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Thread: 2020-2021 Season

  1. #1
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    Jan 2015
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    Default 2020-2021 Season

    NDSU graduates 3 fifth year seniors, who were all 4 year starters.

    Cam Sykora is gone at 133 after qualifying for the NCAA tournament all four years. Same goes for Andrew Fogarty at 165. Both of these guys were ranked in the top 10 throughout a good chunk of their senior seasons.

    Cordell Eaton qualified for the NCAA tournament his senior season to cap a four year career as a starter at 197.

    Lorenzo De La Riva and Dan Stibral both graduate too. De La Riva qualified for two NCAA tournaments, one at Cal State Bakersfield and one at NDSU. Stibral was a high quality starter for the Bison who likely would have qualified for the NCAA tournament the past two years if he was in a team's starting lineup.

    NDSU didn't sign a big or highly rated recruiting class, and with all that talent coming off the books, I would hope they have money available for a transfer or two.

    125- The only 125 pounder on the roster is McGwire Midkiff, with Ryan Henningson slated to join the squad next year. Midkiff was a minute away from qualifying for NCAAs and would probably be ranked in the top 30 to start next year. I'd be very open to bringing in a transfer here, and moving Midkiff to 133. The problem is I haven't seen any logical transfer options available. Maybe Aaron Cashman looks to move on from Iowa and stay close to home. It is a big cut for Midkiff, but barring a transfer, it seems like he has to be the guy at 125. I am very interested to see how Henningson develops here too.

    133- getting a transfer for 125 and moving Midkiff to 133 would probably be best, but obviously that is contingent on finding a good fit on the transfer market. As things stand here, Midkiff at 125 and Ryan Ripplinger at 133 appears to be the most likely pairing. Barring a massive jump, or a transfer, this weight could be a struggle. Not a lot of names on the transfer market yet either, but one I'm hoping shows up is Tucker Sjomeling from Nebraska. He's a MN kid and buried behind some high end talent at Nebraska. He has already beaten AA Montorie Bridges before and would make for a solid pairing with Midkiff at 125. Kellyn March is the highest rated guy in their 2020 class, so maybe he will be an option.

    141- Dylan Droegemueller came on late with a great B12 tourney to qualify for NCAAs. He's a strong bet to return as the starter and Sawyer Degen gives NDSU a strong depth option here. I think Dylan could make a sizable jump with improved confidence. He had two great wins at B12 that should show him that he can compete with most guys. He can definitely be a top 20 guy next year.

    149- Jaden Van Maanen returns at this weight. He had a bunch of close losses and just wasn't able to get on his offense like he had previously. If the staff can get him more confident and more aggressive, he can be an NCAA qualifier and a top 20 guy. This is a great test for the staff. Michael Weber looked solid in limited matches last year and should provide aa good depth option.

    157- I imagine Franek is back at 157 next year. If he is, he is an All American threat and the best guy on the team. 157 looks like a good fit for him. Nick Knutson is a good depth option at 157/165.

    165- This spot makes sense for Luke Weber. He was too small for 174 at the end of the year, but he should be able to add a little more muscle and fill into 165. If he does, he's a probable NCAA qualifier IMO.

    174- Austin Brenner showed some real flashes in spot starts last year, and I imagine he settles in as the guy at 174 for the next three years. Jimmy Noel beat Brenner last year though and could factor in here. Jesse Shearer is an option too. I think Brenner could be an NCAA qualifier.

    184- Noah Cressell returns after being adequate this year, while TJ Pottinger started a bunch too. Neither screams upside to me, and I'm hoping we see two other guys give this weight a shot. The first is Col Witzig, who was a reserve at 197 last year. Witzig definitely has some weight he could shed if he wants to give it a go. He's not super athletic, but he's got good pace and is constantly working to score. Gary Wokojance could be an option if he progressed from last year.

    197- I expect this to be Michael Nelson's weight for the next four years. I also expect him to be very good and qualify for NCAAs right away. Witzig could be an option here, but I think Nelson is going to be one of NDSU's better guys right away.

    HWT- Two more years of Metz. A bit concerning that they don't have anyone as a backup here and I guess Witzig/Nelson would handle 197 and HWT if Metz got hurt.

    Overall, the team will be a lot younger with a lot more question marks. With that said, of the guys currently on the roster, I could see 125, 141, 149, 157, 165, 174, 197, and HWT all having good chances to qualify for NCAAs. I really think how Droegemueller, JVM, Nelson, and Brenner develop will tell how next year will go. If they continue to improve, they'll form a very strong lineup with Franek, Midkiff, Weber, and Metz. 184 was already ok this year and all of the guys at the weight return, so that could even improve next year. 133 will be a challenge, but maybe we can bring a transfer in at 125 or 133 to shore it up.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 2020-2021 Season

    Schedule hasn't been released, but sounds like Buffalo will be attending the Bison Open this year. That should improve the quality of the tournament a good amount.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 2020-2021 Season

    I was glad to see travel partners set up for the conference going forward. Hopefully the conference schedule will be a bit more systematic now. I just wish they would have done something a little different with UVU being separate, while WYO, UNC, and AFA are all together.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 2020-2021 Season

    Check out the 157 rankings on this site: https://quantwrestling.com/

    I thought they did a nice job on the NCAA tournament simulation.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 2020-2021 Season

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bird View Post
    125- The only 125 pounder on the roster is McGwire Midkiff, with Ryan Henningson slated to join the squad next year. Midkiff was a minute away from qualifying for NCAAs and would probably be ranked in the top 30 to start next year. I'd be very open to bringing in a transfer here, and moving Midkiff to
    With Old Dominion dropping wrestling, I guess Cardinale could be available.

    I know that D1 got a couple of new teams recently, with a couple more in the works, but it feels like we are going in the wrong direction here.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Default Re: 2020-2021 Season

    Quote Originally Posted by RadioBison View Post
    With Old Dominion dropping wrestling, I guess Cardinale could be available.

    I know that D1 got a couple of new teams recently, with a couple more in the works, but it feels like we are going in the wrong direction here.
    Sadly I think there will be more of this coming. Covid-19 will have a big impact on athletic budgets and sports like wrestling and baseball are going to take a hit
    Bison fans are blessed. Enjoy it!
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