By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editorfirstname.lastname@example.org
It's like showing a person a meal and not letting them eat it. Today's dual meet against the University of Calgary is designed to make the Montana State University-Northern wrestling team hungry for competition.
The eight-match dual will feature mostly returners from last year's Light squad. However, it's what it will do to the remaining Northern wrestlers that has head coach David Ray excited.
"It makes the other guys anticipate their first competition," Ray said. "It makes them want to get out on the mat and compete. It's a good motivator."
For the guys wrestling, it offers something a little better than practice and a way to sharpen up skills early in the season.
"There is no replacement for match time," Ray said. "You can be on the mat for hours in the practice room, but it isn't the same as on a mat with a clock, referees and opponents."
Several of the competing wrestlers got some match time in last week's alumni duals. However, these matches will be a little different. The matches will be scored on a takedown format.
Each match will have two 3-minute periods and scoring will only come from takedowns. Each takedown is worth one point. If a wrestler scores a takedown that brings their opponent from feet to back, then the wrestler can try for a near fall or a pin.
It's a fun format that places a premium on action.
"You can't stand around and dance and expect to win," Ray said. "You have to be aggressive and take some shots."
Of the eight matches, Ray will be closely watching the debut of Usman Khan, while also watching how Aaron Jensen does against an opponent he is giving up 20 pounds to.
"Calgary had a lot of injuries so we moved Aaron up two weight classes," Ray said. "He'll be giving up some weight. But this format is good for him. He's good on his feet and pretty quick."
Lance Nelson, Stryder Davis and Emmett Willson also face some solid matches against opponents who placed the Canadian College National tournament.
"It's not a big dual, but it should be fun," Ray said. "We have some local kids going and it's a reward for the guys that worked hard all summer."
The Northern-Calgary dual will start at 4 p.m. at the MSU-Northern gymnasium.
Ray also said his team will be doing its annual leaf roundup. People who want to have leaves removed from their yard can call Ray at 265-3761. The wrestlers don't charge a fee, but will take donations for their efforts.
MSU-Northern vs. U of Calgary
130 - Usman Khan vs. Huy Nguyen
138 - Caleb Schaeffer vs. Casey Haddock
146 - Chris Smith vs. Josh Smith
154 - Lance Nelson vs. Joe Bentley
162 - Stryder Davis vs. Damon Booth
189 - Aaron Jensen vs. Tony Baldwin
202 - Kyle Fisher vs. Beamer Comfort
HWT - Emmett Willson vs. Jeremy Rudack