“The addition of Colin Shober and Max Schneider to a strong group of young guys makes this incoming class exceptional,” said Welch. “There’s a lot of talent, and student-athletes who can step in and make a difference right away. We’ve brought in seven young men, and two ready-made leaders. Max and Colin have already competed at the highest collegiate level, and they will spearhead this group.”
Max Schneider: Schneider has a dynamic background as a combat-athlete, and will look to make waves in collegiate wrestling as well as in Judo. A Lane Tech College Prep, Schneider was a two-time state champion, graduated ranked No. 3 in the nation at 152 pounds by Amateur Wrestling News, and went 80-0 in his sophomore and junior seasons combined.
His Judo acumen out-speaks that of his wrestling: he won a youth Olympic medal in Judo in 2010 in Singapore, was asked to be a workout partner for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, and is an Olympic hopeful for 2020 Tokyo. He competed for one season at Cal Poly, where he won the Roadrunner Open before succumbing to an injury. Schneider attended high school in Chicago but was born in California. He will study Kinesiology at San Francisco State.
Colin Shober: Shober comes to San Francisco State for his final year and to begin his Master’s Degree in Education. Out of high school, Shober was a two-time state champion, second-team ASICS All-American honoree, and the all-time leader in wins in the state of Pennsylvania with 194 wins. The Leesport, Pennsylvania native graduated ranked No. 8 in the nation for his weight class, and No. 37 overall by Intermat. He also won the Super 32 and placed fourth at the 2009 Junior Nationals.
Shober was enrolled at Northwestern from 2010-14, where he competed at the Big Ten Tournament, placed at numerous open tournaments, and won the Cleveland State Open.
Aaron Perez: Perez was a three-time California state qualifier and placed seventh as a senior for James Logan HS. He was also a three-time NCS finalist, and a 2017 Greco-Roman All-American. The Union City, California native plans to study Kinesiology.
AJ Bicocca: Bicocca was top 16 in the state of California his senior season at Oak Ridge HS. The El Dorado Hills, California native plans to study Design and will wrestle at the 197 lb weight class.
Jackson Redhair: Redhair was a two-time state qualifier and was top 12 in the state as a junior, and top 16 as a senior. The El Dorado Hills, California native attended Oak Ridge HS and plans to study Criminal Justice and wrestle in the middle weights.
Antonio Gomez: Gomez was a two-time California state qualifier and finished in the top 12 his senior season, as well as a two-time CCS finalist. The Gilroy, California native attended Christopher HS and plans to compete at the heavyweight division.
Justin Hansz: Hansz was a two-time NCS champion and qualified for the California state meet twice, placing in the top 12 both times. He also placed fourth at the California Freestyle and Greco-Roman State Meets respectively. A native of Brentwood, California, he prepped at Liberty HS. He plans to study Nursing.
Tony Margiotta: Marigotta prepped at Las Lomas HS in Walnut Creek, California and was a four-time California state qualifier and a two-time NCS champion. He will wrestle at the lightweights and is currently undelcared.
Jacob Mendoza: Mendoza was a two-time state qualifier and a Master’s Champion. The San Diego native attended Poway HS and plans on studying Mechanical Engineering at San Francisco State.
The Golden Gators will look to build on last season’s success, which was Welch’s first at the helm. The team finished 6-4 in the regular season and finished third at the RMAC Championships with three winners in their respective weight class — two of those grapplers, Nathan Cervantez (133) and Mason Boutain (157), are set to return. So is senior Brandon Vu (125), who along with Cervantez, qualified for Nationals.