New Bison wrestling coach continues to blaze his own trail

Former world-class athlete Obe Blanc is the first Black head coach in NDSU athletics history

FARGO — The competitive wrestling career of Obenson Blanc was on an impressive path to the Olympic Games, just falling short of that goal when he was named an alternate to the 2012 U.S. team at the London Games. He was a two-time U.S. Open and World Team Trials champion before running out of steam and a coaching career came calling.

He didn’t go looking for it; coaching came to him. Today, at 38 years old, he finds himself a head coach for the first time, being named to the position about a month ago at North Dakota State.

In the process, Blanc became what is believed to be the first Black head coach in NDSU athletics history and, like getting into the profession in the first place, he didn’t go looking for it. It came to him. But he’s well aware of the significance from an overall university perspective, saying just his presence on the sideline “helps take that barrier in their mind away by visually seeing it.”

“I don’t know if it’s as important to me as it perhaps might be to other people,” Blanc said. “For me, I’ve never looked at it that way. I’m not saying there might be some different ceilings and stuff, I’m sure there are, but I’ve just never really had that kind of notion. Be smart and position yourself well, educate yourself and go chase what you want. I’ve never seen my color being a limitation.” Continue reading at →

Dragon Wrestling Camp Featuring Hayden Zillmer Slated for July 26-28

MOORHEAD, Minn. — MSU Moorhead wrestling will host its annual wrestling camp beginning on July 26 with the camp concluding on July 28. Former North Dakota State standout Hayden Zillmer will be the lead clinician for the camp.

Hayden Zillmer was a member of the USA World Team at 125 kg men’s freestyle in 2022. In September of 2022, Zillmer competed in the Senior World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. Zillmer had previously made the US Senior National Teams in both freestyle and Greco-Roman. He is from Crosby, Minn., and was an All-American at North Dakota State.

The camp is available for those entering third grade through 12th grade. Wrestlers will develop their skills in folkstyle wrestling, concentrating on the top, bottom, and neutral positions. Continue reading at →

Power wrestling programs poaching Bison standouts with deep NIL pockets

NDSU All-Americans Jared Franek, Michael Caliendo may be on the move with better offers from bigger programs

There are 78 Division I universities across the country that have a wrestling program. From now until the life of the NCAA’s name, image, likeness stipulation, North Dakota State will forever be at the mercy of a select several.

There are two ways around it: Either the Bison have to adopt some sort of NIL collective or the NIL somehow gets severely restricted with a salary cap of sorts. We give you two examples: Jared Franek and Michael Caliendo.

They are the best 1-2 punch NDSU has put together in a long time and both are now in the NCAA transfer portal because the money that a few schools are putting in front of them will most likely be too hard to pass up. It is believed both are being wooed with six-figure offers; Franek for his final year of eligibility and Caliendo over the course of his final three years.

Welcome to the mid-major head coaching world, Obe Blanc. The former Bison assistant was elevated earlier this month after Roger Kish took a similar position at Oklahoma and for his first head coaching job, Blanc gets the torture of dealing with NIL as a school that doesn’t have it. Continue reading at →

Cobbers Bents and Hunt earn CSC Academic All-District Honors

MOORHEAD, Minn. — Concordia had six student-athletes, including wrestlers Tyler Bents (Sr., Glenwood, Minn./Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa HS) and Elijah Hunt (Jr., St. Peter, Minn.), named to the Academic All-District Team, as selected by College Sports Communicators (formerly CoSIDA), in the men’s/women’s at-large category.

The other Cobbers recognized were men’s hockey players Jacen Bracko (Sr., Calgary, Alta.) and Cole O’Connell (Jr., Moorhead, Minn.), as well as women’s hockey juniors Ellie Brewer (Nederland, Colo.) and Jerica Friese (Argusville, N.D./Fargo Shanley HS).

To be eligible for Academic All-District recognition, student-athletes must be at least a sophomore with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher, and have played in at least 50 percent of the team’s competition throughout the season.

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Augsburg’s Tyler Shilson, Charlie Stuhl named CSC Academic All-District

Augsburg University men’s wrestlers Tyler Shilson (SR, Maple Grove, Minn./Centennial HS) and Charlie Stuhl (SO, Ellsworth, Wis./Ellsworth HS) were named to the Academic All-District Men’s At-Large Team, as selected by College Sports Communicators (formerly CoSIDA), on Tuesday.

The CSC Academic All-District team is part of the CSC Academic All-America program. Top student-athletes are nominated for inclusion on the Academic All-District teams by college and university sports information directors. Student-athletes must have a grade-point average above 3.50 (4.0 scale) and have outstanding athletic credentials. The Division III Academic All-America program is being financially supported by the NCAA Division III national governance structure, to assist CSC with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the Division III Academic All-America teams program.

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Dragon’s Boom and Grove Distinguished with NSIC’s Honor Student-Athlete Awards

BURNSVILLE, Minn. — MSU Moorhead’s Peyton Boom (women’s basketball) and Samuel Grove (wrestling) have been named the recipients of the NSIC’s Honor Student-Athlete Award. Two student-athletes from each NSIC member institution are bestowed the honor yearly.

Boom is completing her graduate studies at MSUM in Speech-Language Pathology and has worked for a 3.94 cumulative GPA. The senior standout was also named the NSIC’s Outstanding Senior Athlete of the Year for women’s basketball for her efforts on and off the court. Boom was also named to this winter’s NSIC All-Academic Team of Excellence and was a CSC Academic All-District selection.

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Vikings’ Rohman Named to CSC At-Large Academic All-District Team

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.–Five student-athletes, including wrestler Jaxson Rohman, were selected by College Sports Communicators (formerly CoSIDA) to the 2022-23 At-Large Academic All-District team. Augustana was represented by wrestling, men’s golf, and women’s golf on the all-district team.

Rohman, from Trimont, Minnesota, finished his sophomore season with a 20-7 record, All-American honors and a second-place finish at the NCAA DII National Championship tournament. In addition to CSC Academic All-District honors, Rohman was named to the NSIC All-Academic Team of Excellence and garnered NWCA Division II Scholar All-America honors.

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