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NC State’s Wrestling Recruiting Class Ranked as High as #3 Nationally



RALEIGH, N.C. – Head coach Pat Popolizio and his staff have finalized the Wolfpack’s 2018 signing class. The group consists of 17 prep signees and one All-American transfer.

The group holds a consensus top-six ranking nationally in four different publications. InterMat ranks the Wolfpack’s recruiting class No. 3 nationally, WIN Magazine tabbed it No. 4, and both FloWrestling and TheOpenMat ranked the Pack’s haul No. 6.

“This is a complete class, we met all of our needs with this group,” said head coach Pat Popolizio. “With the amount of talent we have coming back, plus our redshirts from last year, we will be looking to build off of last year’s success with the addition of these newcomers.

“They are very talented and even more motivated as a group. They agree with our philosophies that we have established, and blended with all of our returning wrestlers, the future for NC State Wrestling is extremely bright.”

Just two years ago, NC State’s 2016 recruiting class was ranked No. 1 nationally by both FloWrestling and InterMat. In that class, the Pack signed two of the top-six ranked wrestlers in the 2016 recruiting class, and five in the top-66 overall.

Below are the write-ups from all four websites about the Wolfpack’s 2018 signees:

#3. NC State

Top 100 recruits: No. 19 Jakob Camacho (Danbury, Conn.), No. 22 Trent Hidlay (Mifflin County, Pa.), No. 53 Jarrett Trombley (Lake Fenton, Mich.), No. 55 Josiah Rider (Grand Junction, Colo.), and No. 84 Tyler Barnes (Ballston Spa, N.Y.)

Other ranked recruits: Deonte Wilson (Amityville, N.Y.) and Colin Lawler (Kinkaid School, Texas)

Impact transfer: Justin Oliver (Central Michigan)

Commentary: Two years ago head coach Pat Popolizio and staff pulled in the No. 1 recruiting class. This past season two of those wrestlers – in their redshirt freshman season – were key components to the Wolfpack earning a “trophy finish” at the national tournament; Hayden Hidlaywas runner-up at 157, while Tariq Wilson took third at 133. Familiarity is the theme in this class; its anchors beng Hayden’s younger but bigger (in size) brother Trent, as well as the dynamite lightweight Camacho, who graduated the same high school as three-time All-American Kevin Jack. Given this program’s track record with less heralded recruits, the pair of projected 197 and 285 wrestlers (Wuest and Tyler Houghton, Wilson and Lawler) could emerge to the impact level. In addition, 2016 All-American Oliver provides a one-year “solution” at 149.

#4. NC State

Popolizio helped himself everywhere, particularly in the upper weights Trent Hidlay of Lewistown (Pa.) Mifflin County and Tyler Barnes of Ballston Spa (N.Y.) will likely be at 184 and Tyrie Houghton of Matthews Weddington and Delaware OW Tony Wuest of Smyrna at 197, all of whom won state titles easily. So did four-time Michigan champion Jarrett Trombley (141-149) of Linden Lake Fenton and three-time Colorado champion Josiah Rider (149-157) of Grand Junction.

#6: NC State

Top 100 Recruits
#18 Trent Hidlay, PA (174/184)
#23 Jakob Camacho, CT (125/133)
#56 Josiah Rider, CO (157)
#74 Jarrett Trombley, MI (133/141)
#81 Tyler Barnes, NY (174/184)
Transfer: Justin Oliver (Central Michigan, 1 year)

Why They’re Here: I’m always trying to stress the importance of recruiting, and while the numbers are on my side, NC State does a good job smiling in the face of it. Well, kinda. The Wolfpack have done wonders with low- or un-ranked kids. Just this year Tariq Wilson (#66), Kevin Jack (UR) and Mike Macchiavello (UR), combined for 53pts, pacing them to their highest finish ever.  That’s not to say recruiting is not important to them; they had blue chipper Hayden Hidlay make the finals. But NC State has a great track record at identifying diamonds in the rough. There is some familiarity with the group they bring in this year. Fargo finalist Trent Hidlay is the brother of Hayden, and Super 32 Champ Jakob Camacho comes from the same high school as Jack. They are clear AA-level wrestlers with three solid other ranked recruits to develop. I particularly like what they’ve done at the upper weights with FloNats Champ Barnes, FloNats placers Wuest and Houghton, and Wilson and Lawler who very well could have been ranked if they wrestled more nationally.

