BURNSVILLE, Minn. — MSU Moorhead wrestling has been selected to finish ninth in the initial NSIC preseason coaches’ poll while sophomore 165-pounder Jonas Anez has been named MSUM’s wrestler to watch for 2023-24.
The Dragons earned 18 points in the preseason poll finishing ahead of newcomers Sioux Falls. St. Cloud State topped the poll with 79 points and seven first-place votes. Augustana and Parkside were the only other schools to garner any first-place votes as the two programs came in second and third respectively in the rankings. St. Cloud State’s Nick Novak, the reigning national champion at 157 pounds, was named the conference’s preseason Wrestler of the Year.
MSUM enters 2023-24 following a 2-10 finish in dual action in 2022-23 with an 0-9 ledger in NSIC duals. The Dragons earned dual victories over Jamestown and Dickinson State a season ago as seniors Anthony Castro and Andre Baguma were MSUM’s top finishers at the NCAA Super V Region meet.
“This year, six starters from last year’s team are back for the MSUM Dragons,” said MSUM head coach Kris Nelson, who enters his 15th year in 2023-24. “They’ve had a great preseason leading up to their first official practice on October 10th.”
On top of returning six starters from 2023-24, MSUM will welcome back 12 returners from last year’s team. The Dragons also bring in a class of seven freshmen as well as two transfers. Anez, a sophomore from Willmar, Minn., turned in a solid season as a true freshman, working towards a 15-23 overall record, including a handful of unattached matches.
“Jonas Anez is the MSUM Dragon wrestler to keep an eye on. He placed in four open events last season at 165 pounds. This season, Jonas will again be wrestling at the 165-pound weight class,” said Nelson. “He is captain of the MSUM Dragons wrestling team and is an extremely hard worker both on the wrestling mat and in the classroom.”
The Dragons begin their season at the annual Jimmie Open which begins on Saturday, November 4 at 9 a.m. MSUM’s first dual competition will take place inside Nemzek Fieldhouse against the University of Jamestown on November 16.