Despite losing several top wrestlers to graduation, Christian County enters the 2018 season ranked fourth statewide in the kentuckywrestling.com preseason rankings.
The Colonels finished second in the region and seventh at the state tournament – their best finish since 1997.
Christian County has three wrestlers ranked in the top five of their class in the preseason rankings.
Jakerion Merritt is ranked first in the 132-pound class after a region title and fourth place finish at state in 2017.
Niko Bussell, who finished second in the region and fifth at state in the 195-pound class last year, moves up to the 220-pound class where he is ranked third in the preseason and second in the region.
Gage Fowler, who finished second in the region and fourth in the state in the 106-pound class, also makes a move up. He is ranked fifth in the 113-pound class and first in the region.
Cameron Coleman is ranked sixth in the 160-pound class and second in the region. He finished sixth in the weight class last year.
Neil Aldridge won the region title in 145-pound class and advanced to the fourth round at state last year. He is ranked ninth in the 145-pound class and first in the region in the preseason.
Michael Elkins, who finished third at region last year, is ranked 15th in the 285-pound class and second in the region.
Ethan Wells, who claimed runner-up at region in the 120-pound class last year, is ranked 16th in the 120-pound class statewide and fourth in the region.
Antonio Abren is ranked 16th in the 170-pound class and sixth in the region.
Kenyon Drayton is ranked 22nd in the 182-pound class and second in the region.
Defending state champion Union County is ranked first in the statewide preseason rankings. Christian County is ranked fourth, followed by McCracken County (16th), Trigg County (32nd), Caldwell County (34th), and Fort Campbell (36th).
Christian County opens their 2018 wrestling season Saturday.