Nov. 20, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern's wrestling team has signed what is arguably its best class in school history. Coach Tim Cysewski and the Wildcats inked three incoming freshmen, including Jason Welch (Walnut Creek, Calif./Las Lomas), the number one prospect in the nation, Brian Roddy (Highland Heights, Ohio/St. Edward), the top-ranked prep wrestler nationally at 171 lbs. and Eric Galka (Hobart, Ind./Hobart), nationally the third-ranked wrestler at 130 lbs.
"This recruiting class is a testament to our current team," assistant coach Drew Pariano said. "We obviously work very hard on the recruiting end but our recent success has a big role in this incoming class."
Welch, the nation's top 160-lb. wrestler by W.I.N. Wrestling Magazine, Intermat Wrestling and Amateur Wrestling News, was named to the first-team of ASICS High School All-American Wrestling Team this season. He also voted honorable mention his sophomore year to the same team at 152 lbs. Following a junior campaign that netted a record of 50-0, Sports Focus honored him as being a top prep athlete of the Bay Area.
"Jason Welch is not only a great wrestler, he is a leader and a true student-athlete," Pariano said. "His talents really showed when he competed at the senior level as a junior during the U.S. Open and made it through to the top 16 despite wrestling against older competition."
In 2006, Welch earned a plethora of recognition as he finished first in the state at 160 lbs., first at the Ironman, first in Reno and was voted Most Outstanding Wrestler on five separate occasions. During his sophomore year, Welch compiled a record of 52-2 as he won the state title at 152 lbs., earned the top stop at the Junior Freestyle state tournament, first place at Junior FILA state titles, first in his high school section at NCS, third at the Ironman competition and first in Reno for the first of two-straight times. He also was named Most Outstanding Wrestler four times.
"Welch is an outstanding wrestler and his accomplishments speak for themselves," head coach Tim Cysewski
Roddy joins the team as the fifth member of the team recently recruited from St. Edward High School. He joins the corps as yet another highly-touted recruit as the top-ranked wrestler in the state of Ohio. As last year's 171-lb. state champion, Roddy accumulated a record of 38-1 along the way to earning Academic All-Ohio honors, a third-place finish at the Ironman, a Medina tournament championship and was a member of the Ohio Division I State Championship team and the 2007 High School National Championship team.
"Roddy is one of the best upper weights to ever come out of the St. Edward program and with that school having won multiple national titles, we are very excited to see Roddy coming in," Pariano said.
During his freshman and sophomore campaigns, Roddy had a record of 58-16, while earning two Academic All-State selections, a sectional and district championship his junior year and a place among the Junior National Freestyle All-Americans and the Cadet Freestyle All-American teams.
The third member of the 2007 recruiting class, Galka has already experienced two undefeated high school seasons with two state championships to his credit. As both a freshman and junior, Galka finished the season with perfect records of 47-0 and 48-0, respectively. Both seasons ended with state championships.
"Eric Galka is a seasoned veteran at the age of 18," Pariano said. "He trained at the Overtime School of Wrestling during his prep career and that shows us that he is committed to our sport."
His outstanding freshman season also earned him a junior freestyle state championship, Cadet Freestyle state championship and the Central Regional championship in freestyle. A year later, Galka was named Cadet National All-American at 130 lbs. and followed that up the next year with, a selection among the Junior National All-Americans at 130 and was ranked the No. 2 recruit in the state of Indiana by Intermat Wrestling.
"This class has the makings to be one of the best classes in the country. The talent level of this recruiting class is through the roof," Cysewski said.
High School: Through junior year has compiled a career record of 147-7... Ranked the No. 1 recruit in the nation... Voted all three years as one of the top five high school male athletes in the East Bay, finished second his junior year... Twice wrestled to a state title in 2006-07, second place in 2005... Ironman title, Reno title his junior year... Named Most Outstanding Wrestler in five different tournaments... First-team ASICS High School All American Wrestling Team in 2007, honorable mention in 2006... Sports Focus top prep athlete of the Bay Area in 2007... First place in state in junior freestyle... Four Most Outstanding Wrestler titles sophomore year, five in 2005...Captain of first-ever undefeated football team, all-league ... Voted Outstanding Defensive Lineman of the Year... All-league and NCS Champion in soccer.
Personal: Son of Barb and John Welch... Chose Northwestern over Michigan, Iowa State, Minnesota, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Cal Poly and Arizona State.
Brian Roddy Jr.
High School: 96-17 career high school record through junior season... Ranked No. 1 in the preseason at 171 lbs. going into 2007... 38-1 record as a junior... Won state title and Medina Tournament... Academic All-Ohio in 2005-06... Third place at the Ironman... Member of 2007 High School National Championship team... Second in state, Ironman as a sophomore at 171 lbs... Member of Ohio Division I Championships team from 2005-06... Junior National Freestyle All-American... Sixth in state as a freshman... National Honor Society member... Lettered twice in football.
Personal: Born Brian Robert Roddy Jr. on 7/7/89. Son of Monica and Brian Roddy Sr. ... Chose Northwestern over Ohio State, Michigan, Stanford, and Oklahoma State.
High School: Third-ranked wrestler in the country coming into senior year at 130 lbs... 116-5 career record through junior year... Two undefeated seasons... 48-0 as a junior, won state title... Junior National All-American... State qualifier as a sophomore... Cadet National All-American... Cadet and Junior Regional place winner... 47-0 as a freshman... Won state title at 103 lbs... Junior Freestyle, Cadet Freestyle state champion... Central Region Freestyle champion... National Honor Society member... Two-time National Youth Champion.
Personal: Son of Maria and Mark Galka, Choose Northwestern over Cornell University, Indiana, Columbia and Purdue.