The South Dakota State University wrestling team is scheduled to resume tournament competition by sending a full squad Saturday to the 47th Annual Bison Open in Fargo, North Dakota.
Competition is slated to start at 10 a.m. at Scheels Center located inside the Sanford Health Athletic Center on the North Dakota State University campus. The Jackrabbits are scheduled to compete against wrestlers from Minnesota, North Dakota State, Minnesota State Moorhead, Minot State and Northland Community College in the day-long tournament.
The Jackrabbits open the 2017-18 season with a No. 16 ranking in the first USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll, which was released by the National Wrestling Coaches Association on Oct. 31.
Defending national champion Penn State is the top-ranked team in the poll, followed by Ohio State. Reigning Big 12 Conference champion Oklahoma State is third.
SDSU completed the 2016-17 season with a 14-5 dual record and was ranked 19th in the final USA Today/NWCA poll. The Jackrabbits return eight starters from a season ago, highlighted by NCAA runner-up Seth Gross at 133 pounds.
Besides Oklahoma State and the Jackrabbits, the Big 12 is represented in the poll by newcomer Northern Iowa (13th) and Oklahoma (19th). Wyoming, North Dakota State and West Virginia are receiving votes, but outside the top 25.
Other preseason top-25 opponents on the Jackrabbits’ dual schedule this season include Minnesota (sixth), Arizona State (11th) and Pittsburgh (24th).
The Jackrabbits also are ranked 13th by WIN Magazine and FloWrestling, as well as 15th by Intermat.
Individually, all four of the Jackrabbits’ returning national qualifiers appear in at least one Division I preseason poll, highlighted by Seth Gross’ No. 1 ranking by three rating services. The junior from Apple Valley, Minnesota, holds the top spot at 133 pounds in rankings conducted by FloWrestling, Intermat and WIN Magazine.
Three-time NCAA qualifier Nate Rotert at 197 pounds is ranked eighth by both Intermat and FloWrestling, as well as ninth by WIN Magazine, while 174-pound senior David Kocer is ranked as high as 12th by FloWrestling, followed by 15th- and 20th-place showings in the Intermat and WIN Magazine rankings, respectively. A Wagner native, Kocer is a two-time national qualifier.
Completing the Jackrabbit rankings is Luke Zilverberg, who is dropping down to the 157-pound weight class for his senior season. An NCAA qualifier at 165 pounds during the 2016-17 season, the Belle Plaine, Minnesota, native checks in at No. 15 in this week’s FloWrestling rankings and stands 19th in the Intermat rankings.
A LOOK AHEAD: The Jackrabbits are scheduled to open dual competition Nov. 17, when SDSU hosts Minnesota in a clash between nationally ranked teams. Start time is set for 7 p.m. at Frost Arena.