SMSU announces signing class for 2019-20

MARSHALL, Minn. – Southwest Minnesota State University head wrestling coach Jesse Nelson announced today the addition of 10 student-athletes for the 2019-20 season.

Signing letters of intent to continue their academic and wrestling career at SMSU include Jacob Backlund from Jordan, Minn., Lucas Hodges from Cottonwood, Minn., Sean Howk from New Ulm, Minn., Wyatt Kramer from Holland, Ind., Dillon McEachran from Faribault, Minn., Carter Marx from Planview, Minn., Tyler Soltau from Zumbrota, Minn., Jackson Stauffacher from Belle Plaine, Minn., and Elijah Sterner from Cottonwood, Minn.

Kramer officially signed in February and will also play football at SMSU. Nelson also announced that German Fitzgerald from Milwaukee, Wis., will join the wrestling team after spending one season as a member of the SMSU football program.

”We were able to find a group of student-athletes that have excelled on the mat and in the classroom,” Nelson said. “I also feel that we have added depth where we needed it and it will complement the areas of need. I am very excited about this incoming class.”

Southwest Minnesota State University, located in Marshall, is a member of Division II and competes in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference

2019-20 SMSU Signees
Name, Weight, Hometown / High School / Previous School

  • Jacob Backlund, 165, Jordan, Minn. / Jordan HS / Ridgewater College
  • Lucas Hodges, 141, Cottonwood, Minn. / Lakeview HS
  • Sean Howk, 157, New Ulm, Minn. / New Ulm HS
  • Wyatt Kramer, 285, Holland, Ind. / Southridge HS
  • Carter Marx, 165, Plainview, Minn. / Plainview-Elgin-Millville HS
  • Dillon McEachran, 285, Faribault, Minn. / Faribault HS
  • Tyler Soltau, 157-165, Zumbrota, Minn. / Zumbrota-Mazeppa HS
  • Jackson Stauffacher, 133, Belle Plaine, Minn. / Belle Plaine HS / Augustana University
  • Elijah Sterner, 165, Cottonwood, Minn. / Lakeview HS

Already enrolled at SMSU

  • **German Fitzgerald, 285, Milwaukee, Wis. / Wisconsin Lutheran HS

2019-20 Signees Bios

Jacob Backlund, 165, Jordan, Minn. / Jordan HS / Ridgewater College – competed at Ridgewater College in 2018-19 … two-time NJCAA national qualifier … also named all-region and all-academic … 2014 graduate of Jordan HS … member of state runner-up team in 2014 … earned all-academic honors.

German Fitzgerald, 285, Milwaukee, Wis. / Wisconsin Lutheran HS – 2017 graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran HS … wrestled for coach Darrell Roecker … spent the 2017 football season as a redshirt with the SMSU football program … three-time state qualifier … state runner-up at 220 pounds as a senior … placed sixth as a junior at 195 pounds … academic all-state.

Lucas Hodges, 141, Cottonwood, Minn. / Lakeview HS – 2019 graduate of Lakeview HS … wrestled at Marshall HS for coach Justin Bouwman … five-year letter winner … finished career with 98 victories … recorded 36 victories with 26 via fall as a senior … all-conference honoree … individual state participant … member of 2019 state runner-up team … letter winner in football, track and baseball.

Sean Howk, 157, New Ulm, Minn. / New Ulm HS – 2019 graduate of New Ulm HS … wrestled for coach John Rieser … six-year letter winner … holds the school record for career victories with 210 … closed his senior season with a 45-3 record and placed third at the state meet … five-time state qualifier … all-district honoree in football … all-conference honors in track & field.

Wyatt Kramer, 285, Holland, Ind. / Southridge HS – 2019 graduate of Southridge HS … wrestled for coach Dave Schank … also signed to play football at SMSU … four-year letter winner … conference champion … section champion in both 2017 and 2019 … finished fifth in school history in victories … two-time state semifinalist … two-time all-conference honoree in football.

Carter Marx, 165, Plainview, Minn. / Plainview-Elgin-Millville HS – 2019 graduate of Plainview-Elgin-Millville HS … wrestled for coach Ryan Marx … finished career with 153 victories ranking third in program history … state place winner during junior and senior seasons … two-time all-conference … finished 46-9 as a senior … recorded a 44-9 mark as a junior … also letter winner in football.

Dillon McEachran, 285, Faribault, Minn. / Faribault HS – redshirted during the 2018-19 season at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside … 2018 graduate of Faribault HS … wrestled for coach Jesse Armbruster … five-year letter winner … team captain … three-time all-conference honoree … placed third at state meet as a senior … finished with 118 career victories … two-time section champion … letter winner in both football and baseball.

Tyler Soltau, 157-165, Zumbrota, Minn. / Zumbrota-Mazeppa HS – 2019 graduate of Zumbrota-Mazeppa HS … wrestled for coach Link Steffen … four-year letter winner … finished with 33 victories as a senior … earned all-conference honors … letter winner in football.

Jackson Stauffacher, 133, Belle Plaine, Minn. / Belle Plaine HS – Spent the 2018-19 season at Augustana University … 2018 graduate of Belle Plain HS … wrestled for coach Jerold Stauffacher … state champion as a senior … two-time state runner-up … five-time state qualifier … three-time section champion … five-time all-conference honoree … four-time all-state … finished career with a school-record 210 victories … also letter winner in football.

Elijah Sterner, 165, Cottonwood, Minn. / Lakeview HS – 2019 graduate of Lakeview HS … wrestled at Marshall HS for coach Justin Bouwman … three-year letter winner … member of 2019 state runner-up team … two-time all-conference in football … also letter winner in track & field.

Check out Mustangs Wrestling at smsumustangs.com and on Twitter.

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