Johnnies Host Concordia Saturday Night

Saint John’s wrestling hosts Concordia-Moorhead at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, in Sexton Arena.

SORRY, NO FANS: Spectators will not be allowed at contests during the winter season. The MIAC released a statement regarding this decision:

“We have a small window for success this winter season. Our COVID Working Group, made up of conference members and medical advisors, supported no spectators for indoor winter sports due to health and safety concerns. This decision, supported by our institutions’ athletic directors and presidents, provides our best path forward to successfully and safely conduct winter sports. The decision was not made lightly. It is critical that we see success in the first few weeks of competition.”

SECOND AUGSBURG CANCELED: Next Thursday’s (Feb. 11) competition at Augsburg has been canceled (non-COVID related).

NO DUAL, JUST MATCHES: Like last week, Saturday night’s competition will again feature matches – nine to be exact – on one mat, with no team scores. The tentative schedule is below.

165: Logan Edwards (SJU) vs. Alex Skaare (CC)
184: Andrew Hamilton (SJU) vs. Connor Chloupek (CC)
285: Cade Eversley (SJU) vs. Jacob Arends (CC)
125: Gabriel Ramirez (SJU) vs. No. 5/7 Cole Kubesh (CC)
174: Ben Gilbertson (SJU) vs. Eli Hunt (CC)
184: Jacob Scherber (SJU) vs. Ayden Friese (CC)
133/141: Ben Bogart (CC) vs. Gabe Bellefeuille (CC)
157: Kellen Schauer (CC) vs. Demetrius Turrentine (CC)
165: Logan Edwards (SJU) vs. Tyler Bents (CC)
174: Ben Gilbertson (SJU) vs. Eli Lanigan (CC)
285: Cade Eversley (SJU) vs. Chase Dockter (CC)

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NO NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 2021: The NCAA Division III Administrative Committee, acting on behalf of the Division III Management and Presidents Council, approved the recommendation from the Division III Championships Committee to cancel all winter championships due to low participation numbers among member schools. The announcement was made Wednesday night (Feb. 3).

The Championships Committee decision was based on the results of a winter declaration form distributed to members about their intention to compete this season in a capacity that would permit them to meet the minimum contest requirements to be eligible for championship selection by the established selection dates. The declaration form was sent to Division III athletics directors Jan. 19 and completed by 98% of the membership.

The national championships affected are men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, men’s and women’s ice hockey, and wrestling.

A LOOK AT THE JOHNNIES: Saint John’s opened its condensed 2020-21 schedule with 14 matches against Augsburg last Saturday night (Jan. 30) in Collegeville. Team scores were not calculated.

Freshman Gabriel Ramirez (Immokalee, Fla.) went 1-1 on the day at 125 pounds. He led 4-3 after the first period of his first collegiate bout, but Augsburg’s Justin Stauffacher rattled off eight unanswered points to claim the 11-4 victory. Ramirez bounced back with a 9-0 major decision against Trevor Pearson.

Junior Jacob Scherber (Buffalo, Minn.) dropped a pair of decisions, but nearly picked up the season’s first win in the opener. Down 10-2 following the second period to Nick Rogge, Scherber escaped to start the third, scored a takedown and a four-point near fall to cut the deficit to 10-9. Rogge, however, escaped and recorded a takedown with five seconds remaining to seal the victory, 13-9.

A LOOK AT THE COBBERS: Saturday’s matches are the season’s first for Concordia, which held an intrasquad dual last Saturday (Jan. 30). Although the Cobbers’ consists of 29 wrestlers, compared to the Johnnies’ 17, CC is also quite young. Of the 29, 12 are freshmen and nine are sophomores. A pair of Cobbers are currently ranked nationally, senior Cole Kubesh at 125 pounds and sophomore Gabe Zierden at 197. Kubesh is ranked as high as No. 5 by D3wrestle.com (No. 7 by NWCA), after he totaled a 22-9 record with 10 pins and three technical falls last season. Zierden, meanwhile, is ranked No. 8 by the NWCA (No. 10 by D3wrestle.com) and went 22-10 with six pins and three technical falls a year ago.

LAST YEAR: Concordia recorded six bonus-point wins in a 36-12 dual victory over Saint John’s last Jan. 31 (2020) in Moorhead. The Cobbers also earned a forfeit at 125 pounds.

Scherber stopped the skid for SJU (1-5 dual record) with an 8-2 decision at 174 pounds for his team-leading 19th win of the season.

Quincy Spiering ’20 earned a pin, as the first period expired, at heavyweight for the fifth win in his last six matches.

The bout of the night, the dual’s final, featured Noah Becker ’20 and the Cobbers’ Jacob Prunty at 133 pounds. Becker, who was ranked as high as No. 3 by D3wrestle.com, posted an 8-2 win over Prunty, who was ranked No. 6 by the National Wrestling Coaches’ Association (Becker was No. 5). The victory was the 12th consecutive for Becker, who improved to 16-1 on the year.

Check out Johnnies Wrestling at gojohnnies.com.

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