Forde’s Story Far From Over

MOORHEAD, Minn. – Each senior on the Minnesota State University Moorhead wrestling team has their own unique story or lasting impression. For Evan Forde, his lasting impression as a leader and teammate is already well known. His legacy as a Dragons wrestler, however, still has one more chapter left.

Forde is a local product of Fargo, N.D. and the pride of the Fargo South High School Bruins. Before his arrival at MSUM, the Forde name was a well-known part of wrestling in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Evan’s father, Lynn, is the coach of the Bruins wrestling team and was a member of the North Dakota State Bison wrestling team along with Evan’s uncles Bruce Forde and Randy Forde.

Forde was a successful wrestler at Fargo South, placing three times in the state tournament as high as second. Upon his arrival, Forde made an instant mark on the conference, posting a 15-14 record.

Forde has been the Dragons’ captain for the past two seasons, in large part due to his leadership and intensity. For Forde, there is added pressure that comes with being a captain and having the experience of a senior in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

“When I was younger, I had to just worry about myself and be ready to wrestle on my own,” Forde said. “Now there is more pressure to have the whole team ready, along with yourself.”

Forde has doesn’t hide the fact that his record since the spring semester has began has been frustrating. Rather, he expects to win the close matches with his experience. The frustration has turned into added motivation to prove how strong of a wrestler he is with his collegiate career nearly at its end.

“The biggest thing is finishing off these last few duals strong,” Forde said. “I’m getting to that point where I’m watching a lot of film on the guys I have wrestled and get to where I’m ready to peak.”

A large part of Forde’s approach is to never give excuses for coming up short. To never blame any struggles on the road being too tough. For Evan, the same applies to the competition the Dragons face year in and year out.

“Having a tough schedule helps us because by wrestling all this tough competition during the year, that’s going to help better prepare you for the post season,” Forde said. “In the end, having a tough schedule and a poor record is better than an easy schedule and a good record.”

It’s not too often you can go to an NCAA Division-II dual and see a wrestler sometimes out yell his coach. But come to a Dragons’ dual and that very well could be the case. Forde does his best to hide the coach with in, but his competitive drive often gets the best of him.

“I don’t pay attention to it but that is what I’m known for,” Forde said. “I can get a little into it but that’s because I want my teammates to win as badly as I want myself to win. It can be more frustrating watching teammates lose because it’s out of your control.” Evan’s voice is usually silent when he wrestles, but his father Lynn is there to kill any silence.

“That’s still the voice I can easily pick out from the crowd, Forde said. “I hear every word he says and I still get good advice from him. He has basically been my coach my whole life.” The lessons Lynn taught Evan extend beyond the mat as well.

“My motto has been to try and live life with no regrets and he has really supported me through that,” Forde said. “If you put 100 percent effort into what you’re doing than no matter what the outcome you can be proud of what you done.” It’s fairly easy for Forde to realize what it’s going to be like when this is all gone.

“You miss the feel of competition a lot, it’s why we are all in this, Forde said. “But I will miss the camaraderie and that team aspect. I know that we (seniors Tallen Wald, Jon Swart, Brady Schneeberger and Evan) can all look back on our struggles together and see how we got through it as teammates. To finish strong with these guys would mean a lot to me.”

Finishing strong begins with the John Sterner Endowment Dual, which means more to Forde than one would begin to think.

“There is tradition here in this wrestling program and the Endowment Dual is a tribute to that tradition,” Forde said. “It’s not just about raising money it’s about putting on a good show for all of those people who support us.” Forde has full control over how much longer he will wrestle; assuring no timetable can end his career.

“That’s why this sport is so great,” Forde said. “If your team isn’t doing so well there is still not limit to how far you can go. I want my team to do well but the only way to help them is by taking care of myself.” With the national tournament nearly a month away, it’s Forde’s chance to leave his mark on Dragons’ wrestling.

“I’ve been in this sport my whole life and I got one month left to see what I can do.”

Dragons Host Wolves In Annual John Sterner Endowment Dual

MOORHEAD, Minn. – The Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragons wrestling team remains No. 20 in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association poll for the NCAA Division-II wrestling standings. Tallen Wald joins Brady Schneeberger and Corey Ulmer in the individual national rankings for the Dragons.

No. 3 Corey Ulmer (19-4) moves up three spots in the latest polls, in large part to his 8-0 win over then-No. 2 Andy Forstner of Minnesota State Mankato on Jan. 20. Ulmer is currently on a 7-match winning streak since his one-point loss to No. 1 ranked Russell Weakley of North Carolina-Pembroke. Heading into the dual versus Northern State, Ulmer is 7-2 against the NSIC.

