Jacks Battle No. 19 Bison for WWC Crown
What’s On Tap: South Dakota State (6-7, 3-1 WWC) will travel to Fargo, N.D., to take on North Dakota State (10-5, 3-0 WWC) Sunday at 2 p.m. with the Western Wrestling Conference dual championship on the line. NDSU, who is 3-0 in the WWC, will wrestle also Wyoming (5-6, 3-1 WWC) Friday at 7 p.m.
What’s In a Win: With a win, SDSU would win its first-ever Western Wrestling Conference dual championship. It would also be the program’s first conference title since the Jacks went 8-2 in 1996-97 en route to the North Central Conference crown.
In the Polls: Junior Cody Pack comes in at No. 16 (TheOpenMat.com) in this week’s rankings. The Jacks also have three wrestlers ranked in the second NCAA Coaches’ Panel. Cody Pack (157) is ranked No. 17 and No. 15 in the RPI, Alex Kocer (149) is No. 33 in the coaches’ panel and No. 21 in the RPI and Joe Brewster (165) is ranked No. 33 in the coaches’ panel and No. 30 in the RPI.
Two-Timing: Fueled by his 2-0 weekend, Pack was named the Western Wrestling Conference Wrestler of the Week for the second time this season. Pack defeated Northern Illinois' Andrew Morse on Friday and pinned No. 25 Mitchell Polkowske (Northern Colorado).
Last Time Out: The Jacks picked up a pair of wins last weekend, beating Northern Illinois, 27-6 on Senior Night before traveling to Greeley, Colo., and defeating the Northern Colorado, 31-6. Brance Simms, Eric Orozco, Alex Kocer, Cody Pack, Joe Brewster, John Nething II and Trey Hable all went 2-0 on the weekend.
The First Time Around: In the inaugural Battle for the Border Bell on Nov. 30, NDSU defeated the Jacks, 30-13.
125: Weber over Andrade - Pin, 2:12 165: Monk over Brewster - Dec., 7-1
133: La Valle over Simms - Pin, 3:25 174: Zillmer over Ayers - Dec., 8-4
141: Cathey over Orozco - Dec, 2-1 184: Julson over Nolan - Dec., 9-4
149: Kover over Diamond - Dec., 6-5 197: Hable over Castlebury - Pin, 0:42
157: Pack over Gray - Maj., 13-4 285: Knutson over Everard - Pin, 5:26
Scouting the Bison: NDSU (10-5, 3-0 WWC) is ranked No. 20 this week by InterMat. NDSU’s losses have come to Missouri, Northern Iowa, Iowa State, Wisconsin and Minnesota, all of which were ranked. The Bison are led by third-year head coach, Roger Kish. On the mat, NDSU is led by No. 3 Steven Monk (InterMat), who owns a 24-1 record.
Inside the Series: NDSU leads the all-time series record 39-17-1 - including the latest matchup on Nov. 30 as the Bison down the Jacks, 30-13, claiming the inaugural Battle for the Border Bell. SDSU won the first-ever meeting between the school in 1958-59, 22-9. NDSU is currently on a four-dual win streak dating back to 2010.
125: Hunter Weber (NDSU) vs. Ben Gillette (SDSU)
133: Justin La Valle (NDSU) vs. Brance Simms or Isaac Andrade (SDSU)
141: Clay Cathey (NDSU) vs. Eric Orozco (SDSU)
149: Tyler Diamond (NDSU) vs. Alex Kocer (SDSU)
157: Nick Olejnik (NDSU) vs. Cody Pack (SDSU)
165: Steven Monk (NDSU) vs. Joe Brewster (SDSU)
174: Hayden Zillmer (NDSU) vs. John Nething II (SDSU)
184: Kurtis Julson (NDSU) vs. Brady Ayers or Ben Schwery (SDSU)
197: Tyler Lehmann (NDSU) vs. Trey Hable (SDSU)
285: Evan Knutson or John Gusewelle (NDSU) vs. J.J. Everard (SDSU)
Follow the Action: Fans who aren’t able to make it to Fargo can stream the dual or follow along on TrackWrestling. As always, fans can also follow along on Twitter (@SDSUwrestling) and use #GetJacked, and #WWCwrestle to stay connected.
Looking Ahead: SDSU will travel to Orem, Utah on March 8 to wrestle in the West Regional/WWC Championship, hosted by Utah Valley.
Program History: 2013-14 marks the 65th season of Jackrabbit wrestling. SDSU owns a 506-350-22 (.590) program record. Chris Bono is the 12th coach in Jackrabbit history and owns a 50-36 career (.581). SDSU has won six conference championships, with the last coming in 1996-97.