Jacks set to battle for inaugural kettlebell trophy

South Dakota State (0-2, 0-1) remains in search of its first win on the year as the Jackrabbits will host border rival, North Dakota State (1-2, 0-0) in a nonconfrence dual.

SDSU JackrabbitsBattle for the Border Bell: Saturday’s dual will be the inaugural Battle for the Border Bell, with the winner laying claim to the traveling trophy, a 100-lb kettlebell. Moving forward, the Jacks and Bison will wrestle twice a year, with the first matchup serving as the trophy dual and the later matchup representing the conference dual.

Time Change: Saturday’s dual start time, originially scheduled for 6 p.m., has been moved up two hours to 4 p.m. to accomodate Jackrabbit fans that want to watch the Jackrabbit football team play Northern Arizona in the FCS playoffs. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Flagstaff, Ariz.

Last Time Out: SDSU fell to No. 9 Nebraska last weekend, 36-6 in front of a season-high 781 fans in Frost Arena. Junior Cody Pack was the lone Jackrabbit to score on the day, as he pinned his opponent midway through the second period. SDSU also had unattached wrestlers in competition at the Nebraska-Kearney Holiday Inn Open over the weekend, as five Jackrabbits placed. Freshman Nate Rotert won the 197-lb championship, going 4-0. Other Rabbit placers include Shea Nolan (2nd), Brady Ayers (3rd), Jake Turk (4th), Luke Zilverberg (4th).

Jacks’ Facts: Redshirt freshman Alex Kocer leads the Jacks with a 13 wins on the year. In all, eight Jacks have double-digits wins. Joining Kocer is Dalton Moran (12), Joe Brewster (11), Isaac Andrade (10), Cody Pack (10), Luke Zilverberg (10) and Nate Rotert (10). Brewster also owns the longest winning streak on the year, which is seven. Redshirt freshman Trey Hable owns the fastest fall (0:34 vs. Gunnar Clark – Iowa Central).

Scouting the Bison: North Dakota State is coming off of a weekend where they split a pair of duals with No. 17 Northern Iowa and Northern Illinois. NDSU fell to UNI, 29-12 before defeating NIU, 21-16. Roger Kish is in his third year as the head coach at NDSU and he is assistated by Bret Maughan and Manny Rivera. On the mat, NDSU is led by 165-lb senior, Steven Monk. The two-time NCAA qualifier owns a 8-1 record and is ranked No. 5 in the nation (InterMat). Hayden Zillmer (174) is also nationally ranked, as the sophomore comes in at No. 19 (InterMat).

Inside the Series: NDSU leads the all-time series record 38-17-1. SDSU won the first-ever meeting between the school in 1958-59, 22-9, while NDSU won the last meeting on Feb. 15 last season, 36-9. NDSU is currently on a three-dual win streak dating back to 2010.

Probable Matchups: 125 pounds – Hunter Weber or Devin Wolf (NDSU) vs. Isaac Andrade or Ben Gillette (SDSU)…133 pounds – Justin LaValle or Justin Scherkenbach or Clay Cathey (NDSU) vs. Will James or Brance Simms (SDSU)…141 pounds – Justin LaValle or Justin Scherkenbach or Clay Cathey (NDSU) vs. Eric Orozco or Coltan Laganiere (SDSU)…Tyler Diamond (NDSU) vs. Alex Kocer (SDSU)…157 pounds – Matt Gray or Anthony Caputo (NDSU) vs. Cody Pack or Colin Holler (SDSU)…165 pounds – Steven Monk (NDSU) vs. Joe Brewster (SDSU)…174 pounds – Hayden Zillmer (NDSU) vs. Brady Ayers or John Nething II (SDSU)…Kurtis Julson (NDSU) vs. Shea Nolan or Ben Schwery (SDSU)…197 pounds – Colton Castlebury (NDSU) vs. Trey Hable or Nate Rotert (SDSU)…285 pounds – Evan Knutson or John Gusewelle (NDSU) vs. J.J. Everard (SDSU)

Looking Ahead: SDSU will return to the mat on Dec. 8 as its takes on former NCC-foe, Augustana. The Jacks and Vikings will square off in the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D. Dec. 8th’s dual will be the first wrestling event held in the new facility. SDSU will be considered the home team for the dual.

Socially Supreme: 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.

Program History: 2013-14 marks the 65th season of Jackrabbit wrestling. SDSU owns a 502-346-22 (.590) program record. Chris Bono is the 12th coach in Jackrabbit history and owns a 44-31 career (.587). SDSU has won six conference championships, with the last coming in 1996-97.

SDSU Match Notes