Northwest College

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Northwest Wrestlers Head To NJCAA National Championships

Posted by: Trapper Athletics — February 22, 2018

By BREANNE THIEL Tribune Sports Writer
Courtesy of the Powell Tribune

NWC Looking For Upsets

Seven members of the Northwest College wrestling team are heading to Council Bluffs, Iowa, this week for the NJCAA National Championships. 

The Trapper wrestlers competing in the Friday-Saturday event include three Rocky Mountain District Champions — Nodir Safarov at 125 pounds, Tate Allison at 157 pounds and Lisiate Anau at 285 pounds — plus four others: Taylor Jeffries at 133 pounds, Palmer Schafer at 141 pounds, Nic Urbach at 149 pounds and Jeff Oakes at 184 pounds. 

NWC head coach Jim Zeigler said that at college-level tournaments, “there’s an anticipation of upsets — and we want to be on the side where we are doing the upsets.” 

“I think we got a pretty good chance of that,” Zeigler said. “In order for us to win it, we are going to have to upset some people and to me, that’s exciting.”

An upset is “when you realize the work you’ve done pays off,” the coach said. 

“I think that’s a big difference in college wrestling, is that everybody that goes out there is supposed to have the mentality that they expect to win when they go out on the mat,” Zeigler added. “It doesn’t matter what your accomplishments were prior to arriving in college’s about having confidence in your team and your system and what you do and stepping out there against whatever opponent is out in front of you and expecting to win.” 

Going into the National Championships, Safarov is ranked No. 1 at 125 pounds, Oakes is ranked No. 4 at 184 pounds and Anau is also No. 4 at 285 pounds. 

As a team, the Trappers are ranked eighth.

Zeigler said his expectation for his wrestlers at the national tournament “is that we don’t care who’s in front of us and that we just go out and wrestle and that we beat some people.”

“And if we do that,” he said, “this team will make a really good showing.”