Flashback Stat: NC State’s recruiting class last year was unranked. But their 2016 Class was #1, and brought in Hidlay, Nick Reenan, Tariq, and the Bullards. Between 2016 and 2018 recruits, future Pack teams will likely push for more March hardware.

#6: NC State

#4 at 170 Trent Hidlay (Mifflin County, PA) 174
#9 at 152 Josiah Rider (Grand Junction, CO) 157
#10 at 126 Jakob Camacho (Danbury, CT) 125
#11 at 132 Jarrett Trombley (Lake Fenton, MI) 141
#15 at 170 Tyler Barnes (Ballston Spa, NY) 184
#18 at 285 Colin Lawler (Kincaid School, TX) 285
—Transfer Justin Oliver (Central Michigan) 149

NC State continues to get better every season, and with a recruiting class like this one, they have shown that they do not plan to stop any time soon. The Wolfpack will get the services of All-American 149 lber Justin Oliver for a season. Oliver will be considered one of the title contenders in a weight class left open by the departure of Zain Retherford. Trent Hidlay is a two-time Pennsylvania state champion that will follow his brother’s footsteps to Raleigh. Hayden Hidlay was an NCAA runner-up as a freshman in 2018. Connecticut’s Jakob Camacho got to the top of the podium at both the Super 32 and FloNationals in a senior season that was otherwise disrupted by injuries. Four-time Michigan state champion Jarrett Trombley could be among those who try to fill-in for the graduation of three-time All-American Kevin Jack. There will be plenty of help to try and replace 197 lb NCAA Champion Michael Macchiavello between Tony Wuest and Tyrie Houghton, both Super 32 placers.

Tyler Barnes
184/197 • Fr.
Rock City Falls, N.Y. • Ballston Spa HS

Prep: Finished his career with over 220 wins … State Finalist as a senior at Division I 170 pounds … Went 46-1 on the season … State champion at 170 pounds as a junior going a perfect 41-0 … Became his school’s first state champion … Won 87 straight matches during final two seasons … Times Union Large School Wrestler of the Year as both a senior and junior … Placed fifth at 170 pounds as a sophomore … Four-time Section II champion … 2018 FloNationals champion … 2018 Eastern States Champion … 2017 FloNationals All-American, placing fifth … 2017 UWW Freestyle National All-American … 2017 NHSCA Junior National Champion … 2016 Cadet National Freestyle and Greco-Roman Runner-Up … Father, Terry, placed second at NY state championships as a senior … High school teammate of fellow signee Jake Cook … Ranked #14 at 170 pounds and #81 overall by FloWrestling … Ranked #11 at 182 pounds and #84 overall by InterMat … Ranked #15 at 170 pounds by TheOpenMat.

Jakob Camacho
125/133 • Fr.
Danbury, Conn. • Danbury HS

Prep: Three-time Connecticut State Open champion … Missed most of senior season due to injury … 2018 FloNationals champion … 2017 Super 32 National Champion … Became the first high school wrestler from Connecticut to win a national championship since 2003, and is the first public school student to accomplish the feat … 2017 FloNationals All-American, placing second … 2017 Junior National Freestyle All-American … 2016 NHSCA National All-American … Trained with fellow signee Matt Grippi at Iowa Style Wrestling Club … Attended the same high school as three-time All-American Kevin Jack … Ranked #11 at 126 pounds and #23 overall by FloWrestling … Ranked #19 overall by InterMat … Ranked #10 at 126 pounds by TheOpenMat.

Jake Cook
197 • Fr.
Ballston Spa, N.Y. • Ballston Spa HS

Prep: Placed fourth at the state championships at 182 pounds as a senior … 2017 New York State Qualifier at 182 pounds … Went 33-5 with 20 pins and surpassed 100 career wins … Advanced to state quarterfinals … Two-time UWW Cadet National Freestyle All-American … 2016 New York State Freestyle and Greco-Roman Champion … Also was a first team all-state linebacker on the football team … Carried a GP of 3.6 … High school teammate of fellow signee Tyler Barnes … Younger brother of former NC State wrestler Bill Cook (2013-15).

