The Chadron State wrestling team will make its home debut Thursday night by hosting Colorado Mines in a RMAC dual in the Nelson Physical Activity Center. The action will start at 6 o’clock.
Coach Brent Hunter also will take his Eagles to the Midwest Duals at Kearney on Saturday for three matchups. The first opponent will be Northern State of Aberdeen, S.D., at 9 a.m., followed by two Kansas teams, Newman University at 10:30 and Fort Hays State at noon.
Hunter said Colorado Mines has a solid lineup “from top to bottom” and this may be the Orediggers’ best team in several years. The coach added he’s been told that Kansas Newman is stronger than usual.
The Fort Hays Tigers have dropped duals to Colorado Mines and Central Oklahoma, but were ranked 21st in NCAA Division II prior to Christmas. Northern State has a 1-4 dual record.
The Eagles are not as strong as usual, but have had some bright spots. One of them was a 21-20 dual victory over Colorado Mesa in early November. Western State was a 30-11 winner in CSC’s only other dual so far this season.
Hunter said the Eagles will fill all the weights during except 197 pounds during this week’s duals.
Team leaders through the 2017 portion of the schedule included two lighter weight contestants.
As the season was opening in November, redshirt freshman Chance Karst of Powell, Wyo., placed high in two rugged tournaments at 133 pounds. He was third at the Cowboy Open at the University of Wyoming and fourth at the Nebraska-Kearney Open and enters the New Year with a 14-7 record.
Junior Brock Thumm of Watervliet, Mich., lost his first three matches of the season, but has won 13 of 14 since then. He wrapped up 2017 by capturing the 141-pound title at both the Doane and Midland University Open Tournaments.
Heavyweight Rulon Taylor, a junior from Curtis, Neb., has also held his own, posting a 12-7 record. Each of his last four losses have been by a single point.
Hunter said one of the Eagles’ most promising young wrestlers, Jacob DeSersa of Hot Springs, is sidelined by a knee injury suffered at the Doane Open just before Christmas. DeSersa, who is a 149 pounder, was 8-3 before he was hurt.
The coach said it is doubtful that DeSersa will be able to wrestle again this season.
Seven Eagles, four of them freshmen who were competing unattached to preserve a year of eligibility, entered the Cusatis Open Tournament at Hastings College on Saturday, Jan. 6.
Each of the CSC entries won at least one match. Freshman Joe Ritzen of Chadron went 3-2 at 141 pounds to lead the Eagles.
Junior Brandon Kile, a native of Hastings and the Eagles’ varsity grappler the past two years at 126 pounds, is redshirting this year and went 2-2 at 133 pounds. Redshirt freshman Alex Mai of Fort Morgan, Colo., also split his four matches at heavyweight. Both of his losses were in overtime.
Freshman Kyle Stevens of Polk, Neb., also was 2-2 at 174 pounds.
CSC’s results at Hastings:
133—Brandon Kile, CSC unatt, tech fall Trey Fischbach, unatt, 17-0; Kile major dec. Robert Ozuna, York, 12-4; Noah Au-Yeung, Colorado Mines, dec. Kile 4-0; Gresh Jones, Dickinson State, dec. Kile 6-1.
141—Joe Ritzen, CSC unatt, dec. Jake Abeyta, Hastings, 1-0; Taylor Bambill, Colo. Mines, pinned Ritzen, 1:54; Ritzen dec. Robert Price, CSC unatt. 6-3; Ritzen tech. fall Grant Barkhurst, Air Force Academy, 17-0; Zac Charity, Hastings, dec. Ritzen 11-9.
141—Zac Charity, Hastings, pinned Robert Price, CSC unatt, 5:40; Price major dec. Seth Hood, Doane, 10-1; Joe Ritzen, CSC unatt, dec. Price 6-3.
149—Matt Landgraff, Oklahoma City, major dec. Caleb Haskell, CSC, 14-1; Haskell pinned Trent Eldridge, Hastings, 2:43; Ryan Carpenter, Colo. Mines dec. Haskell 5-0.
157—Zemua Baptista, UNL, tech. fall Grant Albrecht, CSC unatt, 18-2; Albrecht pinned Gage Herron, Doane, 1:15; Wyatt Gerl, Hastings, major dec. Albrecht, 13-1.
174—Kyle Stevens, CSC unatt, dec. Kaelan Jones, Northeastern, Colo., Juco, 14-10; Stevens pinned Zach Westergaard, Dakota Wesleyan, 6:34; TJ Shelton, Colo. Mines, pinned Stevens, 2:54; Devan Williams, Dickinson State, pinned Stevens, 1:02.
Hwt—Gage Johnson, Okla. City, dec. Alex Mai, CSC, on criteria in OT; Mai dec. Dan Gonzalez, Hastings, 4-2; Mai won by medical forfeit over Bryson McGowan, Okla. City; Lex Plummer, Kansas Wesleyan, dec. Mai 3-1 in OT.