South Dakota State 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.
Brandon Brunner joins SDSU from Tullahoma, Tenn. Brunner is a three-time Tennessee state champion and is projected to wrestle at 133/141. “I just felt so comfortable with the staff,” Brunner said. “They are great guys and mentors. They do a great job of balancing academics and athletics.”
Hank Goettl joins SDSU from Cottonwood, Ariz., and is projected to wrestle at 149. Goettl is a two-time state placewinner, including a runner-up finish in 2011 at 130 pounds. He is a two-time Division III, Section II champion, as well. “SDSU has the degree I want to pursue and the wrestling team and coaching staff is a good fit for me,” Goettl said.
Colin Holler joins the team as a three-time Illinois State Tournament placewinner from Orland Park. Holler placed fifth as a freshman and third as both a sophomore and junior. He was named to the 2010 Clash All-Tournament team and was a 2011 Fargo Cadet Freestyle champion. He posted a high school record of 131-19 with 60 pins. Holler wrestled his way to a No. 11 ranking at 160 pounds and No. 71 in the senior class by Amateur Wrestling News. He is projected to wrestle at 165. “I felt SDSU was the best choice for me because of all the energy coming from the staff,” said Holler. “I know Coach Bono will turn us into champions.”
Coltan Laganiere joins the Jacks as a Minnesota state champion from Kasson. Laganiere was 48-2 as a junior en route to the 2011 Minnesota Freestyle state championship. He is a three-time all-conference performer, the first as an eighth grader, and two-time state placewinner after a fourth-place finish as a freshman. Laganiere is a projected 141-pound wrestler. “I felt that SDSU was the best fit for me because I loved the campus,” Laganiere said. “I liked the team and I really like the coaching staff.”
Paul Mascarenas joins SDSU from Cleveland, N.M., as a projected 125-pound wrestler. Mascarenas is a three-time New Mexico state champion, Junior National Freestyle champion and Greco-Roman All-American. He posted a career record of 130-5 en route to a No. 3 ranking at 113 pounds and No. 27 ranking in the senior class from Amateur Wrestling News.
Nate Rotert joins the wrestling team from Spearfish, S.D., and is projected to wrestle at 197. Rotert is a six-time letterwinner in wrestling, dating back to his seventh-grade year. He won the Class A state championship at 195 pounds as a junior and is a three-time state placewinner. In his first three years, he posted a record of 116-15. Rotert is a two-time National High School Coaches Association national champion, with a perfect 10-0 record at the championships. He finished as runner-up at the USA Wrestling Cadet Freestyle National Championships in 2011 and posted a 20-3 record at the USA Wrestling Junior Duals. Amateur Wrestling News ranks Rotert No. 7 at 220 pounds and No. 45 in the senior class. “I felt that SDSU was the best fit for me because of the hype around the program right now and how comfortable I feel with the coaching staff,” said Rotert. “I feel like I fit in as a wrestler and a person.”
Matthew Seabold, of Burlington, Iowa, joins the Jacks as a state placewinner. Seabold is a two-time Junior National Greco-Roman All-American and placed fourth in the state as a junior. He is projected at 184 pounds. “I decided that SDSU was the place for me because it is a great, up-and-coming program that has a lot to help me succeed,” Seabold said.
Austin Oyen, of Crooks, S.D., also joins the Jacks. Oyen is a South Dakota state champion and three-time state finalist. He is also projected to wrestle at 133/141.
“I am extremely happy with the class we are bringing in,” head coach Chris Bono said. “Each student-athlete fits the mold we are looking for here at SDSU, beginning with solid academics, great wrestling skill and outstanding citizenship. I cannot wait to get them on campus and help us bring back the tradition that is Jackrabbit wrestling.”
The No. 6 ranking makes it the best recruiting class for any sport in the history of Jackrabbit athletics.
“It is a great day to be a Jackrabbit, but it would not be possible without great assistant coaches and administration,” said Bono. “Coach Silva and Coach Sorenson put in a lot of time and effort to make this recruiting class one of the best in the nation.”