(Neb.)-CSC Wrestlers at Home Twice this Weekend
CHADRON - The Chadron State College wrestling team will host two dual matches this weekend. The Eagles, who will be making their first appearance of the season at home, will host Colorado State-Pueblo at 7 p.m. on Friday and entertain Dickinson State at 5 o’clock on Saturday in the Nelson Physical Activity Center.
CSC coach Scott Ritzen said the Eagles are not at full strength and probably won’t be for a couple more weeks. He noted that sophomore Max Baker still has his wrist in a cast as a result of the vehicle accident the team went through in early December and may not be able to compete in January. In addition, the coach said senior heavyweight Shaine Odell is not at full stride after missing the first month of the season while starring at defensive end for the football team.
“Odell knows the only thing that will really count for him is at the end of the season,” Ritzen said. “We want to get him going by the regional tournament so he can qualify for nationals.”
Ritzen added that once Baker, who had a 27-14 record last year, returns to the lineup at 157 pounds, Brian Easterling will be able to move down to his normal 149-pound slot, making the Eagles a better overall team.
The coach said both duals this weekend will be tough ones.
Colorado State-Pueblo revived its wrestling program this year after dropping the sport in 2001 immediately after the ThunderWolves had won three of the last four RMAC championships.
The team is coached by Dax Charles, a three-time All-American and a national champion for the Wolves in 1992. He had a year to recruit and landed numerous excellent wrestlers, reports indicate. Last fall, CSU-Pueblo was one of six teams in Division II recognized by “Intermat Wrestling” for its outstanding class of recruits.
The team leaders include Louie DeSantis, a 149-pounder who was undefeated during the Lone Star Duals in early January and has a 17-6 record. In addition, Markus Portillos is 14-6 at 141 pounds and Martin Dick is 11-9 at 165 pounds.
The ThunderWolves had two RMAC duals last week. Although Adams State won 26-18 and Mesa State won 27-12, the scores were closer than would normally be expected from a fledgling team.
Ritzen said Dickinson State “has a great lineup and will be a big challenge for us.” The Blue Hawks scored 76.5 points to place second at their own tournament on Jan. 3 while the Eagles were third with 70. Last weekend, Dickinson finished third in the NAIA Division of the National Duals by defeating King College of Tennessee, Dana College and McKendree College of Illinois, but losing to Lindenwood of Missouri, which won the title.
An outstanding battle is expected at 197, where CSC’s defending NCAA Division II national champion Josh Majerus will tangle with Dickinson State tranafer Jake Kallestad, a former national junior college tournament champion at heavyweight. Kallestad managed a late reversal to edge Majerus 4-3 for the 197-pound championship at the Dickinson Tournament.
Another standout for the Blue Hawks is Stanton Schlecht, a native of Sturgis who won the 165-pound title at the Dickinson Tourney.
The Eagles Booster Club will host a reception for the CSC wrestlers and their families at the Country Kitchen on West 10th Street following the Friday night bout.
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