St. Cloud State Wrestling to appear in Rochester on Saturday for first open of 2022
ST. CLOUD, Minn. – No. 2 St. Cloud State Wrestling begins competition with the Yellowjacket Open this Saturday at the Regional Sports Center in Rochester, Minnesota.
The open will begin at 10:00 a.m. CT with two brackets – an open division and a freshman/sophomore division. SCSU is one of six NSIC teams scheduled to appear at the open alongside No. 5 Augustana, No. 8 Mary, No. 18 Minnesota State, No. 24 Southwest Minnesota State and (RV) Upper Iowa. More than 20 teams are expected to compete on Saturday.
“We’re really excited to see our guys compete. We’ve been going a while in our room competing against each other, so it’s going to be interesting to compete against other individuals and other schools. There’s two divisions down there – a freshman/sophomore division and a junior/senior division – so our young kids can get a lot of matches and have some success at the same time, so I’m excited about that. We just need to see where we’re at right now, individually and as a team, then go back to the drawing board and continue to get better.”
“I just want the guys to go out and compete hard, get in as many matches as they can and learn from every opportunity that’s given to them. That’s what these opens are all about. By no means are we going to peak at these opens, nor are any other schools. We just want to go out, have fun, get better, get as many matches as we can and continue to improve on our weaknesses.”
“All 10 weights are going to have eyes on them. We’ve had some wrestleoffs, but we want to see what guys can do when the lights are on. This week will be a good indicator for what we have to work with and what direction we go from here. There are other opens down the road as well, and we’re just going to be looking for some consistency out of all of our guys. We’ll go from there. We’re excited to see our guys wrestle and open up against someone else.”
“The nice thing about this is knowing they’re going to face different competition. I think that’s what excites them. It probably makes them a little bit nervous – some of these guys are wrestling the first college matches of their lives. It could be a rude awakening for some of these youngsters, but at the same time it’s all about learning, competing and being consistent. That’s what we’re looking for.”
Returning to Rochester
The Huskies are competing at the Yellowjacket Open for the first time since the 2019-20 season. Dominic Murphy, Colby Njos, Tanner Eischens and Kaleb Horn each wrestled in the freshman/sophomore division that season with Njos winning the title at 157, Murphy taking fifth at 174 and Eischens landing eighth at 157. Njos was 4-0 with two pins, a tech fall and a major in his redshirt debut at the open while Murphy went 5-1 with a pin and a tech fall. Eischens scored a pin and a major decision while going 4-2 as Horn added a pinfall of his own at the 2019 open.
Plenty of potential ranked matches await the Huskies at the Yellowjacket, pending travel rosters. At 125, No. 5 Paxton Creese could face No. 8 Jaxson Rohman of Augustana and No. 9 Brandon Murphy of UW-La Crosse (DIII). The competitive 133-pound position could feature No. 1 Reece Barnhardt of Mary, No. 2 Jack Huffman of Augustana, No. 11 Kaden Anderlik of Upper Iowa and No. 7 Tyler Fleetwood of UW-Eau Claire (DIII). 149 could be headlined by No. 8 Nick Novak and No. 12 Zach Sato of UW-Eau Claire (DIII). No. 5 Colby Njos has a host of potential ranked matches at 157 with No. 6 Tyler Wagener of Augustana, No. 8 Leo Mushinsky of Mary and No. 3 Nolan Hertel of UW-La Crosse (DIII) potentially appearing at the open. At 165, No. 8 Anthony Herrera could meet both No. 10 Miles Fitzgerald of Augustana and No. 11 Braydon Huber of Mary. No. 1 Abner Romero would be the favorite at 174, possibly meeting No. 4 Cade Mueller of Augustana, No. 8 Max Bruss of Mary, No. 3 Seth Brossard of UW-La Crosse (DIII) and No. 4 Jared Stricker of UW-Eau Claire (DIII). SCSU’s representatives at 184 could battle No. 2 Caden Steffen of SMSU or No. 9 Kayln Jahn of UW-La Crosse (DIII). The Huskies heavyweights could square off with No. 1 Darrell Mason of Minnesota State-Mankato, No. 4 Steven Hajas of Augustana and No. 7 Ben Kawcyznski of UW-La Crosse (DIII).
Titles on Titles
The Huskies have perennially enjoyed tremendous success at opens, earning 33 titles last season between the Cobber, Dakota Wesleyan, North Country, Dragon and Don Parker Opens.
Up for Grabs
Armed with one of the deepest wrestling rooms in the country, the Yellowjacket Open provides the first of many opportunities for SCSU to determine their starting lineup ahead of the Chadron State Duals. The Huskies graduated four members of their 2022 NCAA Super Region V Championship team – 133-pounder and national runner-up Garrett Vos, 184-pounder Billy Pitzner, three-time All-American 197-pounder Noah Ryan and 2021 NCAA Champion heavyweight Kameron Teacher – along with Devin Donovan, a frequent starter at 165.
Black & Red Sets the Edge
Last week’s Black & Red Classic gave fans their first look at a number of SCSU wrestlers, including ones at key open starting spots. Sam Spencer and Robby Horsman each went 1-0 at 133, Shaeden Scheidt won a tight battle at 184, Dominic Murphy impressed in his debut at 197 while both Elijah Novak and Jadon Mims went 1-0 at heavyweight.
Information regarding single dual and season tickets can be found at scsutickets.com. For all the latest on St. Cloud State Wrestling, stay tuned to SCSUHuskies.com and follow the team on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.