Bison Wrestling Kicks Off Season at Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open
Release: November 05, 2010
FARGO, N.D. – The North Dakota State wrestling team opens the 2010-11 season with the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open in Brookings, S.D. on Saturday, Dec. 6.
The North Dakota State Bison finished third at the NCAA West Regional last year and sent two wrestlers to the NCAA Championships. Head coach Bucky Maughan, now in his 47th season, thinks the Bison can improve on that.
“We can be competitive in our conference and I think three or four wrestlers can advance to the NCAA Championships,” said Maughan.
The Bison return a strong group of eight starters, including 2010 NCAA qualifier and regional champion Vince Salminen. Salminen, along with Andrey Patselov, Kenny Moenkedick and Geoff Martin make up the senior class.
NDSU also has a lot of youth on the team. There are seven true freshmen, as well as five other athletes with freshman eligibility.
“We have recruited well,” said Maughan. “We have several freshmen with potential, but they should be redshirting this year so they can be better down the road.”
The Bison will compete in six open tournaments before a winter break, including the annual Bison Open on Nov. 13. Over Thanksgiving weekend, NDSU will travel to Rochester, Minn., to open dual action Northern Quad where they will take on No. 4 Minnesota, No. 9 Central Michigan and Appalachian State.
“We are wrestling the best teams we can,” said Maughan. “We needed to put together a challenging schedule due to the new NCAA qualifying system.”
Wrestlers are now ranked on a power index, which takes into account the number of ranked wrestlers performed against as well as the results of those matches.
After a winter break, the Bison head east for the North Carolina State Duals where they will take on N.C. State, Anderson, Campbell and Mercyhurst. Western Wrestling Conference action begins Jan. 14 with a home meet against Northern Iowa. NDSU will host Northern Colorado on Jan. 23.
The Bison will then hit the road for three straight matches against WWC foes. The team will compete at Air Force on Jan. 28 before traveling to Laramie to take on defending regional champion Wyoming Jan. 30. NDSU will look to avenge a close loss to South Dakota State on Feb. 11 in Brookings.
After a meet with Dickinson State, the Bison will close out the home slate Feb. 19 against Utah Valley.
The NCAA West Regional is slated for Sunday, March 6 in Colorado Springs.
Junior Justin Solberg and sophomore Trent Sprenkle will compete for a starting spot at 125 pounds. Sprenkle is back in action and looking strong after redshirting last season, while Solberg compiled a 22-12 record in his sophomore campaign.
Phil Levine competed last season as an unattached wrestler. Freshman Cody Wray, a Michigan state champion, will also compete at 125 pounds.
Jake Love has come on strong after redshirting a season ago. It is also possible that Sprenkle or Solberg could be moved up a weight class to compete with Love.
Redshirt freshman Trevor Johnson finished last season with a record of 13-5 as an unattached wrestler. Johnson has been tabbed a potential starter at this weight class.
Senior Geoff Martin, sophomore Mark Erickson and freshman Paul Johnson will push Johnson. Martin tallied a record of 8-12 last year. Sophomore Mark Erickson went 10-7 in open tournaments in 2009-10.
Senior Andrey Patselov will aim for his first bid to the NCAA Championships at 149 pounds. Patselov was the West Regional runner-up last season and posted a record of 23-10.
Junior Joe Garner, a transfer from Sacramento City College, will challenge Patselov. Redshirt freshman Nash Hallfrisch and freshman Tucker Freeman will also compete at 149 pounds.
West Region champion Vince Salminen returns to defend his title. Salminen went 22-10 last season and earned All-WWC first team honors.
Redshirt freshman Steven Monk could wrestle at 157 pounds or 165 pounds. He went 31-6 as an unattached wrestler last year and notched 15 pins. Monk ended the season on a 19-match win streak.
Junior Tyler Johnson returns after starting the previous two seasons at 165 pounds. His 26 wins last year were second on the team behind the graduated Ryan Adams.
Monk could challenge Johnson for a starting spot at 165 pounds, but sophomore Tyler Wells and freshman Kurtis Julson will also be looking to make a mark in this weight class.
Sophomore Mac Stoll is NDSU’s lone wrestler at 174 pounds. Stoll went 18-17 as a freshman and will look to build on that experience.
Senior Kenny Moenkedick looks to close out his Bison career with a trip to the NCAA Championships. He has started since he was a redshirt freshman and finished the 2009-10 campaign with a 13-11 mark.
John Gusewelle, a freshman out of Osakis, Minn., is a two-time third place winner at the
Minnesota state championships.
Junior Drew Ross is the only Bison competing at 197 pounds. Ross is coming off a second place finish at the NCAA West Regional and will look to build on that momentum going into this season.
Shane Hegedus joins the Bison after competing for the club team at Oakland (Mich.) for a year. He qualified for the national tournament after placing fourth at the regional meet.