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Photo by: Robby Gallagher

SDSU opens final WWC stand

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 02/05/2013 10:42:54

South Dakota State wrestles its first mid-week dual of the season on Wednesday versus Western Wrestling Conference opponent Utah Valley. Start time is set for 7 p.m. in Frost Arena.

Last weekend, the Jackrabbits hosted 20th-ranked and former WWC member Northern Iowa. SDSU was decisive early, but Northern Iowa won nine-straight matches and won 41-3. Aaron Pickrel won the lone match for the Jacks, a 3-2 decision in the opening match at 125 pounds.

The loss dropped SDSU to 4-9 overall, but the Jacks remain 0-2 in conference duals. UNI moved to 7-3 overall, but closed out the weekend with a win at North Dakota State to improve to 8-3.

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 (20-10 overall, 8-4 duals) checked in at No. 31 in the 149-pound weight class in the initial rankings.

Complete rankings are available on NCAA.com.

Utah Valley Wolverines
- The Jacks face the Wolverines for the eighth time in school history. SDSU first wrestled Utah Valley in its second season as a Division I program and defeated the Wolverines in the second meeting between the two teams.

Last season, SDSU pushed Utah Valley to the limit in Orem, Utah, but was unable to hold its three-point lead with two matches remaining. The dual deviated from the traditional opening weight class and started at 149 pounds. The Jacks jumped on top after a pin by Nick Flynn at 157, but lost three matches in a row to fall behind. SDSU scored a decision at 197 before Joe Skow tied the dual at 15-15 with a pin at 285. Aaron Pickrel followed with a decision for the team lead, but the Wolverines closed the dual with two decisions for the win.

Utah Valley placed fifth at last season's West Regional and qualified one wrestler for the NCAA Championships. Eight of 10 Wolverine wrestlers placed in the top four, but only Josh Wilson (149) advanced via his second-place finish.

Two Wolverine wrestlers cracked the first NCAA coaches' panel rankings. Jade Rauser (125) and Wilson (149) both checked in at No. 22 in the initial poll. Rauser (No. 23), Wilson (No. 25) and Adam Fager (No. 32, 285) are also ranked in Gregg Henry's/WrestlingReport D-I Rankings.

Utah Valley is 3-2 overall, 1-1 in the Western Wrestling Conference this season. The Wolverines defeated Campbell in its season opener, stunned Pac-12 opponent Arizona State and shutout WWC foe Northern Colorado. Last weekend, Utah Valley split matches with Stanford, but scored three major decisions for an 18-15 win.

The two teams have two common opponents this season in Wyoming and Stanford. Utah Valley hosted Wyoming in a loss in early January (20-12), but defeated Stanford. SDSU suffered similar fate versus Wyoming, but was also defeated by Stanford. The Wolverines also competed at the Cliff Keen Invitational and finished 23rd.

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

Utah Valley Probable Lineup

125 - No. 22 Jade Rauser (18-6)
or Chasen Tolbert (9-6)
133 - Val Rauser (11-3) or Chasen Tolbert (9-6)
141 - Avery Garner (16-9) or Sam Mecham (6-6)
149 - No. 22 Josh Wilson (17-7) or Logan Addis (4-6)
157 - Chase Cuthbertson (8-7)
or Ethan Smith (8-7)
165 - Abner Cook (13-7) or Ethan Smith (8-7)
174 - Monte Schmalhaus (17-7)
184 - Derek Thomas (8-14)
197 - David Prieto (12-12)
285 - Adam Fager (15-9)

SDSU Probable Lineup
125 - Aaron Pickrel (11-11)
133 - Brance Simms (16-13)
141 - Ben Gillette (5-16)
149 - No. 31 Dustin Walraven (20-10) or Tyler Johnson (2-7)
157 - Cody Pack (13-11)
165 - Joe Brewster (9-13)
174 - John Nething II (6-14) or Troy Morisette (20-6)
184 - Shea Nolan (5-11)
197 - Joe Skow (3-10)
285 - J.J. Everard (5-14)

- SDSU closes out the weekend versus WWC opponent Northern Colorado. Dual time is set for 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8, in Frost Arena.

No. 20 Northern Iowa Panthers
- The South Dakota State wrestling team was decisive early, but Northern Iowa won nine-straight matches and won 41-3.

Aaron Pickrel opened the dual with a tough win versus Ryan Jauch at 125 pounds. Pickrel scored a takedown late in the first period and surrendered an escape. After starting on top, Jauch nearly rode out the entire second period, but Pickrel added an escape late in the second. Then, Pickrel did what Jauch could not and rode out the entire third period for a 3-1 decision.

The next matches were not as pleasant for SDSU, as UNI won three-straight matches by pin. The streak put the Panthers on top 18-3. Two of the three UNI wrestlers were ranked in the top-15 of the NCAA coaches' rankings.

In the 157-pound match, Cody Pack wrestled another ranked Panther in David Bonin. Bonin, ranked No. 18, scored numerous near falls, built a lead and scored a 15-2 major decision.

UNI led 22-3 at the intermission.

Joe Brewster opened the second half of the dual versus Jarrett Jensen at 165 pounds. Brewster and Jensen wrestled tough and were tied 1-1 late in the second period. Jensen scored a takedown, two points that proved to be the deciding factor, as Brewster only managed another escape and lost a 3-2 decision.

Unfortunately for SDSU, the momentum did not shift, as the Panthers won the remaining four matches. UNI scored one decision, two major decisions and one tech fall in the upper weights.

The results closed out the dual 41-3 in favor of Northern Iowa.

SDSU dropped to 4-9, while UNI improved to 7-3.

- 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.

SDSU 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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