St. Cloud State’s Costanzo and Pleski earn top NSIC honors

St. Cloud State University head coach Steve Costanzo was named the 2016-17 NSIC Wrestling Coach of the Year and redshirt freshman James Pleski was named the 2016-17 NSIC Rookie of the Year.

Costanzo and Pleski topped an extensive list of league honors bestowed upon the Huskies by the NSIC for the recently completed wrestling season. In addition to the two top league awards, SCSU wrestlers also gained eight All-NSIC awards for 2016-17.

SCSU wrestlers receiving first team All-NSIC for 2016-17 included junior Larry Bomstad (157-pounds), senior Gabe Fogarty (165-pounds), junior Jarred Oftedahl (141-pounds) and sophomore Brett Velasquez (125-pounds). SCSU wrestlers to gain All-NSIC second team notice in 2016-17 were senior Clayton Jennissen (174-pounds), senior Austin Goergen (285-pounds), freshman James Pleski (149-pounds) and senior Mike Rhone (133-pounds).

scsulogoPleski capped his rookie season at SCSU with a 28-10 overall record and placed fourth at the recent 2017 NCAA Division II championships in the 149-pound division. He placed third at the 2017 NCAA Division II Super 3 Regional tournament and also finished second at the 2016 Cobber Open and third at the 2016 Husky Open.

This marks the fourth consecutive season that a St. Cloud State wrestler has gained NSIC Rookie of the Year status. In recent years, Austin Goergen (2014), Larry Bomstad (2015) and Brett Velasquez (2016) have all won the league’s Rookie of the Year award. Of note, Tad Merritt also won the award in 2009.

Costanzo was recognzied as the league’s top coach on the strength of his squad’s 17-1 overall record and perfect 8-0 NSIC mark. The Huskies have won the last six NSIC championships under the leadership of Costanzo and have not lost a conference dual match since 2011. SCSU finished as the runner-up at the 2017 NCAA Division II championships and also won the 2017 NCAA Division II Super 3 Regional. The 2017 NCWA Division II National Duals champions, St. Cloud State saw four of its wrestlers gain All-America status in 2017.

This marks the sixth time that Costanzo has won the NSIC Coach of the Year award. In his 11th year with the Huskies, Costanzo has also gained NSIC Coach of the Year accolades in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016.

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