Alex Faison
157/165 • Fr.
Cameron, N.C. • Union Pines HS

Prep: Placed fourth as a senior at the NC 3A state championships at 160 pounds … As a junior, won a 3A state title at 152 pounds … Went 28-6 on the year … Only starting wrestling once he got to high school.

Matt Fields
133/141 • Fr.
Brunswick, Ohio • Walsh Jesuit HS

Prep: Placed seventh at the state championships at 132 pounds as a senior … Went 41-5 on the year … Division I state champion as a junior at 126 pounds, allowed just one point in tournament … Posted a record of 38-6 … State finalist as a sophomore at 113 pounds … Went 84-17 as a sophomore and junior … Two-time Top Gun Placer … Held a GPA of 3.925.

Justin Grant
165/174 • Fr.
Tallahassee, Fla. • Lincoln HS

Prep: Finished with a career record of 129-12 … Placed third at the Florida 2A state championships as a senior … Posted a record of 43-4 that year … 22 wins came via pin and eight were tech falls … As a senior, named Northwest Florida Class 2A Wrestler of the Year and All-Big Bend Wrestler of the Year … Placed third at 160 pounds as a junior with a 51-1 record and was fourth as a sophomore at 152 pounds … Three-time regional champion … Three-time Disney Duals All-American … Older brother, Jamie, is a pitcher at Florida A&M.

Matt Grippi
149/157 • Fr.
Bedford Hills, N.Y. • Fox Lane HS

Prep: Three-time New York state finalist … School’s all-time wins leader with over 240 career victories … Runner-up at state championships as a senior at 152 pounds … Entered states with 239 career wins, which ranked second all time for Section I … Three-time section champion … As a senior, voted Champion of Champions after regionals … Placed fifth at 2018 FloNationals … Also earned All-American honors at 2016 FloNationals … Trained with fellow signee Jakob Camacho at Iowa Style Wrestling Club … Youngest of four brothers.

Trent Hidlay
174 • Fr.
Lewistown, Pa. • Mifflin County HS

Prep: State champion as both a senior and junior … Finished his career 153-14, and won the final 81 high school matches of his career … Did not surrender a takedown during the winning streak … Second-most career wins in county history … Claimed top honors at 3A 170 pounds as a senior, outscoring his opponents in the state tournament 64-19 … Went a perfect 43-0 as a senior … Also went undefeated as a junior, 38-0, and won the state title at 160 pounds … State finalist as a sophomore … First wrestler in Mifflin County history to reach the finals three times … Also the second two-time state champion in county history, first from his high school … Won four District 6 titles and three in the Northwest regional … Wrestled in the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic … Placed third at the 2018 UWW Junior World Team Trials at 79 kg … 2017 Junior National Freestyle and Greco-Roman Runner-Up … 2017 FloNationals Champion … 2016 PowerAde Champion … 2016 Journeyman Classic Champion … Three-time Super 32 placer … Held a 4.0 GPA … Older brother, Hayden, is a member of the Wolfpack and was a NCAA Finalist as a redshirt-freshman in 2018 … Ranked #3 at 170 pounds and #18 overall by FloWrestling … Ranked No. 2 at 170 pounds and #22 overall by InterMat … Ranked #4 at 170 pounds by TheOpenMat.

Tyrie Houghton
197 • Fr.
Matthews, N.C. • Weddington HS

Prep: Won the 3A state title at 195 pounds as a senior … Went undefeated as a senior, and won the state title with a pin …Took third at the 2018 FloNationals … 2018 NHSCA All-American with a fifth place finish … State runner-up at 182 pounds as a junior … Posted 92 career wins … Earned all-county and all-conference honors final three years … 2017 Disney Duals All-American … 2017 Super 32 Placer … Held a 4.95 GPA and ranked in the top-five of his class … Also played varsity football as a tight end and fullback, and team was state champions as a junior.

