Huskies picked to win NSIC, Fitzpatrick dubbed Preseason Wrestler of the Year

BURNSVILLE, MINN. – The St. Cloud State University wrestling team is pretty used to coming out on top. Tuesday’s Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Preseason Poll was no exception. The Huskies were once again picked to finish atop the conference standings, while senior Devin FitzPatrick (Mahtomedi, Minn. / Mahtomedi) was selected as the NSIC’s Preseason Wrestler of the Year, the conference announced Tuesday morning.

St. Cloud State was the unanimous selection to win the conference, as the team earned all nine first place votes (coaches cannot vote for their own team) to finish atop the poll with 81. Upper Iowa received the other lone vote for first place, as the Peacocks finished behind the Huskies in the rankings with 68 points, and Augustana was voted third with 66 points.

As the nine-time defending conference champions, and four-time defending NCAA DII Super Regional champs, St. Cloud State looks to continue its success on the mats in 2020-21. The Huskies posted a perfect 16-0 record in 2019-20 with an 8-0 mark in NSIC action, extending their win streak to 64 consecutive dual meets. With a strong core of wrestlers returning, St. Cloud State expects the excellence to continue, as the Huskies return five All-American wrestlers to its roster, including FitzPatrick, Jake Barzowski (Niles, Ill. / Notre Dame), Garrett Vos (Bonifacius, Minn. / Waconia), Noah Ryan (Mantorville, Minn. / Kasson-Mantorville) and Joey Bianchini (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / Immaculate Conception), the reigning NSIC Rookie of the Year. Senior transfer Kameron Teacher also joins St. Cloud State’s stacked roster after back-to-back runner-up finishes at 285-pounds during his tenure at the College of Notre Dame (Ohio). Additionally, Steve Costanzo, the 2019-20 NSIC and DII Super Regional Coach of the Year, returns for another season at the helm.

“I am very excited about the team potential this season,” Costanzo said in a statement. “When you combine the veteran experience, our newcomers and depth of this team, you have a team that will be hard to beat. This team has the potential to do some very special things.”

FitzPatrick is one of those Huskies with huge potential, which is one of the reasons he was selected as the NSIC Preseason Wrestler of the Year. A two-time All-American at 165-pounds and three-time NWCA All-Academic award recipient, FitzPatrick won the 2020 NCAA Division II Super Regional in his weight class to qualify for the NCAA Championship for the third consecutive season. He additionally earned First Team All-NSIC honors as a junior in 2019-20 and was a Second Team honoree in 2018-19.

NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll

2020-21 NSIC Wrestling Preseason Coaches’ Poll

  1. St. Cloud State
  2. Upper Iowa
  3. Augustana
  4. Minnesota State
  5. Parkside
  6. Northern State
  7. U Mary
  8. MSU Moorhead
  9. Minot State
  10. Southwest Minnesota State

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