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Photo by: South Dakota State University

Jacks host Bears, Military Appreciation

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 02/07/2013 11:08:51

South Dakota State wrestles its second Western Wrestling Conference foe in three days on Friday versus Northern Colorado. Start time is set for 7 p.m. in Frost Arena.

On Wednesday, the Jackrabbits hosted Utah Valley. SDSU was edged by Utah Valley 22-18 on Wednesday night in Frost Arena.

First-year head coach Chris Bono and first-year assistant coaches Israel Silva and Andrew Sorenson leads SDSU. Bono posted a 39-17-0 record in three years at Tennessee at Chattanooga, including a 15-0 SoCon record. His squad won three SoCon regular season and tournament championships and he was named SoCon Coach of the Year all three seasons.

- The NCAA released its first coaches' panel rankings for the 2012-13 season. Final rankings are one of the tools used to determine the qualifiers for the NCAA Championships.

Dustin Walraven (20-11 overall, 8-5 duals) checked in at No. 31 in the 149-pound weight class in the initial rankings.

Complete rankings are available on NCAA.com.


Northern Colorado Bears - SDSU faces Northern Colorado for the 31st time in school history, dating back to the 1967-68 season. The Jacks lead the all-time series 18-12, including a seven-dual win streak from 1996-2003.

Last season, SDSU scored two pins, but lost six decisions and was unable to hold onto its early lead. Aaron Pickrel pinned his opponent in the second match of the dual to put the Jacks up 6-3, but SDSU won only two of the remaining eight matches in the dual. It was the last road dual of the season for the Jacks.

Two Bears are ranked in Gregg Henry's/WrestlingReport. Justin Gonzales (149) and Henry Chirino (285) are ranked No. 32 and 33, respectively.

Northern Colorado is 1-7 overall, 0-2 in the WWC this season. Its lone win was versus Colorado School of Mines in mid-January. The Bears were shutout by Utah Valley in its conference opener and defeated by Wyoming in its most recent dual.

The two teams have three common opponents this season, and a fourth after SDSU's dual on Wednesday. Both teams suffered losses at the hands of Nebraska, Northern Iowa and Wyoming. The Bears also competed at the Cliff Keen Invitational and Southern Scuffle and finished 19th and 23rd, respectively.

Live scoring for the dual are available via TrackWrestling.com and live video is available via GoJacks.com.

Northern Colorado Probable Starters
125 - Abe Fox (1-7) or Jesse Meis (4-13)
133 - Sam Bauer (6-13)
141 - Nick Adams (11-8)
149 - Nick Alspaugh (1-12)
157 - Mitchell Polkowske (7-6)
165 - Iver Sandoval (7-7)
174 - Jesse Neilsen (2-3)
184 - Keith Johnson (1-7)
197 - Cody McAninch (7-12)
285 - Henry Chirino (21-8)

SDSU Probable Starters

125 - Aaron Pickrel (11-11)
133 - Brance Simms (17-13)
141 - Ben Gillette (5-17)
149 - No. 31 Dustin Walraven (20-11) or Tyler Johnson (2-7)
157 - Cody Pack (13-12)
165 - Joe Brewster (10-13)
174 - John Nething II (6-14) or Troy Morisette (20-7)
184 - Shea Nolan (6-11)
197 - Joe Skow (3-11)
285 - J.J. Everard (5-15)

MILITARY APPRECIATION - The South Dakota State wrestling team and coaching staff are celebrating the United States military at tonight's dual. All military personnel will receive two complimentary tickets to the dual. Tickets can be picked up at the ticket table at the top of the stairs in Frost Arena.

"Takedown Two" foam fingers are for sale, as well, with all proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Join SDSU wrestling and appreciate our military personnel for all their sacrifice.

For more information, visit the Jackrabbit Ticket Office or call 1-866-GoJacks.

- SDSU continues its five-dual homestand in its final WWC contest versus No. 25 North Dakota State. Dual time is set for 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, in Frost Arena.


Utah Valley Wolverines - The South Dakota State wrestling team battled Utah Valley in numerous matches, but the Wolverines escaped Brookings with a 22-18 win.

The dual was SDSU's first and only mid-week dual of the season in its third Western Wrestling Conference competition.

The Jacks opened the dual with a lead, as Utah Valley forfeited the opening match at 125 pounds.

Brance Simms lined up versus Chasen Tolbert at 133. Simms scored an early takedown, but allowed an escape takedown in a 30-second span. While on the bottom, Simms turned the tables and forced his back onto the chest of Tolbert and scored the defensive pin.

