Dragons to Battle LIU-Post Sunday in Grapple at the Garden

MOORHEAD, Minn. — The Minnesota State University Moorhead wrestling team will compete in one of its most anticipated events in recent memory on Sunday when it competes at the Grapple at the Garden at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Dragons will face Long Island University-Post in a dual at 7 a.m. Central time.

“It’s a prestigious event held at Madison Square Garden,” MSUM head coach Kris Nelson said. “There are a lot of D1 schools competing. We’re very honored to be involved.”

MSU-Moorhead DragonsThe Grapple at the Garden features eight matches going on at once. Several Division I, II and III programs are included among the 25 teams competing.

Former Dragon wrestlers Frank Mosier and B.A. Schoen have been instrumental in getting the Dragons involved in the Grapple, Nelson said. Graduate John Morley was the first Dragon wrestler to compete at Madison Square Garden.

“We’re very excited to go to New York City. it’s going to be a great trip,” Nelson said. “For a lot of us, it is going to be our first time being there. We’ll get to do some sightseeing and see MSUM alumni as well.”

MSUM is 0-1 in duals so far, having lost a nonconference dual to nationally-ranked Concordia College in early November. LIU-Post, a Division II is in its first full season of competition since restarting its wrestling program, which was shut down after the 1987-88 season. The Pioneers are 1-8 in duals this season.

“We’re going out there to wrestle. Our main thing is to prepare ourselves for the dual,” Nelson said. “We’re going out there to compete first.”

Sophomore Blake Bosch leads MSUM with an 11-4 mark at 133 pounds. Sophomore Garret Hoffner is 4-1 at 157 pounds while sophomore Shane Novak is 3-1 at 125. Sophomore Nader Abdullatif is 8-6 at 285 pounds.

It will be MSUM’s first competition since the Dragon Open on Dec. 7.

“The team is healthy and practice is going well,” Nelson said. “At the Dragon Open our shape was better. Guys are controlling their weight better. We still have things we’re working on.”

Grapple at the Garden Info

MSUM will then be off of practice until resuming on Jan. 1. On Jan. 2-4, the team will work the annual Rumble on the Red tournament at the Fargodome. After this weekend’s dual, the Dragons’ next competition will be Jan. 8 against Northern State, which is MSUM’s first home dual of the year.

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