The North Carolina wrestling squad will open the 2012-13 season Sunday when the Tar Heels send 23 wrestlers to compete in the annual Hokie Open in Salem, Va.
Carolina will have 14 wrestlers competing, with another nine wrestling unattached.
Leading the way will be sophomore Evan Henderson who will be looking to defend his Hokie Open title that the 141-pounder claimed in his collegiate debut a year ago.
Redshirt junior Brian Bokoski and sophomore transfer Jake Reinemund will be competing for the Tar Heels at 125 pounds. Bokoski went 3-2 a year ago at the Hokie Open with a major decision. Freshman Nathan Kaisser will wrestle unattached at 125 pounds as well.
The Tar Heels will also send a pair of 133 pounders to Salem, Va. as junior Josh Craig and redshirt sophomore Pat Owens will get the call. Owens returns to action after a redshirt year, following a successful freshman campaign. Three more Tar Heels will wrestle unattached in freshmen Luke Mario, Joey Ward and Matt Williams.
Henderson returns to the site of his first career tournament win where he went 5-0 a year ago. He will be joined by redshirt sophomore Nick Heilmann at 141 pounds, while freshmen Joey Moon and Cody Ross will wrestle unattached.
Freshman Ryan Harrington will be the only Tar Heel competing at 157 pounds as an unattached wrestler.
John Staudenmayer will get the call at 165 pounds after a successful redshirt season a year ago. Staudenmayer went 28-11 a year ago wrestling unattached. A pair of unattached wrestlers will also be in action at 165 pounds in junior Corey Mock and freshman Scott Marmoll.
Sophomore Frank Abbondanza will move to a more natural weight class at 174 pounds after filling in at heavyweight during his freshman campaign. Abbondanza went 2-2 a year ago at the Hokie Open, wrestling at 197.
Sophomore Alex Utley finished third in the Hokie Open a year ago with a 6-1 record at 184 pounds.
Redshirt sophomore Antonio Giorgio returns to action after a redshirt season a year ago. Giorgio was 2-2 a year ago at the Hokie Open, wrestling unattached at 184 pounds but will make the move to 197 this year.
Redshirt freshman Jake Barnhart will make his collegiate debut on Sunday at the Hokie Open after redshirting a year ago. Barnhart did not compete for the Tar Heels in his first season.