Yellowjackets Put NJCAA Championship In Their Sights

By Matt Krumrie

Rochester Technical and Community College has developed into the premiere NJCAA team in the state of Minnesota and arguably the best non-scholarship program in the nation. Randy Rager has built the southern Minnesota two-year school into a perennial power, leading the team to the last eight MCAC State Championships while also earning NJCAA Division III team titles in 2014, 2017, and 2020.

NJCAA wrestling was the only collegiate wrestling level to complete its season with a national championship in 2020 (due to the coronavirus shutting down postseason competition). And what a year it was for RCTC. The Jackets finished 2nd in the NJCAA National Duals, won the MCAC Duals - going 40-0 in matches during the tournament - and rolled to the North District/Region 13 Championship. Rager was named the NWCA Non-Scholarship National Coach of the Year, and RCTC finished the 2020 national tournament with six All-Americans, a third-place overall finish, and an NJCAA Non-Scholarship (Division III) national championship.

Expect more of the same from a loaded team this season, with one significant change.

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NJCAA announces 2020-21 eligibility status

Charlotte, NC – The NJCAA Board of Regents met Thursday to discuss NJCAA student-athlete eligibility for the 2020-21 academic year. Following the Board of Regents’ vote, all 2020-21 NJCAA sport seasons (fall, winter, spring) will not count towards student-athlete eligibility. The eligibility relief is provided to all NJCAA student-athletes regardless of sport season participation in the 2020-21 academic year.

“The Board of Regents feels this decision is best for the success and well-being of our student-athletes and member colleges at this time,” stated Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President & CEO. “There is no right answer to this challenge and situation, but as an association, we are going to support the eligibility of all our student-athletes to help them succeed in their academic and athletic careers.”

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Rutt brings big credentials as new RCTC wrestling coach

Travis Rutt is taking over as the Rochester Community and Technical College’s head wrestling coach, Randy Rager stepping down after 15 impressive seasons on the job.

The motherload would be if Rochester Community and Technical College’s new wrestling coach Travis Rutt was actually eligible to wrestle in a few matches this season.

That’s not going to happen, but Rutt would scare the heck out of opponents. The 29-year-old Rutt was one of the best 184-pounders in the country while competing at the University of Wisconsin, and then among the country’s best 197-pounders after transferring to wrestling power University of Oklahoma.

But it isn’t Rutt’s physical powers that he calls on anymore. Now, it’s his wrestling teaching acumen and people skills that he leans on, and he’s hoping it can help carry RCTC to new heights.

Rutt is taking over for Randy Rager, who stepped down at the end of last season after 15 years as RCTC’s head wrestling coach. The 43-year-old Rager hands off a program that he built into one of junior college’s best. RCTC won non-scholarship division national championships in 2014, 2017 and this past season. Rager was named national non-scholarship division Coach of the Year each of those championship seasons. Continue reading at postbulletin.com

MCAC Presidents Announce Decision on Fall Sports

The Minnesota State presidents of the member colleges of the MCAC met to determine how to move forward with intercollegiate athletics for fall semester in light of COVID-19. The presidents reaffirmed the commitment to protecting the health of student athletes.

In consideration of the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health, fall sports will be limited to those that have been identified as low-risk, Clay Target and Golf. Seasons have been canceled for football, volleyball, and soccer.

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