The St. Cloud State University wrestling team, which has won four of the last five NCAA Division II national championships, opened its 2020-21 season on Thursday, Dec. 10 with its annual Red/Black intrasquad match that was held in Halenbeck Hall.
Team Black collected a 27-15 victory on the night over Team Red. In the first match of the night between SCSU’s 160-pound wrestlers, Team Red’s Jared Head notched a 3-1 sudden death victory over returning All-American Jake Barzowski.
In another match between 160-pound wrestlers, Team Red’s Colby Njos posted a 5-1 win over Spencer Miller of Team Black in the second match of the night. At 128-pounds, Team Red stayed on a roll with a 10-7 Paxton Creese win over Team Black’s Robby Horsman.
At 139-pounds, Team Black’s Garrett Vos tallied a 12-1 win over Team Red’s Sam Spencer. Of note, Vos is another one of SCSU’s returning All-America wrestlers. At 144-pounds, Cameron Riggs of Team Black earned the first fall of the evening with a pin at 6:32 against Team Red’s Cody Minor.
Team Black added more points with a 3-1 victory by Garret Aldrich over Team Red’s Zeke Williamson at 152. In a battle between brothers, Team Black’s Devin FitzPatrick scored a 14-4 decision over his younger brother Bryce FitzPatrick at 168-pounds. Devin FitzPatrick is another one of SCSU’s returning All-Americans in 2020-21.
At 177-pounds, Team Red bounced back with a 6-4 win by Dom Murphy over Team Black’s Devin Donovan. At 187-pounds, Team Black got back on track with a 5-0 win by Billy Pitzner over Team Red’s Cade Linn. At 200-pounds, Team Black continued its run with a 5-3 win by Noah Ryan over Team Red’s Sakai Kelly. In action at 285-pounds, Kameron Teacher, a transfer from the College of Notre Dame and a two-time NCAA DII runner-up, added a 12-4 win for Team Black over Team Red’s Kaleb Haase.
In the final match of the day, Team Red’s Njos gained his second win of the evening with a 3-1 victory over Team Black’s Barzowski.
The Red/Black Classic serves as an opportunity for the SCSU coaches to gain insight into which wrestlers might gain starting spots in the lineup for the upcoming NSIC schedule, which is slated to start up after Jan. 1.
The Huskies won their ninth consecutive NSIC title in 2019-20 and claimed a 16-0, 8-0 NSIC record last winter. Of note, SCSU won the 2020 NCAA DII Super Regional crown and was poised to win its third consecutive NCAA Division II championship before the 2020 NCAA meet was cancelled due to the COVID 19 crisis.