At 141 pounds, Ben Gillette faced Avery Garner. Garner took a five-point, first-period lead and Gillette was unable to recover, as Garner pulled away for a 9-2 decision.

In a battle of ranked wrestlers, No. 31 Dustin Walraven wrestled No. 22 Josh Wilson at 149. The match was closer than the scoreboard indicated, but Wilson used a pair of third-period takedowns and riding time to score a 12-4 major decision.

Utah Valley took its first lead of the dual after a pin at 157 pounds. The result took the teams to intermission.

The 165-pound match was a struggle in a low-scoring affair. Joe Brewster and Abner Cook spent the majority of the match in neutral position and finished the third period tied 2-2. In the first overtime period, the two wrestled the first 58 seconds in neutral, but Brewster used his final effort to score a takedown and a 4-2 decision. The win put SDSU back on top 15-3 with four matches remaining.

After a Wolverine decision at 174, SDSU trailed 16-15.

At 184 pounds, Shea Nolan faced Derek Thomas. The two wrestled in another low-scoring match, but Nolan received two points from stalling calls. Nolan scored an escape late in the third period and was able to stay on his feet for a 3-2 decision. The Jacks retook the lead 18-16 with two matches remaining.

Joe Skow took on David Prieto in the first of two decisive matches. Following a scoreless first period, Prieto chose down and scored a quick escape. Skow matched the play in the third period and the two advanced to the second sudden victory match of the dual. Unfortunately for the Jacks, Prieto scored a takedown midway through the first overtime for a 3-1 decision.

The dual was decided by the final match between J.J. Everard and Adam Fager. Fager struck first with a takedown midway through the first period, but Everard escaped seconds later. Everard started down in the second and escaped after one minute, but Fager scored another takedown. Everard scored a second escape to close the second period. Fager chose down to start the third, but SDSU allowed a point for neutral. The scoring stopped as Utah Valley escaped in the match and the dual.

The Jacks dropped to 4-10 overall, 0-3 in conference. Utah Valley moved to 5-2, 2-1 in conference.

- Coach Bono coached the Simpson dual on Jan. 11 barefoot to raise awareness for Samaritan's Feet. Coach Bono is the first wrestling coach to join the movement and is the first Division I coach to participate barefoot in 2013.

The dual preceded Coach Nagy's barefoot men's basketball game on Jan. 26.

"If by me doing this, we can put one pair of shoes on somebody who does not have shoes, then it is worth it," said Bono. "Anything we can do to support the cause, and it is a great one, we are happy to do it."

Samaritan's Feet is a non-profit, humanitarian aid organization and so much more - a community of more than 70,000 volunteers who have joined together to make a difference in the lives of children in need in every corner of the world. Over four million impoverished children and adults in more than 60 nations being served by having their feet washed, receiving a new pair of shoes and hearing a message of hope.

Samaritan's Feet and its team of global ambassadors have touched the lives of men, women and children across the United States and around the world in an effort to help the nearly 300 million people who go without shoes each day and the more than a million who die each year as a result. Through this simple act of humility and servant-leadership, our team members and volunteers are expressing love, compassion, and a message that brings hope.

Nearly 300 million people go without shoes each day and millions are plagued with foot-borne illnesses that may be preventable by simple protection - shoes.

For more information or to donate to Samaritan's Feet visit its website and click on SDSU Wrestling-Coach Bono.

- Head coach Chris Bono and assistant coaches Israel Silva and Andrew Sorenson announced the signing of the sixth-best recruiting class in the nation (The Open Mat, Amateur Wrestling News).

Eight student-athletes joined the Jackrabbit wrestling team on signing day, including three ranked by Amateur Wrestling News. Brandon Brunner, Hank Goettl, Colin Holler, Coltan Laganiere, Paul Mascarenas, Austin Oyen, Nathan Rotert and Matt Seabold make up the best recruiting class in SDSU history.

The No. 6 ranking makes it the best recruiting class for any sport in the history of Jackrabbit athletics.

South Dakota State and the wrestling coaching staff announced the addition of Alex Kocer to the Jackrabbit wrestling team.

Kocer is a South Dakota five-time state champion from Wagner, S.D. Kocer won the 152-pound Class B state title as a senior in 2012 en route to an undefeated season (44-0). He first climbed the championship ladder in 2008 at 103 pounds and won three titles between his first and last (2009 at 118 pounds, 2010 at 130 and 2011 at 152).

In effect, Kocer joins next year's recruiting class, already touted as one of the best in the nation (The Open Mat, Amateur Wrestling News).



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