By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editorfirstname.lastname@example.org
Montana State University-Northern wrestling coach David Ray believes there's a standard of intimidation that comes with dual meets. It's not like a tournament, it's one team against another with each team's best wrestler facing the other team's best wrestler at each weight class.
And Ray wants to dominate every match and every dual to show teams they are wrestling and teams looking at the box score, that the Lights are one of the best in the country and they do the intimidating.
The Lights will get the chance to do some intimidating when they host the Jamestown College Jimmies for a dual match on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the MSU-Northern gymnasium.
Northern is coming off a solid but not spectacular showing the University of Wyoming Cowboy Open. The Lights had several wrestlers place in the tournament with Emmett Willson winning the 197-pound division and Stryder Davis placing second at 157, but on the whole, Ray felt many of his wrestlers could have finished a little higher in their respective weight classes.
"It wasn't great," Ray said of his team's performance. "They wrestled okay, but not good. If they had wrestled good they'd have placed much higher."
Ray will be looking for more than a good performance on Saturday. With only a handful of home duals, the opportunity to wrestle well in front of friends and family should be great motivation.
"I expect them to come out ready to wrestle because we don't have many home duals," Ray said. "We have to start wrestling more consistently because we are coming to a tough part of our schedule."
Indeed, Northern will face a much-improved Dickinson State on Tuesday and then head to Las Vegas for a pair of duals against Missouri Valley College and Central Washington University and the prestigious Las Vegas Invitational.
"We have some good competition coming up and we need start building some momentum and confidence," Ray said.
The first step in that process begins on Saturday against Jamestown. Ray doesn't hem and haw, saying his team should win the dual, losing at most four matches, including a forfeit at 125 pounds.
"We could be as good as 8-2," Ray said. "But we need some wrestlers to start stepping up their efforts."
The two best matches should come at 157 pounds and heavyweight.
Davis will face Jamestown's two-time All-American Tom Iverson at 157 in what should be a good match.
"Stryder is wrestling very well right now," Ray said. "He should have won his division at the Cowboy, but the seeding was messed up. He had to wrestle three very tough matches to get to the finals and by then he was so mentally and physically fatigued he got caught on his back."
At heavyweight, Northern newcomer Mazi Burke will take on returning All-American Brandon Lemer. Burke, who normally wrestles at 197, will move up because Ray might have him wrestle heavyweight at the NAIA national tournament.
"Jamestown's heavyweight is solid," Ray said. "We're wrestling Mazi instead of Emmett because we want to see how Mazi will do against a top heavyweight. "
Other matches that could be interesting are Aaron Jensen and Chris Feist at 165, David Waters and Clyde Switzer at 174 and Anthony Haukenberry and Jake Esser at 149.
"Some of our kids have to understand that they have to wrestle at a high level at all times," Ray said. "We can't have that mentality that it's all right to lose early in the season because you don't want to go too hard too soon. We don't believe in that here, we go hard all the time."
WT MSU-Northern Jamestown College
125 - Forfeit Shane Hase, Fr.
133 - Caleb Schaeffer Cody Fisher, Jr.
141 - Chris Smith Travis Ayres, So.
149 - Anthony Haukenberry Jake Esser, Jr.
157 - Stryder Davis Tom Iverson, Sr.
165 - Aaron Jensen Chris Feist, So.
174 - David Waters Clyde Switzer, Fr.
184 - Kyle Fisher Sam Sand, Fr.
197 - Emmett Willson Joe Vincent, Jr.
HWT- Mazi Burke Brandon Lemer, So.