Colin Lawler
285 • Fr.
Houston, Texas • The Kinkaid School

Prep: Three-time Texas Prep state champion … Took top honors at heavyweight as a senior … Went a perfect 36-0 as a senior, all wins by pin … Claimed titles at 220 previously … 2018 National Prep Champion … Houston area’s first in-season, prep-school national champion … Named Houston Chronicle’s All-Greater Houston Boys Wrestler of the Year … 2017 National Prep All-American, placing fourth … 2017 Super 32 Placer, taking third … 2015 USA Wrestling Preseason National Champion … 2015 Cadet National Freestyle and Greco-Roman All-American … Originally from Penfield, New York … Held a 3.72 GPA … Ranked #20 at heavyweight by FloWrestling … Also ranked #18 by InterMat and TheOpenMat.

Joshua Lehr
133/141 • Fr.
Holly Springs, N.C. • Holly Springs HS

Prep: Two-time North Carolina 4A state runner-up … Finished his career with over 100 wins … Lone loss as a senior was in the state finals at 132 pounds … Was 7-0 as a junior, missing most of the season due to injury … Placed second at the NC State championships as a sophomore … Went 37-1 as a sophomore at 113 pounds, his only loss was a medical forfeit in the state finals … Wrestled his freshman season at Panther Creek HS.

Justin Oliver
149 • Gr.
Davison, Mich. • Central Michigan/Davison HS

2017-18 (at Central Michigan): Posted a 28-7 record at 149 pounds … NCAA Qualifier for the third straight year, he entered as the No. 6 seed … Went 3-2, and fell one win short of All-American honors … Placed fourth at the MAC Championships … Went a perfect 6-0 and took top honors at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational … Was second at the Midlands Championships … 14 of his 28 wins were for bonus points … Was 7-2 in duals … Ranked #11 in final FloWrestling rankings.

2016-17 (at Central Michigan): Finished 32-9 at 149 pounds … Qualified for the NCAA Championships finished 3-2, one win from All-American honors … Was the No. 9 seed … Went 3-1 to place third in the MAC Championships … Recorded nine pins, four technical falls, and six major decisions … Went 3-1 to place second at the Eastern Michigan Open … Went 4-0 to place first at the Michigan State Open … Went 5-1 at the Las Vegas Invitational … Went 5-1 to place second at the Midlands Championship.

2015-16 (at Central Michigan): Earned All-America honors with a seventh-place finish at 149 pounds at the NCAA Championships … Started as the No. 9 seed … Won four matches at the NCAA Championships, defeating Boise State’s Geo Martinez, 5-1, in the seventh-place bout … Placed second at the MAC Championships … Named to the Amateur Wrestling News 2016 All-Rookie Team … Earned CMU’s Chick Sherwood Outstanding Wrestler Award, the Most Takedowns Award and the Most Team Points Award … Recorded a team-high 32 wins (32-7) … Posted a perfect 6-0 mark in MAC dual meets … Placed second at the Michigan State Invite, falling to teammate Colin Heffernan in the final … Won the 149-lb. weight class title at the Cleveland State Open, going 4-0 … Took third place at the Southern Scuffle with a 6-1 record … Posted nine straight dual meet wins from Jan. 9 through Feb. 21, including six MAC victories … Honored on the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic Team.

2014-15 (at Central Michigan): Redshirted the season … Went 25-7 on the season with five pin falls … Went 4-1 at the Michigan State Open while taking third place … Named the Chippewas’ Redshirt Freshman of the Year.

Prep: Went 172-5 during standout career at Davison High School … Won Division I state titles in 2011 and 2012, placing third in 2013, and runner-up in 2014.

Jarred Papscy
141/149 • Fr.
Bethlehem, Pa. • Bethlehem HS

Prep: Finished high school career with a 106-39 record … Went 26-8 as a senior … Missed the state tournament as a senior due to injury … Placed fourth at the 3A PA state championships as a junior.

Josiah Rider
149 • Fr.
Grand Junction, Colo. • Grand Junction HS 

Prep: Three-time state champion … Placed first at 152 pounds with a prefect record as a senior at 5A … Helped team to win Class 5A wrestling state championship title … Went a combined 75-2 as a junior (145) and sophomore (152) in also winning state titles … Named ALL-USA Wrestling: Third Team as a junior … Cadet National All-American … UWW Junior National runner-up in Greco … 2016 Super 32 Runner-Up … 2016 Ironman Runner-Up … NHSCA Freshman National Champion … Held a 3.6 GPA … Ranked #14 at 152 pounds and #56 nationally by FloWrestling … Ranked #11 at 152 pounds and #55 nationally by InterMat.

