Drop Five Places In Rankings
After a seventh place finish at the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Multi- Divisional National Dual tournament, the Northwest College wrestling team dropped from being ranked ninth in the nation to 14th. Shifts were also made among nationally ranked wrestlers in each weight class.
“It’s a big tournament, it’s tough. It’s hard coming off Christmas to wrestle,” said NWC head coach Jim Zeigler. “I wish we had wrestled a little better. We wrestled OK in spots, but we’re trying to figure some things out right now.”
The national dual tournament was held in Fort Wayne, Indiana, last week, with nearly 90 teams from across the nation coming to compete.
Northwest first faced off against Nassau Community College, of Garden City, New York, on Thursday morning. The Trappers won seven out of the 10 matches to beat Nassau 35-9.
The victory pitted Northwest against Iowa Central Community College — the nation’s No. 2-ranked team — on Thursday afternoon. Iowa Central featured three No. 1 ranked wrestlers in the 149-, 157- and 285-pound weight classes.
At 165 pounds, Andrew Von- Rein won a 6-2 decision over Iowa Central’s Brady Vogel. But that would be the Trappers’ only victory against the wrestlers from Fort Dodge, Iowa, suffering a 38-3 loss to the Tritons.
Out of NWC’s five matches at the tournament, the defeat to Iowa College stuck out the most for coach Zeigler.
“We did not represent the Trapper tradition in that match,” Zeigler said. “We did not wrestle like Trappers. Trappers fight hard, Trappers compete hard, Trappers go down fighting and we did not. We rolled over.”
After the loss to Iowa Central, Northwest rebounded with a 26-17 win over Niagara County Community College of Sanborn, New York, on Thursday night. Niagara was ranked as the No. 11 team in the country at the time
Northwest won six of the 10 matches. A highlight was No. 2-ranked Heber Shepherd beating No. 1 Alex Kelly at 184 pounds.
However, because of a loss to Iowa Central’s Danny Bush, Shepherd remains ranked No. 2, with Bush moving to the top spot and Kelly dropping to No. 3.
After the three duals on Thursday, Northwest resumed action Friday morning against Iowa Western Community College, which was tied for the No. 3 ranking at the time.
Northwest won only five matches, resulting in a 22-18 loss. One of those wins featured Lisiate “Richard” Anau, who is not nationally ranked, beating No. 4 Stephan Boone by a 6-2 decision.
The loss to Iowa Western put Northwest face-to-face against Lincoln College — which was then tied with the Trappers for the No. 9 ranking — on Friday afternoon.
Northwest won seven of the 10 matches with the Lincoln, Illinois, college to claim a 32-15 victory.
VonRein and Shepherd had the best overall records for the Trappers in the tournament, each going 4-1.
Going into the NWCA Multi Divisional Dual Tournament, Northwest had four nationally ranked wrestlers. NWC now has three: Loveless remains at No. 8 at 141 pounds, Matthew Widdicombe dropped from No. 4 to No. 8 at 174 pounds and Shepherd still at No. 2 at 184 pounds.
As a team, Northwest dropped from No. 9 to No. 14, according to updated rankings released Tuesday on Intermatwrestle.com.
“They need to get more intense in their competition,” Zeigler said of his squad. “They are going into it too relaxed and they are getting caught on their heels. The other teams are more intent on winning than we are.”
Zeigler is now calling on the wrestlers to put forth a greater effort competing on the mat and to push themselves harder in their workout habits. Zeigler added that the wrestlers are good kids who do things right for the most part, but they are not pushing themselves.
“My expectations are that they get more competitive in match situations — that when it gets tough, that they fight harder,” said Zeigler.
The next dual for the Trappers will be on Wednesday at home against University of Great Falls at 7 p.m.