BENNINGTON -- After a year in which the Mount Anthony Union High School wrestling team won its 25th straight Vermont state crown and seventh New England title, the Patriots are ranked No. 25 nationally by Win Magazine in its pre-season rankings.
"It’s a goal of ours to land on there, it gives Bennington the recognition it deserves," said MAU wrestling coach Scott Legacy. "The kids have worked hard to get that recognition on a national level."
Legacy said he found out about the honor from middle school coach Jeff Whitesell, who had seen the magazine’s online version.
"He texted me and told me I needed to see it," Legacy said.
Mount Anthony has been ranked before, the last time being in the top 50 nationally in 2002, Legacy said.
Before that, USA Today used to rank wrestling teams and had Mount Anthony in the mix, the last time at a point in the late 1990s.
"There’s so many schools across the country and it’s awesome to see our program at such a high level," Legacy said.
Individually, the rankings name guys like Troy Gassaway, Dylan LaFountain, Austin Price, Tyler Mattison and New England champion Jesse Webb as major players coming into the season.
The senior Webb, who has his eyes set on the top of the all-time win list at MAU, is ranked eighth nationally in the Win Magazine list at 285 pounds, behind three guys who have committed to playing D-I football.
"They are also getting recognized on an individual level, the kids have traveled all over for that," Legacy said. "It also shows in where the kids are getting offers to go to college."
New Jersey’s Blair Academy tops the rankings after winning its 33rd consecutive Prep school championship last spring.