MOORHEAD, Minn. – The Minnesota State University Moorhead wrestling team is back in action this weekend when they travel to Kearney, Neb. for the Nebraska-Kearney Holiday Inn Open (trackwrestling.com) at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds. Action begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Looking Back: Four Dragons place at Bison Open
The Dragons opened the season competing at the Bison Open, where four wrestlers placed, led by sophomore Cole Jones who finished third in the 125-pound weight class. Senior Adam Blees finished fourth at 174 pounds while Evan Foster and Sam Erckenbrack also finished fourth at their weight classes.
Familiar faces in the lineup
The Dragons are returning eight starters from last season, including Joe Schumacher and Cole Jones, both of whom missed being national qualifiers by just one match last season. Senior Adam Blees will be the only senior on the roster. Other returners include junior Logan Rhode and sophomore Mitch Kotschevar.
The Dragons have two athletes ranked in the first NCAA Division II rankings put out by the NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches Association. Jones is ranked 11th at 125 pounds while Schumacher picked up a ninth-place ranking in the nation at 149 pounds. As a team, the Dragons are receiving votes in the preseason poll.
Dragons picked to finish sixth in NSIC
In the preseason coaches’ poll, the Dragons were picked to finish sixth in the NSIC with Blees named MSUM’s wrestler to watch. Defending national champions St. Cloud State was chosen to finish first in the conference.
Meet the coaches
Head coach Kris Nelson is returning for his 10th season as MSUM head coach. He is assisted by former MSUM wrestler Blake Bosch (second season), Justin Solberg (fourth season) and Tyler Lehmann (second season).
Nelson inducted into NDSU Athletics Hall of Fame
Nelson picked up an honor in September when he was inducted into the NDSU Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 21. Nelson was a decorated wrestler, culminating his collegiate career in 2000 by winning the Division II National Championship at 133 pounds as well as being named the Most Outstanding Wrestler. He was a part of two national championship teams (1998 and 2000) and finished with 83 career wins.
The Dragons will open the dual portion of the season on Nov. 20 when they travel to crosstown rival Concordia before returning to MSUM to host NSIC foe Northern State on Nov. 30 prior to hosting the Dragon Open the next day. They will wrap up the first half of their dual schedule with a home dual against Division 3 power Augsburg on Dec. 6.