Busy weekend for wrestling starts Friday with #5 Boise State
Home Sweet Home
Northern Colorado will compete in front of the hometown crowds on back-to-back days at the Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion, beginning the home portion of the 2010-11 schedule. The Bears kick off the dual season against #5 Boise State on Friday at 6:00 pm and then host the annual Old Chicago Open on Saturday beginning at 9:00 am. There will be six mats on Saturday for the tournament. Live stats will be available at www.uncbears.com.
Scouting Boise State
The Broncos enter the dual against Northern Colorado with a 1-0-1 record, defeating North Idaho College 33-12 before tying Oregon State 18-18 last Saturday. The then-No. 2 Broncos needed a major decision victory in the final bout of the night to secure the tie with the then-No. 18 Oregon State Bevers, a team also on the Bears schedule this year. The Broncos will also take place in the Old Chicago Open for the first time in school history.
Young Guns Shine
Young wrestlers shined for Northern Colorado in the first meet of the season at the Cowboy Open on Saturday. Four freshmen placed among the top five at the annual season-opening meet. True freshman Nick Bayer won the title in the 197 amateur bracket, going 4-0. Redshirt freshman Sam Bauer placed second in the elite 125-pound bracket, while fFreshman Konner Knudtsen went 4-1 en route to a third-place finish in the amateur heavyweight bracket. Junior Brandon Kammerzell was the lone upperclassmen to place on the day, as he finished fifth at 165 pounds. Freshman Cody McAninch also placed fifth, going 3-2 in the 184 amateur bracket.
In the preseason polls, senior Justin Gaethje was ranked seventh at 157 pounds. After wrestling unattached last week at the Cowboy Open, Gaethje now appears in the 20th spot on the 149 pound rankings. Last year, Gaethje became the first Division I All-American for the Bears in 40 years, placing seventh at the NCAA Championship at 157 pounds.
No Strangers To The Broncos
Though Boise State and Northern Colorado have only met once previously on the mats (Nov. 1, 2008), the Northern Colorado staff has extensive knowledge about the Broncos as all three wore the blue and orange. Head Coach Ben Cherrington won a national title at Boise State, winning the 2006 NCAA Championship at 157 pounds. Assistant Coach Ben VomBaur was a two-time All-American at 125 pounds for Boise State in 2002 and 2003 and Assistant Coach Nate Lee recently concluded his career with the Broncos after advancing to four NCAA Championships.
In the dual against Boise State, fans will get a chance to see some of the young talent brought in by the coaching staff. Redshirt freshman Sam Bauer will be competing at 125 pounds after opening the year with a second-place finish at the Cowboy Open. Freshman Nick Bayer won the 197 amateur title a week ago and will take to the mat again at 197 pounds on Friday evening. Freshman Konner Knudtsen will also compete in his first dual for the Blue & Gold on Friday after finishing third a week ago in Laramie. Only one senior is scheduled to compete on Friday, as Eric Brennan is listed as a probable for 184 pounds.