By Matt Krumrie
The Augustana Vikings head into the new season with an experienced roster blended with talented redshirts ready to make an impact. The growth of both groups of wrestlers will eventually determine the success of this year's team.
"We have a lot of returning starterss and kids with varsity experience," says Augustana coach Jason Reitmeier, now in his 18th season as head coach of the NCAA Division II program. "We have great leadership from our upperclassmen. Last year our leadership carried over, and it showed in how well our young team approached matches and duals. Last year we exceeded expectations beating five top-25 ranked teams. We showed depth throughout our lineup, and guys stepped up in tough situations. You will see an exciting team that likes to score points, and at times may be overly aggressive, but very fun to watch."
Several Minnesotans will play a key role in the Vikings' lineup this year, led by Hunter Burnett of Pipestone. Burnett was a 141-pound national qualifier who was ranked 9th in the NCAA DII national rankings before the 2020 national championships were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Burnett led the Vikings in wins with a 27-9 overall record with six falls, seven major decisions, and eight tech falls. He was also an NWCA Scholar All-American. Burnett is likely moving up to 149 this season.