Jarrett Trombley
141/149 • Fr.
Owosso, Mich. • Lake Fenton HS

Prep: Four-time state champion with a career record of 194-1 … His only loss came as a freshman by one point, and he is the 23rd wrestler in Michigan history to win four state titles … Went a perfect 59-0 in capturing the Division 3 state title at 130 pounds as a senior … Set a national record for single season takedowns with over 550, averaging over 10 a match … Won state titles at 130 pounds as a junior, 119 as a sophomore and 103 as a freshman (at Corunna) … 2015 Grappler Fall Classic Champion … Held a 4.0 GPA … Has five brothers … Ranked No. 8 by FloWrestling at 132 pounds and No. 74 overall … Ranked No. 7 at 132 pounds and #53 overall by InterMat … Ranked No. 11 by TheOpenMat at 132 pounds.

Alex Urquiza
141/149 • Fr.
Miami, Fla. • Southwest HS

Prep: Florida 3A state champion at 138 pounds as a senior … Went 56-2 on the season … Placed third at 132 pounds as a junior with a record of 59-3 … Was fifth as a sophomore also at 132 pounds.

Deonte Wilson
285 • Fr.
Amityville, N.Y. • Amityville Memorial HS

Prep: Finished his high school career with a record of 166-23 … State champion at 285 pounds as a senior … Became his school’s first state champion since 2001 … Went 31-2 as a senior, only two losses were forfeits … Named to Newsday’s All Long Island Wrestling team … Finished second at state championships as a junior … Was Suffolk County champion as both a senior and junior … Placed second at the 2018 NHSCA senior nationals … Also played high school football … Ranked No. 12 by InterMat at 285 pounds.

Tony Wuest
197 • Fr.
Smyrna, Del. • Smyrna HS

Prep: Three-time state champion … Missed the honor as a sophomore with an injury, was 27-5 at time of the injury … Finished his high school career 129-18 … 108 of those wins were by pin, with 93 coming in the first period … Won back-to-back state titles at 195 pounds as a junior and senior … Was named the DIAA individual tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler both years … Went 38-2 as a junior and was named The News Journal’s 2017 state high school wrestler of the year … Won the state title as the sixth seed as a freshman and went 22-9 on the season … Two-time NHSCA All-American … 2018 Beast of the East finalist … Finished seventh at the 2018 FloNationals … 2017 Super 32 placer … 2016 Beast of the East Placer … Father, Ronnie, is an NC State grad and a Royce Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt … Ranked No. 19 by InterMat at 195 pounds.

NC State Baseball

CBS: NC State’s Athletic Department Ranked 15th in 2017-18



CBS just released their rankings of the Top 124 athletic programs of the 2017-18 athletic year, and NC State ranked 15th. Ironically, using a different formula, NC State also finished 15th in the final Director’s Cup standings. Here’s a breakdown of the formula that CBS uses:

We rate every FBS school in three sports — football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball — along with two “wild cards” among the school’s most successful spectator sports: baseball, softball, volleyball, soccer, gymnastics, lacrosse, hockey and wrestling.

The weighted formula puts 2.5 times as much emphasis on football compared to women’s basketball and the “wild cards;” men’s basketball is worth twice as many points. Teams that did not finish in the final AP Top 25 in football but played in a bowl were awarded 62.5 points (25 x 2.5). Teams that made the NIT were given 20 points (10 x 2), while WNIT teams received 10 points. For all titles settled via bracket, point totals were based upon how many teams participated. All champions in the other sports received 100 points for a national title. For example: Florida State received 100 points in softball, while the second-place finisher received 90 points. (CBS)

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NC State Baseball

NC State Finishes 15th in Final Directors’ Cup Standings



The final Directors’ Cup Standings were repressed this morning, and NC State finished 15th, which is the best finish in school history.

In fact, NC State has never finished in the Top-25 since the Directors’ Cup began in 1993. The highest they have ever finished was 27th in 2014-15.