Brady Schneeberger remains No. 3 despite being inactive since the dual at the University of Mary (N.D.). Schneeberger has posted a 9-8 record this season, 3-2 in conference action, including a 2-2 record against U-Mary’s Todd Beaman with one loss being a medical default.

Schneeberger became the NSIC’s top 141-pounder when he upset Augustana’s Jay Sherer at last year’s NCAA Division-II Super III Regionals in Aberdeen, S.D. Schneeberger beat Sherer a second straight time at Augustana by a final of 5-2 and is a game day decision against Northern State (S.D.).

Also joining the national rankings is redshirt senior Tallen Wald at 157 pounds. Dating back to the national duals in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Wald has posted a 7-4 record and holds a 15-10 record overall. In the NSIC, Wald is 5-2 with his only losses coming to the top two wrestlers in conference, No. 2 John Sundgren of St. Cloud State and No. 3 Marcus Edgington of Augustana.


The Northern State Wolves are unranked but do bring in two ranked wrestlers, including No. 4 Cale Cornemann at 184 pounds and No. 2 ranked heavyweight Matt Meuleners.

The Wolves are currently on a six dual losing streak after getting shutout at the hands of No. 3 St. Cloud State. Prior to that the Wolves fell by only two points to NAIA No. 12 Dickinson State (N.D.).

The closest match in the dual against St. Cloud State was a battle of the top two heavyweights in the nation at the D-II level. No. 2 Matt Meuleners battled Jake Kahnke, the nation’s top heavyweight, in the final matchup. Kahnke came away with a narrow 5-4 win, leading to the Huskies shutout.

The Wolves’ last win came on Jan. 12 against Northwestern University (Iowa) 47-3. The Wolves are 0-4 against NSIC opponents so far this season. The Wolves were picked to finish seventh in the NSIC in the preseason coaches’ poll.


The Dragons lead the all-time series with the Wolves 18-9. In their last meeting, the Wolves snuck out a win over the Dragons 19-16. The Dragons fired ahead of the Wolves, winning four of the first five matches, but the Dragons stumbled from there as the Wolves came back to take the win. Corey UlmerEvan FordeTyler Steinwand and Tallen Wald all earned victories in the dual.

In last year’s dual, Jon Swart and Matt Meuleners both met at 197 pounds and meet up again at heavyweight. Schneeberger and Crow may meet up once again along with Tyler Steinwand potentially dueling once more with Beau Voegeli. The Dragons starters went 2-2 against Wolves’ wrestlers at the Bison Open on Nov. 13.

John Sterner coached the Dragons from 1988 until 2003. During his 15 years as Dragons wrestling head coach, the Dragons went 137-92-1 overall. This past April, Coach Sterner was inducted into the Minnesota Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Admission is seven dollars, all of which goes into the fund benefiting Dragons’ wrestling scholarships.

The dual is set to begin at 7 p.m. inside Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse. The Dragons wrestling team will host their Overtime Period at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Moorhead following the conclusion of the dual.

MSU-Moorhead 30 Minot State 9

MINOT, N.D. – The No. 20 ranked Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragons wrestling team took on their final road opponent of the 2010-11 season against future NSIC opponent Minot State (N.D.). The Beavers received a free pass at 125 pounds but gained little else as the Dragons stole the show, winning 30-9.

Redshirt junior Corey Ulmer was inactive against the Beavers, which gave the home team a 6-0 lead. The Dragons opened up their night at 133 pounds with redshirt senior Evan Forde who took on Robert Herrera. Herrera chose the bottom position to start the second and Forde nearly made him pay for it, gaining a three-point nearfall.

Forde denied Herrera any points in the third, choosing to go neutral and taking the two minutes of riding time to a 4-0 win. After a loss at 141 pounds toConnor MacGregor who was in the lineup for Brady SchneebergerTyler Steinwand continued his hot streak with a 15-5 major decision win over Jon Wilson at 149 pounds.

Steinwand worked Wilson over for points from the start, gaining a takedown then releasing Wilson three times in the first to lead 6-3. In the third, Steinwand racked up more points, escaping 32 seconds into the final period. Steinwand took down Wilson twice in the final minute, gaining a three-point nearfall to work his way up to the 10-point win.

Much like Steinwand, redshirt senior Tallen Wald gained majority of his points in the final period of the 157-pound match against Marcus Wilson. Wald led 4-0 after two periods as a result of a takedown and reversal in the first and second periods, respectively.

In the third, Wald reversed Wilson 19 seconds into the period, but Wilson escaped 11 seconds later. A little over half way through the period, Wald took down Wilson and nearly pinned him 18 seconds later. Riding time finished off Wilson for an 11-1 major decision win for Wald.

