COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland wrestling head coach Kerry McCoy announced the addition of two top-flight wrestlers signed for the 2014-2015 season, Friday.
Two in-state products ranked among the best high school wrestlers in the country, Josh Llopez and Alfred Bannister, will strengthen the Terps, who have just begun their 2013-2014 campaign.
“I’m really excited.” McCoy said. “We got two of the best kids in the country and we’re very fortunate they were in the state of Maryland. We’ve got big expectations when they come in here. They’ve had tremendous high school careers and they’re going to help us achieve our goals. It’s a great day for us.”
Known as “Baby J”, Bannister has flourished throughout his high school career at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville. A two-time NHSCA National Champion, Bannister has also won a National Prep Championship.
Expected to compete at 141 pounds in college, the local star is also a three-time Maryland state champion and has notched a Beast of the East crown. Bannister is ranked eighth in the nation by Flowrestling in his weight class and 20th overall by Intermat.
Llopez has been a standout for his entire career at St. Mary’s Ryken in Leonardtown. The two-time Maryland state champ has also won a Junior National Freestyle Championship and a Super 32 title.
A versatile competitor who could contribute at 165 or 174 pounds in College Park, Flowrestling ranks Llopez at fifth in his weight class while Intermat has him at 35th overall in its rankings.
This year’s Terps continue their season this weekend with a dual at Stanford. Action against the Cardinal will begin at 4 p.m.. Select wrestlers will also compete at the NC State Open in Raleigh, N.C., the Cyclone Open in Ames, Iowa and the Roadrunner Open in Fresno, Calif.