NC State’s History in the Directors’ Cup

93-94 : 59th
94-95 : 32nd
95-96 : 34th
96-97 : 57th
97-98 : 43rd
98-99 : 63rd
99-00 : 40th
00-01 : 56th
01-02 : 46th
02-03 : 43rd
03-04 : 39th
04-05 : 51st
05-06 : 34th
06-07 : 44th
07-08 : 56th
08-09: 74th
09-10 : 89th
Debbie Yow takes over as Athletic Director
10-11 : 67th
11-12: 37th
12-13 : 34th
13-14 : 41st
14-15 : 27th
15-16: 32nd
16-17: 29th
17-18: 15th

For a more in depth look at the progress of NC State’s Athletic Program, check out this.

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NC State Baseball

NC State Has the #19 Best Undergrad Program for Entrepreneurs



Entrepreneur magazine ranked the Top-25 schools with the best undergraduate programs for entrepreneurs, and NC State ranked 19th.

Here’s what they had to say about NC State:

The entrepreneurship center at North Carolina State University was established in 2008. It currently offers 28 entrepreneurship-related undergraduate courses. Over the last five years, its graduates have started 66 companies and have collectively raised over $222.5 million in funding. Over the last 10 years, its graduates have started 82 companies and have collectively raised over $257 million in funding.

During the 2016-17 academic year North Carolina State University students won $42,000 in prize money at competitions they participated in.

Fifty-nine percent of its undergraduate entrepreneurship faculty has started, bought or run a successful business, and 45 individual mentors worked with students through an officially sponsored school program. (Entrepreneur)

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NC State Baseball

ANALYSIS: NC State Fans Should Be Proud of Exponential Progress



As the end of the 2017-18 athletic year comes to an end, when you simply look at the data, you can’t miss the fact that NC State’s athletic program as a whole continues to make massive strides in the right direction.

With one sport (Baseball) left to finalize the 2017-18 Directors’ Cup Final Standings, NC State sits in 15th place nationally. The Directors’ Cup, which began in 1993, calculates the best overall college athletic programs in the country. For starters, as you see below, NC State’s athletic program has moved from 89th nationally in 2010, to likely finishing in the Top-15 in 2018. That number only becomes more impressive when you consider the fact that NC State ranked 48th out of 65 Power 5 schools in expenses this year. NC State doesn’t have deep pockets like many of the Power 5 schools do, but that hasn’t stopped them from becoming one of the elite athletic programs nationally.

As you see in the chart below, even though NC State’s expenses rank 48th out of 65 Power 5 schools, the expenses have increased by $36.9 million since 2010, and the Operating Revenue by $34.9 million. Financially, things are continuing to head in the right direction, and the more they do so, the possibilities of increased success in each individual sport continues to rise as well.

Sure, NC State fans want ACC Championships, as well they should, but the Wolfpack fan base should also be extremely proud of the work the student athletes are producing in the classroom. As you can see in the chart below, in 2010 NC State had 4 Academic All-Americans in the entire Athletic Program. In 2018, that number jumped to 53, which is an increase of 1,225%.

For the first time ever, the cumulative average GPA for all of NC State’s athletes combined is over 3.0.

The Graduation Success Rate for the Wolfpack Athletic Program in 2017-18 is 85%, which is the highest in NC State history.

Lets move our attention back from the academics to the athletic. NC State had 6 coaches win Coach of the Year Awards this year for the second consecutive year. Only 1 coach won such an award in 2010, with none doing so in 2011.

This year 12 NC State athletes were National Champions, which once again, is the highest mark in school history.

Seventy-Five Wolfpack athletes were Competitive All-Americans this season. As you look at the chart below, that number was in the single digits in 2010 and 2011. Once again, an all-time high.

For the third consecutive year, 3 NC State sports took home conference championships (Gymnastics, Men’s Swimming and Women’s Cross Country).

11 NC State sports finished in the Top-25 in the Final Rankings, which is yet again, another all-time high. We will have to wait and see if Baseball lands in the Top-25 in the Final Rankings, bringing that number to 12.

NC State Athletic Director Debbie Yow has this ship heading in the right direction. That isn’t anecdotal. The data is there to prove it.

(Thanks to Fred Demarest, NC State’s Senior Associate Athletics Director/Communications and Brand Management, for providing the charts used in this piece)

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