Is winter over yet?
The South Dakota State wrestling team on Sunday picked up what coach Chris Bono called the biggest win so far in his tenure, besting Wyoming in Gillette. The Cowboys came in ranked anywhere from 23rd to 34rd in three different NCAA Division I polls, had been 26-2 in Western Wrestling Conference duals since 2008-09 and were 14-0 against the Jackrabbits with a 45-0 win just two years ago.
"It was a whole team effort," Bono said. "I don’t know how to explain it, but the camaraderie was there. It’s the first time we’ve come together where everybody is like family now. Everybody believes in one another."
Not everything went as planned either with Joe Brewster dropping a tough match. Eric Orozco made up for that with a surprise win at 141. The Cowboys are just 1-6 this season, but this was their first loss to a team outside the top 25. They’ve won the conference tournament title four years in a row. (This is how the Jacks celebrated.)
SDSU returns to the mat Sunday by hosting Air Force.
SDSU football commit J.T. Nettleton would have ended up getting BCS offers if he’d had more than one year at Arizona high school powerhouse Scottsdale Seguaro. That’s according to his prep coach, Jason Mohns.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Nettleton previously played in an off-the-radar Seattle suburb prior to relocating with his family.
Within three days of practice, Nettleton was a two-way starter for a Seguaro squad that went on to claim its sixth state title in eight years.
"He’s a big-time talent – I have no doubt," Mohns said. "And we’ve sent a bunch of kids to (the FBS) the last eight years. He’s every bit as good as those kids."
Here are his highlights.
The Jacks got another set of initials as A.J. Westrude of Lakeville South became the first Minnesota verbal in this class. Most of the film on the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder is at linebacker, but he’ll play fullback for the Jacks. Westrude said that Northern Iowa also offered a scholarship and that Northern Illinois invited him as a preferred walk-on.
And SDSU caught a kid from Colorado – 6-4, 270-pound offensive lineman Tyler Weir. He moved from a small school (Dolores) to a big school (Pomona) for his final season, earning all-conference at both. By my count, Weir is the third player in this class to have played his senior year in a different school. He believes he was under the radar because of that.
Here’s his film.
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.