George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor firstname.lastname@example.org
New Montana State University- Northern wrestling coach Tyson Thivierge hasn't been at his new post long, but he's certainly been busy. Earlier this week, Thivierge, who was named head coach at MSU-N on May 1, signed five new recruits to NAIA national letters of intent, and he's still hard on the recruiting trail, as well as preparing for his first season at MSUN, which begins in early October. Of the five new recruits coming to wrestle at MSU-N, one is from Montana, two are from a strong program in Lewiston, Idaho and two are grapplers that wrestled under Thivierge at Carson City High School in Carson, City, Nev. The in-state addition to the 2008 recruiting class is Deer Lodge native Brad Cain, who will most likely compete at 157 pounds for the Lights. Cain is a twotime Class B-C state placer in Montana, and this past season, he reached the state championship match where he lost to Glasgow's Shawn Hopstad in the 160-pound final. Cain also placed third at the 2007 Class B-C state tournament for Powell County (Deer Lodge). "This recruit is extremely tough and motivated," Thivierge said. "He likes to get in the face of his opponents and loves to go hard. Very typical of the student-athletes we are looking for the mold this program." Thivierge has also tapped into a strong talent pool in Idaho with two Lewiston recruits. At 133 pounds, DJ Skelton is a fourtime Idaho state qualifier with his best finish coming this year where he finished third. He also finished fifth in 2007. Skelton's teammate, Mark Hobson (149/157) will also be joining the Lights this fall. Hobson is also a four-time state tournament qualifier and he finished second in his weight this year, as well as sixth two years ago. "DJ is extremely tough and physical. His work ethic is great and he is extremely motivated. Having DJ on roster makes the lower weights very tough and should be very competitive," Thivierge said. "Mark is a really talented and physical wrestler. Mark absorbs everything he sees and is very adaptable to different wrestling styles. He alone should make the fight for the starting jobs very competitive." Finally, Thivierge has also snagged two quality recruits from the high school he coached at in Nevada prior to getting the head job at MSU-N. Kyle Banko (133/141) had a solid career at Carson City, qualifying for the state meet three times. Banko finished second in his weight class as a sophomore and third as a junior. Banko's teammate, Matt Heath, a likely 165-pounder will also be coming to MSU-N. "Kyle wrestled for me in Carson City and is very adaptable. He is very quick, aggressive and tough on his feet. His shot defense is remarkable; he makes it very difficult for anyone to score on him," Thivierge said. "Matt is another one that wrestled for me in Carson City. He makes people around him better. He is extremely tough and loves to get rough with his partners. Matt’s work ethic is second to none and that alone will make himself and his teammates tougher in the long run." Thivierge expects to sign several more recruits throughout the summer.