Mankato, Minn. — The Minnesota State University wrestling team enters the 2012-13 season searching for a fresh start as the squad will have 19 new wrestlers, but will find leadership behind two returning All-Americans.
The Mavericks went 5-9 in dual action in 2011-12, were 3-4 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, earned a ninth-place finish in regional action, and had a pair of underclassmen, David Demo and Cody Quinn, qualify for the NCAA Championship tournament.
“The tournaments early in the season will define our team moving forward into conference action,” said head coach Jim Makovsky. “The beginning of the season is always exciting, but there is a little nervousness because of the uncertainty with all of the new faces. By the end of December, we will see where we are from a physical, technical and mental standpoint and we will know what we have to work on.”
“This region is dynamite, sometimes getting out of the region is tougher than the competition we see at nationals,” said Makovsky, who recorded his 250th career win last season in the regular season finale vs. Southwest Minnesota State. Makovsky’s career record stands at 250-107-5.
Now entering his 20th year leading the Mavericks, Makovsky is looking for leadership out of his wrestlers with national championship experience. Along with Demo and Quinn, Aaron Norgren, Brendan Eichmann and Jesse Westphal have also qualified. Norgren has placed twice at nationals and is returning to the mat after receiving a medical redshirt last season, while Eichmann and Westphal both qualified in 2011.
“It was important for Demo and Quinn to qualify at nationals. Now they know they can compete. Norgren was a move or two away from a national championship, so we are excited for him to return. Drew Lexvold and Thomas Allen are also primed to have great seasons.”
Demo tied for the team lead in wins last season, recording a 29-13 record; while Quinn finished the season 23-10.
Makovsky is looking for the upperclassmen to step up and lead by example and have the underclassmen develop as they make the transition from high school.
“Our goal is not to qualify. Our goal is to get our hand raised after the last match of the season.”
MSU opens the 2012-13 season November 3rd, as they travel to Rochester, Minn. to compete in the Yellow Jacket Open.
To view the full preseason release click HERE.