DWU wrestlers expecting to build from last year's successThe Tigers had 10 wrestlers qualify for the NAIA national tournament and three within one match of earning All-American status last season.
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
The Tigers had 10 wrestlers qualify for the NAIA national tournament and three within one match of earning All-American status last season.
This season is all about taking the next step.
“In the past, the kids hope to make it,” Dakota Wesleyan head coach Matt Sedivy said. “They didn’t believe that was going to happen, but this year they know what they are capable of and have the confidence to reach the next level.”
Richard Rios, Trever DeVestern and Kyle Gerlach, who made the round of 12 at NAIA nationals last year, all return to the lineups this season.
“They have pretty high expectations for themselves now,” said Sedivy, whose team only lost one wrestler from last year and competes in its first Great Plains Athletic Conference dual of the season at 7 p.m. today against Morningside College at Sibley High School in Sibley, Iowa. “Every year that keeps on improving and they know the standards we have set. They have no interest in losing anymore.”
Sedivy said the middle weight classes are where the Tigers shine.
“We have a group of guys that are all capable of doing well for us in the middle weights,” said Sedivy, who is in his fourth year with the Tigers. “We’ve got to figure out a way to spread out the talent.”
Along with Rios (133), DeVestern and Gerlach, who will be sharing time at the 157-pound weight class, Zach Nelson (125), Karl Bell (141), Dusty Paulsen (149), Nick Hutcheson (165), Tyler Sarringar (174) and Eric Gruis (285) will all see time on the mat this season. The Tigers will make a lot of different weight cuts after the holiday to adjust their lineup.
Jade Hoisington will share time with Kyle Hoisington at 184 pounds and Ben Hatcher at 197.
Sedivy said his team has no major injuries but a few players are “banged up” and may not be put in the roster early on.
In contrast to other years, wrestlers can only qualify for nationals through the region tournament this season. Sedivy said the changes for qualifying have caused his team to approach the season a little differently.
“We’ve kind of changed the philosophy this year,” Sedivy said. “We’re going to shorten the amount of time the guys have to cut weight, so second semester we’re going to start seeing the cuts for the end of the season.”