Rathman Named All-American; Mavericks Announce Team Awards

Mankato, Minn. — Minnesota State junior Kyle Rathman has been named All-American by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.

Rathman, who posted a 16-4 record and was 6-2 vs. Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference competition on the season, earned a second consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II national championship tournament after finishing second at this year’s NCAA Division II Super Region 5 tournament. The Apple Valley, Minn., native who sports a career record of 57-19, is now a two-time All-American after posting a seventh-place finish at the national tournament as a sophomore in 2018-19.

Minnesota State, which went 10-3 in dual action in 2019-20, finished second in the NSIC this year and was fourth at the NCAA Division II Super Region 5 tournament.

The Mavericks also announced their individual award recipients for the year.

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One-on-One with Andrew Sparks

Andrew Sparks capped off an outstanding senior season at Calvary Chapel High School in California by claiming a title at the CIF State Wrestling Championships. Sparks defeated Cael Valencia (St. John Bosco), one of the nation’s top wrestlers, in the state finals at 160 pounds.

Sparks’ run to the state title solidified him as one of the nation’s top 160-pounders and caught the attention of many of the nation’s top college wrestling programs. On April 6, Sparks announced his commitment to the University of Minnesota. InterMat recently caught up with the Gopher commit.

What has life been like for you since being in quarantine during this pandemic?

Sparks: It’s been tough, especially for me because I wasn’t able to take any recruiting trips to help me make my decision. Continue reading at intermatwrestle.com

K-M grad, former-Gophers wrestler O’Connor has big aspirations

Chase O’Connor sits about 10 feet from University of Minnesota Athletic Director Mark Coyle.

They’re occupants of the same U of M athletics administration office, Kasson-Mantorville graduate O’Connor showing up 20-25 hours per week as a student worker in that space, taking phone calls and problem-solving them.

O’Connor has gotten to know Coyle well, and from his many conversations with him, has become familiar with his athletic director’s duties.

It’s a position he’d like to have someday. If not at Minnesota, then some other major university.

“I want to keep working in college athletics,” O’Connor said. “My end goal is to be an athletic director at a Division I university. I’m trying to build relationships now with the higher-ups that I’ve gotten to know. I really like (Coyle). He’s easy to relate to. I’m the first person he sees every day when he walks through the door (at work). His office door is 10 feet away from me.”

O’Connor fits the description of someone on the fast-track to becoming an AD. Continue reading at postbulletin.com

RCTC Yellowjackets Earn NWCA Scholar All-American Status

This past season the Rochester Community and Technical College Yellowjackets had a banner year on the mat winning their 8th straight MCAC Title and 3rd Non-Scholarship NJCAA National Championship. Not only did the Jackets get it done on the mat, but equally impressive is their aptitude for success in the classroom.

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St. Cloud State wrestlers receive All-America honors in 2019-20

Eight St. Cloud State University wrestlers have received NWCA All-America Division II honors for the recently completed 2019-20 season.

SCSU wrestlers honored this year include sophomore Garrett Vos (Bonifacius, Minn./Waconia H.S.) at 133-pounds, freshman Joey Bianchini (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Immaculate Conception H.S.) at 141-pounds, senior James Pleski (Stacy, Minn./Forest Lake H.S.) at 149-pounds, junior Jake Barzowski (Park Ridge, Ill./Notre Dame H.S.) at 157-pounds, junior Devin FitzPatrick (Mahtomedi, Minn./H.S.) at 165-pounds, senior Kolton Eischens (Pierz, Minn./Healy H.S.) at 174-pounds, senior Tyree Overton (Rock Island, Ill./Rock Island H.S.) at 184-pounds and sophomore Noah Ryan (Mantorville, Minn./Kasson-Mantorville H.S.) at 197-pounds.

Each year the NWCA recognizes the outstanding work of the DII Student-athletes by naming the All-Americans based on their achievements in the national championship, however, this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic the championships were canceled. All-American honors were based on each wrestler’s overall body of work through the super-regional tournaments and up to the national championships.

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Kelvington and Burnett Earn NWCA All-America Honors

MANHEIM, Pa. – The National Wrestling Coaches Association has announced the 2020 Division II All-America teams highlighted by Augustana’s Ben Kelvington and Hunter Burnett. This year’s selections were based on each wrestler’s overall body of work through the Super Regional Tournaments and up to the national championships, which were canceled due to COVID-19.

“With the cancellation of the national tournament the NWCA Division II leadership group thought it was still very appropriate to name All-Americans this year,” Jason Warthan, NWCA Division II President said. “The leadership group did a great job of weighing different options and polling the membership. We are happy that we can make the most out of an incredibly unfortunate situation.

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