The most impressive win of the night belonged to Tyler Kivel at 165 pounds against Coby Carson. Carson gained a takedown half way into the opening period but would have no more success as Kivel escaped to trail 2-1. Kivel took down Carson and followed it up with a three-point nearfall to lead 6-2.

In the third period, Kivel chose the top position and nearly pinned Carson three separate times, twice for two points and a three-point nearfall. A total of 2:34 of riding time gave Kivel a 14-2 major decision win, the third in a row for the Dragons.

Trent Sovde got back on the winning track at 174 pounds against Cristian Molina. Sovde took Molina down 53 seconds into the match but Molina managed to escape 17 seconds later. Sovde gained another point in the second by escaping to lead 3-1 after the second. Sovde’s two takedowns sealed the win for Sovde by a final of 7-2.

Freshman Kody Kalkbrenner also had a bounce back win of his own at 184 pounds when he faced Luke Michaelson. Kalkbrenner and Michaelson battled in the first period as Kalkbrenner gained a mid-period takedown but Michaelson countered with an escape and a quick takedown of his own. Not to be out done, Kalkbrenner reversed Michaelson to end the period, up 4-3.

In the second, Kalkbrenner forged ahead with a takedown and a three-point nearfall to end the period on his way to a 9-5 win. With the nearly secured,Brian Woelfel showed how tough on top he could be against Wade Weppler. Woelfel gained a takedown, scoring two more points to open up a 4-0 lead.

In the period, Weppler chose the bottom position in an effort to gain points but Woelfel refused to yield, finishing with over four minutes of riding time for a 5-0 win.

In the final match, redshirt senior Jon Swart proved it was a matter of time for Sean Small at heavyweight. Swart took down Small 1:17 into the period, nearly pinning Small a minute later. As the period was closing to an end, Swart finished off Small with a pin at 2:46.

The Dragons won eight of the nine matches on the night, most of them in convincing fashion for the 30-9 win. The win brings the Dragons record to 5-8 on the season. The Dragons return home for the remainder of the regular season, starting with a conference dual against Northern State (S.D.) on Thursday at 7 p.m.

The dual is the annual John Sterner Endowment Dual, which benefits the Dragons wrestling program. The entire cost of admission goes toward the fund, which helps MSU-Moorhead wrestling scholarships.

Coach Sterner was the Dragons’ head coach from 1988 until 2003. During that time Coach Sterner had a coaching record of 137-92-1 and was inducted into the Minnesota Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in April of 2010.

MSU-Moorhead 30 Minot State 9
125: Kellan Zietz (Minot) For Forfeit (Moor)
133: Evan  Forde (Moor) DEC Herrera, Robert (Minot) 4-0
141: Deon Buhl (Minot) DEC Connor MacGregor (Moor) 11-7
149: Tyler Steinwand (Moor) MD Jon Wilson (Minot) 15-5
157: Tallen Wald (Moor) MD Marcus Wilson (Minot) 11-1
165: Tyler Kivel (Moor) MD Carson, Coby (Minot) 14-2
174: Trent Sovde (Moor) DEC Cristian Molina (Minot) 7-2
184: Kody Kalkbrenner (Moor) DEC Luke Michaelson (Minot) 9-5
197: Brian Woelfel (Moor) DEC Wade Weppler (Minot) 5-0
285: Jon Swart (Moor) FALL Sean Small (Minot) 2:46

Dragons Wrestling Endowment Dual

MSUM Dragons vs. Northern State Wolves
Thursday, February 10th at 7:00 pm

To help ensure the long-term future of the MSUM Wrestling program, money raised at this dual will raise money for the John Sterner Wrestling Endowment Fund.

  • $7 ticket – The entire cost of admission goes directly to the John Sterner Endowment Fund which helps MSU-Moorhead wrestling scholarships.
  • John Sterner was inducted into the Minnesota Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame this past April.
  • Coach Sterner headed the Dragons wrestling program from 1988 until 2003.
  • During his 15 year tenure, Sterner coached the Dragons to a 137-92-1 record.

The Dragons OT will be held at the Moorhead Buffalo Wild Wings location at 2201 1st Ave. N. following the dual with Northern State. Come meet the Dragon wrestlers and coaching staff!

Please contact Head Coach Kris Nelson at 218.477.2309 for more information.

Dragons Set For Final Road Dual

MOORHEAD, Minn. – The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference will welcome two teams in the conference in 2012-13, Sioux Falls (S.D.) and Minot State (N.D.). The Dragons dispatched the Cougars 45-4 on Jan. 26 and now head to Minot State to face the Beavers on Tuesday night.

