Jacks open new year at Southern Scuffle
What’s On Tap: South Dakota State will open the new year on Jan. 1-2 at the Southern Scuffle, hosted by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The Scuffle will be the last open tournament on the Jacks’ slate.
Last Time Out: SDSU had five placewinners, including John Nething II, who won the 174-lb championship at the UNI Open on Dec. 14. Joining Nething II as placers at the open was Alex Kocer (149) and Colin Holler (157), who each took fourth, along with Ben Schwery (184) and Nate Rotert (197), who placed fifth and sixth, respectively. Nething II, who is currently on a team-high eight-match winning streak, also won the Dragon Open on Dec. 7.
Scouting the Scuffle: The Scuffle, referred to as the toughest in-season tournament in the country, will welcome 33 teams, the highest in the tournament’s history. No. 1 Penn State returns to the scuffle in search of their third-straight team championship. Other top programs in attendance include Minnesota, Oklahoma State, Cornell, Missouri and Oregon State, all of which finished in the top-10 at last year’s NCAA Championships.
Four national champions and eight finalists are among the individuals who will be competing at the Scuffle. All totaled, 135 NCAA qualifiers and 34 All-Americans are scheduled to take the mat at this year’s event.
History Lesson: SDSU had one placewinner at last year’s event, as Dustin Walraven placed eighth in the 149-lb weight class. In the team standings, the Jacks placed 18th with 18.5 team points.
Potential Rabbits: South Dakota State will be sending 11 wrestlers to the Scuffle. Ben Gillette and Isaac Andrade with both be competing at 125, while Brance Simms (133), Eric Orozco (141), Alex Kocer (149), Cody Pack (157), Joe Brewster (165), Brady Ayers (174), Ben Schwery (184), Trey Hable (197) and J.J. Everard (285) will fill out the Jacks’ roster at the Scuffle.
Follow the Action: Fans who want to follow along can do so through TrackWrestling: http://www.trackwrestling.com/opentournaments/VerifyPassword.jsp?tournamentId=951076. FlowWrestling will also be providing Pay-Per-View coverage of the Scuffle: http://www.flowrestling.org/coverage/251121-Southern-Scuffle. For more information about the Scuffle, visit the official website: www.TheSouthernScuffle.com.
Looking Ahead: The Jacks will open Western Wrestling Conference action on Jan. 19 as they travel to Gillette, Wyo., with wrestling beginning at 1 p.m. SDSU is in search of its first win over the UW, as the Pokes hold a 14-0 all-time series advantage. SDSU dropped last year’s dual, 21-13.
Socially Supreme: After continuing to climb the rankings, SDSU took over No. 1 in the latest social media Power Rankings, announced by the NWCA and Elite Level Sport Marketing. Last season, SDSU was named the Top Newcomer in the Best of Brand Annual Achievement Awards, as presented by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, in coordination with Elite Level Sport Marketing. Jackrabbit wrestling continues to launch itself into the national spotlight through expanded use of its social media platforms and the #GetJacked mantra. To go along with its popular “Jacked Up Monday” videos, SDSU has added “Jackrabbit Wrestling: All Access” as a second weekly video. These videos are released on Thursdays and gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at the Jacks away from the mat.
Program History: 2013-14 marks the 65th season of Jackrabbit wrestling. SDSU owns a 503-347-22 (.589) program record. Chris Bono is the 12th coach in Jackrabbit history and owns a 45-32 career (.584). SDSU has won six conference championships, with the last coming in 1996-97.