MANKATO, Minn. — The Minnesota State Maverick wrestling team is set to begin the 2017-18 season.
The Mavericks, who enter the year tied for 16th in the national preseason poll, take to the mat on November 4, beginning the new season at the RCTC Yellowjacket Open in Rochester, Minn.
Minnesota State returns three NCAA Championship qualifiers, including two All-Americans. Corey Abernathy and Matthew Blome each earned All-American status after both wrestlers finished in eighth place at the National Championships in Birmingham, Ala., last March. Abernathy (184 lbs.), rated fourth nationally in his weight class heading into 2017-18, recorded a 24-9 record last season while Blome (197 lbs., rated fifth nationally), wrestled to a 28-11 mark and garnered the team’s Newcomer of the Year Award. Dylan Herman (157 lbs., rated ninth nationally), also qualified for the NCAA tournament on the back of an 18-12 record.
The Mavericks will also be boosted by the return of Louie Sanders, Daniel Close, and Zach Johnson, all of whom finished with at least 17 wins last season and participated in the NCAA Super Region 3 Tournament for Minnesota State. Andrew McFall and Chris Zimmer are expected to contribute greatly to the team this season after wrestling in duals and regionals for the Mavericks last year.
Transferring into the team this season is George Farmah from Iowa Lakes Community College. A Minnesota native, Farmah has podium finishes at the 3A Minnesota State High School Championships and has recently finished third at the NJCAA Championships last season.
Head coach Jim Makovsky is entering his 25th season with the team and has compiled a 263-111-3 dual meet career record. Makovsky will be joined this season by first-year assistant coach Ty Eustice.
The Mavericks will look to improve upon a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Division II Super Region 3 tournament in 2017 and a 14th-place finish at the NCAA DII Championships.
Minnesota State will wrestle three open tournaments to begin its season prior to returning to home to wrestle St. Johns at Taylor Center on November 30 at 7:00 p.m.