The Dragons started their final road trip of the season with a contest at Southwest Minnesota State on Saturday. Tyler Kivel got the Dragons off and running at 165 pounds but the Mustangs caught fire, getting three straight major decisions to open a sizable lead.

The Dragons bounced back with a close win by Jon Swart, yet again in sudden victory, and also by 125-pounder Corey Ulmer who gained his seventh major decision on the year, improving his record to 19-4. The Dragons fell at 133 and 141 pounds, which sealed the win that survived a late Dragons’ rally, as the Mustangs pulled off the upset 18-16 at home.

The Beavers have faced neighboring U-Mary Marauders, knocking off Mary by a final of 24-18. The Beavers currently hold a 5-3 record in duals so far this season. After starting out 2-0, the Beavers went 3-1 at the Ridgewater Quad with wins over Itasca Community College, Minnesota West CTC and St. Johns.

The last two duals have not been as kind to the Beavers who were handled by Dickinson State (N.D.) 6-41 and followed that up with a 9-34 loss at the hands of Jamestown College whom the Dragons beat 35-3. The Dragons lead the all-time series with Minot State 4-0-1.

Southwest Minnesota State 18 MSU-Moorhead 16

MARSHALL, Minn. – The Southwest Minnesota State wrestling team won its first NSIC dual of the season this afternoon by defeating No. 20 Minnesota State University Moorhead 18-16. The win marks SMSU’s first win over MSU Moorhead since the 2000-01 season.

The Mustangs and the Dragons each earned five individual wins but SMSU’s major decisions from Zach Coates and CD Johnson led SMSU to victory. The win was SMSU’s first NSIC dual victory since Feb. 13, 2010 when SMSU defeated U-Mary 25-15.

The Dragons would get on the scoreboard first when Tyler Kivel defeated SMSU’s Billy Fate in a 4-2 decision to give MSU Moorhead an early 3-0 lead. The Mustangs would fire right back in the 174-pound bout when Zach Coates earned a 11-1 major decision over Trent Sovde. SMSU took a one-point 4-3 lead over the Dragons.

CD Johnson won his fourth straight NSIC match of the season when he picked up a 10-2 major decision over Kody Kalkbrenner. Johnson has not lost a match with a conference opponent so far this season.

SMSU’s Martin Hagen would help the Mustangs extend the lead to 12-3 earning an 11-2 major decision over Brian Woelfel in the 197-pound bout. The Dragons would cut SMSU’s lead in half (12-6) when Jon Swart earned a 2-1 decision over Brian Rodas in an extra session in the heavyweight bout. The Mustangs had won three straight bouts before Swart defeated Rodas.

The Dragons would continue to cut into SMSU’s lead when Cory Ulmer, who is ranked No. 6 in the NCAA at 125 pounds, earned an 11-3 major decision over Travis Borchert.

The Mustangs would get back on the board and take a five-point lead at 15-10 when Justin Reinsma earned a 2-1 decision over Evan Forde. The Dragons would bounce right back in the 149-pound bout where Tyler Steinwand earned a tight 5-4 decision over Demond Carter. SMSU took an 18-13 lead into the final bout of the dual.

Tallen Wald defeated SMSU’s Casey Field in the 157-pound match in a 3-0 decision to make the final score 18-16 in SMSU’s favor.

Southwest Minnesota State will continue NSIC action next Thursday when they travel to Mankato, Minn. to take on Minnesota State in a dual beginning at 7 p.m.

Southwest Minnesota State 18 MSU-Moorhead 16
165: Tyler Kivel (MSUM) dec. Billy Fate (SMSU), 4-2 (MSUM leads 3-0)
174: Zach Coates (SMSU) major dec. Trent Sovde (MSUM), 11-1 (SMSU leads 4-3)
184: CD Johnson (SMSU) major dec. Kody Kalkbrenner (MSUM), 10-2 (SMSU leads 8-3)
197: Martin Hagen (SMSU) major dec. Brian Woelfel (MSUM), 11-2 (SMSU leads 12-3)
285: Jon Swart (MSUM) dec. Brian Rodas (SMSU), 2-1 (SMSU leads 12-6)
125: No. 6 Cory Ulmer (MSUM) major dec. Travis Borchert (SMSU), 11-3 (SMSU leads 12-10)
133: Justin Reinsma (SMSU) dec. Evan Forde (MSUM), 2-1 (SMSU leads 15-10)
141: Ethan Hildebrandt (SMSU) dec. Brady Schneeberger (MSUM), 8-4 (SMSU leads 18-10)
149: Tyler Steinwand (MSUM) dec. Demond Carter (SMSU), 5-4 (SMSU leads 18-13)
157: Tallen Wald (MSUM) dec. Casey Field (SMSU), 3-0 (SMSU leads 18-16