About 15 Chadron State College wrestlers will be competing at the Viking-Warrior Open Tournament hosted by Midland University in Fremont on Saturday to wrap up the Old Year.
The Eagles also entered the tourney last year along with more than 30 other teams ranging from NCAA Division I to community colleges.
Despite the tough competition, eight CSC grapplers placed among the top four in their weight classes a year ago. They include current Eagles Brock Thumm, who finished third at 141 pounds, and Johnny Porter, who was fourth at 157.
Despite losing four of their top team members before the season started following a hazing incident, the youthful Eagles have been competitive while entering four tournaments and a couple of duals.
Chance Karst, a redshirt freshman from Powell, Wyo., has a 12-5 record to lead the Eagles so far.
Close behind is junior Brock Thumm of Watervliet, Mich., who is 10-4 after going 5-0 while winning the 141-pound weight class at the Doane Tournament on Dec. 9. The championship also netted Thumm the RMAC Wrestler of the Week honors.
Heavyweight Rulon Taylor of Curtis, Neb., also has reached double figures in wins at 10-5 after going 4-1 at Doane.
Evan Smith of Gillette at 125 and 133 pounds is 9-6 and Jacob DeSersa of Hot Springs is 8-4 at 149 during their first year of competition with the Eagles.
Other team members and their records include Porter, a junior from Bellevue, Neb., 5-5 at 167; Herber Shepherd of Spanish Fork, Utah, 7-8 at 184; Josh Miller of Bennett, Colo., 6-9 at 141; and Jacob Oluafi of Sparks, Nev., 4-7.
Oluafi lost his first six matches after transferring to CSC this fall, but won four of five at Doane to place third in his weight class.