SJU Hosts Division II Southwest State for Wednesday’s Home Opener

The Johnnie wrestling team hosts Division II Southwest Minnesota State for a 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18, in Sexton Arena.

Saint John's JohnniesRIDGEWATER: The Johnnies’ junior varsity was originally scheduled to wrestle Ridgewater, simultaneously next to SJU’s varsity and Southwest State, but that dual has been postponed to a later date.

A LOOK AT THE JOHNNIES: Three Saint John’s wrestlers placed at the Luther Open last Saturday (Nov. 14) in Decorah, Iowa. Senior Ben Henle (Spicer, Minn./New London-Spicer), who is ranked ninth by both D3wrestle.com and the National Wrestling Coaches’ Association (NWCA) at 141 pounds, earned third place with a 5-1 record. Henle lost his second-round match via fall, but bounced back with four wins and an injury default, including a 5-3 decision over Tanner Mills of Division II MSU-Mankato in the third-place match.

A pair of SJU freshmen did well in the silver brackets. Luke Dodd (Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) won the 184-pound title with a 4-0 record that consisted of a major and three decisions. He defeated North Iowa Area C.C.’s Tyler Demoss, 6-4, in the championship bout. Muqkadeen Poole (Newark, N.J./St. Benedict’s Prep) finished third in the silver 174-pound bracket with a 3-1 record. All three wins were pins, including a fall over Cornell’s (Iowa) Ben Hewson in the third-place match.

A LOOK AT THE MUSTANGS: Southwest Minnesota State (1-0 dual record) opened its season with a dominant 40-6 win over NAIA Dakota Wesleyan Friday night (Nov. 13). The sophomore-heavy SMSU squad won eight of the 10 weights. Six of the eight wins came from the sophomore class (two by redshirt freshmen) for SMSU. The Mustangs are led by their lone senior, Cole Wilson, who won by pin at heavyweight in 14 seconds. Last year, Wilson earned All-NSIC second team honors and qualified for his second consecutive NCAA Division II national tournament and placed runner-up at the 2015 NCAA Super Region 3 tournament as a junior. He was ranked seventh in the final national poll and finished with a 31-7 record, including 11 pins, and had a nine-bout win streak.

LAST YEAR’S DUAL: Southwest State defeated SJU by a score of 35-9 last Nov. 19 (2014) in Marshall. The Johnnies surrendered 12 points by forfeiting two weights, 174 pounds and heavyweight. Henle put the Johnnies on the scoreboard with a 3-0 win at 149 pounds. Scoreless after the first period, Henle rode the Mustangs’ John Weeding the entire second period and chose the down position to start the third, where he tallied a reversal. Jesse Rogers ’15 cut the Johnnies’ deficit to 13-9 with a 3-2 win at 165. Rogers started the third period down 1-0 but scored an escape and a takedown for the win. Evan Guffey ’15 suffered a hard-luck pin at 141 pounds, which gave SMSU a 13-0 lead. Guffey battled back from a 3-0 deficit and looked to have tied it up with an escape in the third period, but slipped into an unfortunate hold and was pinned at the 5:27 mark.

Southwest Minnesota State at Saint John’s Live Video

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