Uploaded Ad
Article Image
Photo by: Courtesy Photo

Wrestling opens new era at home

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 11/06/2012 17:11:48

The South Dakota State wrestling team opens its new era under head coach Chris Bono on Sunday at the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open in Brookings.

South Dakota State enters the 2012-13 with high ambitions and expectations, with a frame of mind to climb the Western Wrestling Conference standings.

Bono takes over the program after three successful seasons at UT-Chattanooga. Assistant coaches Israel Silva and Andrew Sorenson join Bono, along with volunteer assistant Chad Lamer.

Competition for varsity positions increased over the offseason, as Bono and his staff signed a strong recruiting class.

Season Preview

South Dakota State enters the 2012-13 with high ambitions and expectations, with a frame of mind to climb the Western Wrestling Conference standings.

Head coach Chris Bono takes over the program after three successful seasons at UT-Chattanooga. Assistant coaches Israel Silva and Andrew Sorenson join Bono, along with volunteer assistant Chad Lamer.

Competition for varsity positions increased over the offseason, as Bono and his staff signed a strong recruiting class.
    
Lower Weights: 125-141

The lower weights anchored by two seniors who posted winning records last season. Despite suffering from an open weight the majority of the season, the lower weights were the strength of the team.

Senior Aaron Pickrel continued his successful career in his junior campaign with a team-high 23-win season. Pickrel finished 23-11 overall, 10-3 in duals and 4-2 in the conference.

“Aaron has done a great job getting ready for his senior season,” head coach Chris Bono said. “He stayed in Brookings all summer and got a head start on his training. He bought into us and our system and looks focused. I expect big things from Pickrel this year.”

Junior David Klingsheim and freshmen Chet Utesch and Max Malave join Pickrel at 125. Klingsheim transferred from Nebraska, where he was a two-year starter and Big 12 champion, NCAA qualifier and Gatorade Rookie of the Year as a freshman.

The Jacks do not have a returner at 133 pounds, but have numerous options in freshmen and transfer athletes. Junior Eric Orozco and freshman Brance Simms are set to battle it out for the starting position. Orozco is a transfer from West Hills College, where he was the California JUCO state champion, Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament and a two-time Academic All-American.

Senior Tyler Johnson, junior Will James and freshman Ben Gillette line up at 141. Johnson posted a 2-6 overall record last season, while James transferred from Belmont Abbey and St. Andrews as an Academic All-American.
    
Middle Weights: 149-174

The Jacks graduated Nick Flynn, last year’s lone senior, from the 157-pound slot. Flynn finished his career with 59 wins.

Senior Dustin Walraven moves up one weight class to 149. He was one of four varsity wrestlers with a winning record last season at 16-12. Walraven led the team with five pins and, along with Pickrel, was one of two wrestlers with a .500 record or better in conference duals.

“Dustin Walraven is one of the leaders of this team and will do some great things this year.” said Bono. “He is a hardworking, mature young man who has the heart of a champion and a work ethic that is second to none. He competed injured last year and, now that he is healthy, the sky is the limit.”

Junior Andrew Youngblom and freshman Nate Harms also compete at 149.

Junior Austin Lindsay, sophomores Joe Brewster and Cody Pack and freshman Tyler White aim to fill the void left by Flynn at 157. Pack finished the season 5-1 overall and placed second at the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open last season. Brewster and Lindsay competed unattached last season, posting 7-5 and 8-4 records, respectively.

The Jacks need to fill the 165-pound slot, as well, after a roster departure. Junior John Nething II, redshirt sophomore Wesley Grew and freshman Ben Schwery are ready for the opportunity. Nething II wrestled unattached to a 7-3 record last season. Grew, a N.H. D-I states placewinner, transferred from Northern Essex.

“Cody Pack and Joe Brewster will shore up our middle weights and accomplish great things for us this season,” Bono said. “Morisette and Nething will battle for time, as well.”

Senior Joe Rasmussen returns at 174 after a 9-17 junior campaign. Senior Cord Willers, sophomore Troy Morisette, redshirt freshman Ryan Festag and freshmen Trey Hable and Tyler White also compete at this weight class.

Upper Weights: 184-285

SDSU returns one wrestler at the top three weight classes and will sport new faces at 184 and 285.

Freshman Hunter Weddington is the only wrestler at 184 in the preseason, which may change by the start of the season.

Senior Joe Skow moves down from heavyweight to 197. Skow wrestled the entire last season at the top weight and finished 5-18 overall.

“Skow moves down from heavyweight and is a tough match for any wrestler at 197,” Bono said. “Joe is extremely powerful and has a great desire to succeed.”

Sophomore Shea Nolan and freshman Brandon Ballard are also listed at 197. Nolan was 4-7 wrestling unattached in his freshman campaign.

“Shea is a hardworking kid and will do whatever it takes to win,” said Bono. “I am very excited about his future at SDSU.”

Freshmen J.J Everard and Jacob Haydel are listed as heavyweights entering the season.

Schedule

The schedule consists of 18 duals, the most since the 2008-09 season, and three tournaments.

The home slate includes seven duals and one tournament.

SDSU opens the season at home with the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open on Nov. 4. After the open, the Jackrabbits are on the road for a full month before hosting SIUE on Dec. 8. Another full month passes, with only one event in between, before the Jacks return home to host Simpson College on Jan. 11. Three weeks later, SDSU closes out the regular season with five-straight home duals, four of which are WWC duals.

“We have eight home events this year and we are celebrating our 20th year of hosting the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open,” said Bono. “We are really fired up about our first home dual of the season on Dec. 8 versus SIUE, which also serves as Youth Night with youth matches before the dual and an autograph session after the dual.”

The road schedule stretches from Nevada to Illinois, Wyoming to Tennessee.

“We wrestle a couple Big Ten teams and last year’s Big 12 team champion,” Bono said. “We are very excited about the schedule and how it will prepare us for March.”

The Jacks face numerous schools in duals for the first time, including: Cleveland State, Tiffin, North Carolina and Stanford.

SDSU competes in one notable neutral-site dual, facing WWC opponent Wyoming in Spearfish, S.D., on Jan. 20.

Next Up

The Jacks travel to DeKalb, Ill., for the Northern Illinois Quad on Nov. 10. SDSU wrestles in four duals that Saturday: Cleveland State (10 a.m.), Indiana (2 p.m.), Northern Illinois (4 p.m.) and Tiffin (6 p.m.)

Jackrabbit Extra
Watch Live & On-Demand SDSU Sports
FB vs. UW-Oshkosh (Condensed)
The Jackrabbit Insider (09.21.2014)
Uploaded Ad