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Photo by: Robby Gallagher

Jacks host Wildcats in finale

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 02/16/2013 19:04:03

Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013
South Dakota State (5-11, 1-4 WWC) vs. Northwestern (7-8, 1-6 Big Ten)

Brookings, S.D. (Frost Arena)
1 p.m.
Series: NU leads 2-0
Live Stats on GoJacks.com (via TrackWrestling.com)
Live Video on GoJacks.com (via Jackrabbit Insider)

South Dakota State wrestles in its regular season finale versus Big Ten opponent Northwestern. Start time is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, in Frost Arena.

SDSU hosted rival and Western Wrestling Conference leader North Dakota State on Friday and the Bison outpaced the Jacks 36-9 in Brookings.

SDSU is 5-11 overall, 1-4 WWC and fifth in the conference standings.

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.

DIVISION I NCAA COACH RANK - The NCAA released its second 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 checked in at No. 31 in the 149-pound weight class in the second rankings. Walraven leads SDSU with a 21-11 overall record, 9-5 in duals and 3-1 in conference. His seven pins are a season best and he has the second-fastest pin by a Jackrabbit this season (0:54). Walraven also ranked No. 20 in the initial RPI.

Complete rankings are available on NCAA.com.


Northwestern Wildcats - SDSU faces Northwestern for the third time in school history. The first meeting between the two teams was in the 1974-75 season, a 22-12 win for the Wildcats. Northwestern hosted SDSU at the Northwestern Duals to open the 2010-11 season and won that meeting, as well.

Six Wildcat wrestlers are ranked in the second coaches' panel rankings. Jason Welch is the top-ranked Northwestern wrestler, checking in at No. 2 at 157 pounds. Dominick Malone (No. 20 at 125), Pierce Harger (No. 14 at 165), Lee Munster (No. 9 at 174), Alex Polizzi (No. 17 at 197) and Mike McMullan (No. 8 at 285) also cracked the initial rankings. All six wrestlers are probable starters for the Wildcats on Sunday.

Northwestern is 7-8 overall, 1-6 in the Big Ten and 10th in the conference standings. The Wildcats lost versus Nebraska and face Indiana next weekend. SDSU split its two Big Ten duals this season with a win versus Indiana (19-18) and a loss at Nebraska (32-7). Northwestern is 0-7 versus ranked opponents this season, six of those in conference.

Other than the two Big Ten common opponents, the two teams have four common opponents this season. SDSU suffered losses versus Northern Illinois (26-12), Stanford (22-11) and Northern Iowa (41-3), but defeated SIUE in Brookings (27-16). Northwestern defeated Stanford (32-6), SIUE (39-12) and Northern Illinois (36-6), but suffered a loss versus Northern Iowa (21-13).

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

Northwestern Probable Starters
125 - No. 20 Dominick Malone (15-9)

133 - Garrison White (22-14)
141 - Pat Greco (9-8) OR Jameson Oster (6-6)
149 - Dylan Marriott (6-16)
157 - No. 2 Jason Welch (24-1)
165 - No. 14 Pierce Harger (20-5)
174 - No. 9 Lee Munster (20-5)
184 - Marcus Shrewsbury (3-11) OR Jacob Berkowitz (6-17)
197 - No. 17 Alex Polizzi (15-12)
285 - No. 8 Mike McMullan (14-2)

South Dakota State Probable Starters
125 - Aaron Pickrel (14-11)
133 - Brance Simms (18-14)
141 - Ben Gillette (7-18)
149 - No. 31 Dustin Walraven (22-11) or Tyler Johnson (2-7)
157 - Cody Pack (14-13)
165 - Joe Brewster (11-14)
174 - John Nething II (7-14) or Troy Morisette (21-6)
184 - Shea Nolan (7-12)
197 - Joe Skow (4-13)
285 - J.J. Everard (5-18)

- SDSU competes in the West Regional with tickets to the NCAA Championships on the line. Start time is set for 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 9, in Laramie, Wyo.


North Dakota State Bison - The South Dakota State wrestling team was outpaced by neighbor and rival North Dakota State 36-9 on Friday night in Brookings.

The dual started at 125 pounds and the Bison opened the dual with three-straight wins by major decision, decision and tech fall, for an early 12-0 lead.

The Jackrabbits responded in the 149-pound match, as Dustin Walraven lined up versus Joe Garner. Walraven, ranked No. 31 in the second NCAA coaches' panel rankings and No. 20 in the initial RPI, dominated the match and scored a 13-3 major decision to put SDSU on the board.

In the 157-pound match, Cody Pack pushed the Jacks' total higher with a tech fall versus Tanner Carlisle. Pack scored a trio of takedowns in the first period for an early lead and applied pressure in the final two periods for an 18-3 win.

"Walraven has been banged up, so it is good to see him put that aside and go get a win," head coach Chris Bono said. "It is good to see Pack get back on the winning track, as well. It is important to get on a roll this late in the year, so I am happy for those guys."

SDSU trailed NDSU 12-9 at the intermission.

Following the intermission, the SDSU forfeited the 165-pound match.

The Jacks wrestled Joe Brewster up one weight class at 174 versus Hayden Zillmer. The two were scoreless through one period and traded escapes early in the second and third periods. The match appeared destined for overtime, but Zillmer scored a takedown with two seconds remaining for the decision.

The decision forced SDSU into three must-win matches.

Unfortunately for the Jacks, the Bison won the final three matches by major decision, tech fall and pin, for a 36-9 dual win.

"It went the way it looked on paper," Bono said. "We did not do our job of upsetting anybody, and we beat who we were supposed to beat. We need to start beating guys we are not supposed to beat to win these types of duals."

SDSU closes out its five dual homestand and the regular season in its final dual versus Big Ten foe Northwestern. Dual time is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, in Frost Arena.

"Northwestern is a very good team," said Bono. "We need to have our A-game and we need to upset some guys to end the season with a win."

SAMARITAN'S FEET - 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.

TOP-10 RECRUITING CLASS - 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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