Jacks set to host 21st annual Daktronics Open
NEW REGIME, TAKE TWO
Head coach Chris Bono took over the Jackrabbit wrestling program on April 17, 2012. Bono filled out his staff with two of his former wrestlers in Israel Silva and Andrew Sorenson. Silva wrestled for Bono at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, while Sorenson wrestled for Iowa State during Bono’s tenure with the Cyclones.
2012-13 YEAR IN REVIEW
Last season SDSU (5-12, 1-4) qualified one wrestler for the NCAA Championships. Cody Pack (157 lbs) went 1-1 at the WWC Championships to qualify for the NCAA’s, where he went 0-2.
South Dakota State 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.
This year’s freshmen class was ranked the sixth-best class by Amateur Wrestling News (AWN). The class includes 20 freshmen from across the nation. Included in the Jack’s recruiting class are student-athletes from Arizona, California, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee and four local products from South Dakota.
THE FRIENDLY CONFINES
The 2013-14 schedule includes six home dates, including five duals and the 21st Annual Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open on Nov. 3. Drexel (Nov. 9), Nebraska (Nov. 24), North Dakota State (Nov. 30), Air Force (Jan. 26) and Northern Illinois (Feb. 14) will all make the trek to Brookings this season.
Sunday’s Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open will be the 21st annual. Some of the region’s top wrestling programs will be on display. SDSU had nine placewinners last year. Action is slated to begin at 9 a.m.
DROP IT LIKES IT’S HOT
Sophomore Ben Gillette is dropping to 125 pounds this season. Gillette, who went 7-19 in his freshman campaign, wrestled at 141 pounds a season ago where he posted a 4-13 dual record.
Senior Will James will step in at 133 pounds after redshirting last season. James, a transfer from Belmont Abbey, recorded a 21-14 record competing unattached, including an eight-match winning streak in mid-January. His 21 wins was tied for second on the team.
BETTER WITH AGE
27-year-old senior Eric Orozco is slated to be SDSU’s 141-lb starter. Orozco, a transfer from West Hills College Lemoore, posted a 9-7 last year while redshirting.
SOUTH DAKOTA’S FINEST
Five-time South Dakota state champion Alex Kocer will fill the 149 pound slot in the Jacks’ lineup this season. Kocer, a Wagner, S.D., native, joined the team at the semester break last season and redshirted second semester.
BACK AND READY FOR MORE
Returning NCAA qualifier Cody Pack will continue to be a mainstay at 157 pounds in the SDSU lineup. Pack, who posted a 15-16 record last season, was the first Jackrabbit to qualify for the NCAA’s since Tyler Sorenson did so in back-to-back years in 2009-10.
NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE
Junior Joe Brewster enters the season with a 19-22 career record, including a 12-17 sophomore season. Brewster’s .600 Western Wrestling Conference winning percentage last season was tied for second on the team.
NETHING 2 IT
After splitting time in the lineup last season, junior John Nething II will be the guy at 174 pounds this season after posting a 7-15 sophomore campaign.
WHO’LL IT BE?
Entering the season, the 184 slot is the lone spot up for grabs on the lineup card. Junior Shea Nolan and redshirt freshman Ben Schwery are both in competition for the spot.
Redshirt freshman Trey Hable established himself competing unattached a year ago and is looking to have a breakout season. Of Hable’s 17 wins last season, a team-best 14 came by fall.
THE BIG GUY IS BACK
Sophomore J.J. Everard will return as the starter at heavyweight for SDSU. After winning his first two collegiate matches, Everard endured an adjustment period that saw him post a 5-20 overall record as a true freshman.
A full version of South Dakota State wrestling notes can be viewed by clicking here.