Vacura officially pins his spot to NDSU

In recent years, Gator Head Wrestling Coach Isaac Novacek just knew his team was in good shape to win a dual if it led going into the 220-pound weight class. Why?

He was sending out a now two-time state champion Dominik Vacura.

Unlike those Gator dual victory chances going into 220, it chances of wrestling this winter are not as certain. Regardless of what happens this winter, it is certain that Vacura, a senior, will be taking his wrestling talents to North Dakota State University in Fargo next year after signing his letter of intent to wrestle for the NSDU Bison, a Division I program, in the Greenbush-Middle River School gym on November 18. Continue reading at page1publications.com →

Undeterred by Numbers, Bluejays Want a Chance to Compete

By Matt Krumrie

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every wrestling program across the state in one way or another. At Minnesota West, it's in terms of numbers. Head coach Randy Baker enters his second season as head coach with a roster greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We have just started to work out," said Baker in mid-November. "We have been on hold all fall. I have had some football/wrestler athletes who decided not to attend with fall sports being canceled. I am hoping to get a few more wrestlers on campus for the second semester. But as you know, there is much uncertainty with each new day and week."

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Nevills Set To Join SDSU

Two-time NCAA qualifier AJ Nevills will join the South Dakota State wrestling program as a graduate transfer for the 2021-22 season, Jackrabbit head coach Damion Hahn announced Tuesday.

“AJ brings a tremendous amount of talent with him to Brookings,” Hahn said. “He is a great addition to our team and we are excited to have him join us next season.”

Continue reading →

The Mavericks are on the Cusp of an Outstanding Season

By Matt Krumrie

Jim Makovsky enters his 28th season as head coach of the MSU-Mankato wrestling team with a deep and talented lineup bolstered by a group of talented junior college transfers and talented newcomers.

Makovsky and head coach Ty Eustice, now in his fourth season with the Mavericks, are excited about a lineup led by Kyle Rathman of Apple Valley (Apple Valley HS), a 2019 NCAA All-American at 149 who will open the season ranked No.1 in the nation in the NCAA Division II rankings.

"Kyle has been so steady in our program since he’s got here," says Eustice. "He’s made jumps every year, and he has physically matured even more. We love watching him compete; he is aggressive and makes things happen."

Five other regulars are back, including Trent McManus (125/2020 national qualifier), Cooper Siebrecht (157/2020 region place winner), Trevor Turriff (184/2020 national qualifier), Matt Blome (197/2020 region place winner), and David Griffet (285/2020 region place winner).

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Michael Blockhus, a 2020 NCAA qualifier, to transfer from Northern Iowa to Minnesota

It did not take long for Michael Blockhus to find a new home.

One week after announcing his intent to transfer from Northern Iowa, Blockhus announced that he plans to join the Minnesota wrestling program. The sophomore will join the Gophers next semester, and plans to wrestle 149 pounds.

“Blessed to say I’m going to be going to the U of Minnesota as a gopher this next semester,” Blockhus said in a Tweet, announcing his decision. “Ready to go to work. Thank you to all of my friends and family for all of their support throughout this process.

“Let’s go win some titles.” Continue reading at desmoinesregister.com →

Jackrabbits Are Hungry to Take the Next Step

By Matt Krumrie

A strong group of returning wrestlers and the potential impact of a couple of transfers ready to step into the lineup has head coach Damion Hahn excited about the upcoming wrestling season.

Eight starters return for the Jackrabbits, and four with Minnesota ties look to continue to make an impact. Those four include Clay Carlson (141/Willmar), Colten Carlson (149/Willmar), Cade King (174/Waseca/Owatonna HS), and Blake Wolters (285/Pipestone).

"Although we will still be a relatively young team, we return up to eight starters and have good depth," says Damion Hahn, now in his third season as head coach. "There are still a lot of unknowns in regards to our schedule and how the season will play out, but our preparation and expectations haven’t changed."

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Ridgewater and Northland Pull The Plug on 2020-2021

By Matt Krumrie

It's not the type of start new Ridgewater College wrestling coach Joey Brown expected when he took over the wrestling program in May of 2020. But, it's still 2020, and things are far from normal. So nothing is a surprise.

In mid-November, Ridgewater College and Northland Community and Technical College announced that all winter athletics programs, including wrestling, would be suspended due to growing concerns over the Coronavirus. Ridgewater also canceled spring sports for this season.

"Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges it presents, our season has been suspended," said Brown. "We would have had a very young team that had one returning wrestler from last year (285-pound national qualifier Charlie Farhat of Willmar). I came on in late May to take over the rebuild of our program, and we got off to a great start adding 12 first-year guys to the roster. We were excited because we would have filled a full varsity lineup for the upcoming season. Once we got word the season was not going to happen for us, we met with our guys and supported them in the option to move on. About half of the guys decided to move on, and one is going to graduate in the spring."

Northland had a strong team ready to compete in the MCAC and NJCAA this season. "I respect the fact that this was a difficult decision for our institution to cancel winter sports," said Northland wrestling coach Scott DCamp. "I don't agree with it, however, because I feel like we had a plan in place that would have allowed us to attend classes, practice, and compete in a safe manner."

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