC opponent and seventh-ranked Warner Pacific with a 33-9 victory on Jan. 27.

EOU brings back an arsenal of weapons and is led by returning veterans – junior Mhar Caballa (125) and senior Eric Fan (225). Both men competed in the NAIA Championships last year.

Junior transfer Drake Randall joins EOU as a two-time national qualifier from Montana State-Northern. 3A state champion and All-American A.J. Rockwell will also look to make an impact in his first year in La Grande.

Southern Oregon sits at the top of the CCC Poll with 58 points followed by second ranked Providence (57) and third ranked Menlo (49).

EOU will open its season Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. in Quinn Coliseum for the annual Blue and Gold Wrestle-Off. On Oct. 28, the team has its first regular season competition at the Lassen C.C. Duals in Susanville, Calif. The Mountaineers open their home schedule on Nov. 4 against Providence, who was picked second in the CCC poll.

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