Wrestlers return to the mat for new season
Minot State University’s wrestling program was 4-12 overall last year in Evan Forde’s second season as a head coach. According to Forde, the team certainly did not finish where they wanted to, but this year they have gained a lot more experience, depth, and competition for the starting spots.
“Our attitude is to train every day; train to get better every single day,” Forde said.
Forde expects the team will have a good season this year as the team returned pretty much everyone.
“For the past couple seasons, we’ve just been building our roster up. We started with around 13 guys when I first got here and now we have 40 on the roster,” Forde said. “We’re getting them a lot great experiences. They are doing great jobs; they’re working hard.”
The wrestlers have taken to the mat already this season. The Green-Red intrasquad dual allowed MSU wrestlers to compete against each other. Earlier this month, MSU hosted University of Mary for a non-conference competition.
“We lost 21 to 15. We won five matches and they won five matches but we lost some bonus point,” Forde said. “Of course, we want to beat Mary any time we wrestle them, but we will wrestle them for the conference next semester, so that’s what we are gearing up for.”
The team had its first tournament earlier this month at the Bison Open in Fargo. North Dakota State University, South Dakota State University, University of Minnesota, Minnesota State University Moorhead, and Northland Community and Tech College all competed.
“This is tough tournament to open up with, and I thought the guys did really well, with four guys in the top six, two guys took fifth place — Zach Berry and Briley Crissler,” Forde said.
After Thanksgiving, the team started the dual meet schedule.
“We’ll wrestle three duals starting with the University of Providence and then an open tournament. After that, we finish our schedule for this semester with Mankato and Upper Iowa at home. In January and February, we basically finish our conference schedule and wrestle a couple non-conference teams as well. And then we have the regional tournament at the end of February and the national tournament in mid-March,” Forde said.
Forde expects the team to do well.
“We have a great opportunity to move up in the conference and have some national qualifiers this year. We’ve never had national qualifiers in Division II before,” Forde said.
Strengths in the lineup include Mitchell Eull, heavy weight and Carlos Toledano, 165 pounds. Both are seniors and team captains.
“Toledano is an explosive wrestler. He is very strong and quick and has a lot of talents,” Forde said.
Other leaders in team lineup are senior Briley Crissler, 197 pounds, and junior Tanner Crissler, 149 pounds.
“We kind of count on these guys to be leaders, and we have a lot of guys in the lineup like Parker Osterman, Keegan Berry, Michael Rangel, Dean Arevalo, Liam Hayden. Those guys started first time as freshmen last year. We’re really looking for that group of guys to take the next step and start seeing success on the mat for us,” Forde said. “The biggest thing is we not only keep challenging those guys to come together as a family, support each other, and have each other’s back, but also be able to call each other out and be able to motivate each other.”