Posted 3 years ago

By Post Staff

CHADRON – The Chadron State College wrestling team is expecting a stiff challenge when it hosts the Colorado Mesa Mavericks in a RMAC dual at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Nelson Physical Activity Center.

The Mavericks have a 10-1 dual record with their latest victory a 29-18 decision over the U.S. Air Force Academy on Saturday. The Mavs are 14th in the most-recent NCAA Division II poll, and, in the words of CSC interim coach Brett Hunter, “have a very good lineup from top to bottom.”

Among the headliners is senior Jon Gappmaier, who is ranked No. 3 with a 6-0 record at 157 pounds.  Others include junior Zak Slotten, who is 9-1 and rated eighth at 174 pounds; sophomore Francisco “Paco” Retana, the defending Super 4 Regional heavyweight champion; and junior Dylan Granard, who is 11-3 this season and was the runner-up at 165 pounds at last year’s regional tourney.

Still, the Eagles defeated Mesa 22-13 during last year’s dual in Grand Junction.

Mesa dropped its wrestling program in 1991 and had a 16-year hiatus before reviving the sport in 2007. The coach is Chuck Pipher, who was a three-time champion and the outstanding wrestler twice at NAIA National Tournaments while he was competing for what was then the University of Southern Colorado and is now Colorado State-Pueblo.

Although the Eagles lost by narrow margins to Dickinson State (21-18) and Northern State (21-20) in early December, they have won five of their six duals since then.  The only setback has been to No. 6 Grand Canyon (26-15).

Hunter said the Eagles will wear black uniforms Thursday night, and he’s urging CSC fans to also be dressed in black for the dual.

Eagles with the best records entering Thursday’s action include the following:

133 pounds—Perry McAfee, 11-5; 141—Leandro Arias, 11-7; 157—Bryce Wiedeman, 11-10; 165—Dylan Fors, 7-7; 174—Devan Fors, 8-10; 184—Jordan Debus, 13-7; 197—Chris Leak, 13-7; and Hwt—Michael Hill, 17-7.

Hunter said it’s possible that Bret Klopp, who was the varsity’s 174-pounder at the beginning of the year, may wrestle Thursday night after overcoming a leg injury. He’s competed only five times so far this season.

Con Marshall, Information Services