Dragons Open 2014-15 Campaign Saturday at Bison Open

MOORHEAD, Minn. — The Minnesota State University Moorhead wrestling team begins its 2014-15 season on Saturday at the Bison Open in Fargo, N.D. Competition begins at 10 a.m. at the Fargodome in Fargo, N.D.

The Dragons are expected to send 8-10 wrestlers to compete on Saturday.

The team has there seniors and four juniors on its active roster, but more than half of the team is sophomores and freshmen. MSUM returns six individuals who have started dual meets in their career.

MSU-Moorhead Dragons“We have a lot of returning starters who gained experience last year,” MSUM head coach Kris Nelson said. “We still have a rather young team. We have to stay healthy to have a successful season.”

Sophomore Blake Bosch, a national qualifier a year ago at 125 pounds, leads the returnees. He was 22-14 last season and will move up to 133 pounds this year.

“Blake Bosch, we’re looking for him to have a big year,” Nelson said.

Sophomore Shane Novak, who went 15-17 at 133 pounds a year ago, has moved back down to 125 pounds this season.

“Being at 125 is going to suit him a lot better,” Nelson said.

Senior Philippe Walker, who started at 133 pounds in 2012-13 but redshirted last season, is back and will likely man the 141-pound spot. Junior Austin Leibel and freshman Kristian Vasquez are also in the mix at both 133 and 141 pounds.

Sophomore Isaac Novacek (7-9 last season) is the frontrunner at 149 pounds with Cameron Hanley and freshman Caleb Radley, who also may redshirt, battling for time. Sophomore Garret Hoffner, who was a solid 11-11 last season as a true freshman, will move to 157 pounds this season. At 165, junior Dan Murakami returns after winning seven matches last season.

The 174-pound class is one of the team’s most experienced spots, with seniors Michael Joseph (27-10 last year) and Shawn Porter (starter at 165 last season) at that spot. Sophomore Mike Urban steps into the 184-pound slot while junior Chris Bascon, who redshirted last year, moves into the 197-pound slot.

Junior Nadir Abdullatif, a transfer, moves into the heavyweight slot.

Expected to redshirt for the Dragons this season are freshmen Jonathan Lewis (125 pounds), Dylan Huttenen (174) and Hunter Swensen (285).

MSUM opens the dual meet season on Nov. 12 at in-city rival Concordia College.