By Boots Gifford
The Montana State-Northern Lights squared off against each other Wednesday night with the Maroon Squad scoring a 23-9 victory over the Gold Squad.
This is the first time Ive seen them in a full regulation match, said Lights coach David Ray. Condition-wise, everybody looked in shape. They looked excellent. A few didnt open up, they held back.
Overall, Ray noted, the Lights looked strong and on the right track, but there is still a long season ahead.
A couple individuals didnt compete to what theyre capable, Ray said. We have to get them to open up.
On Monday the Lights face an NAIA nemesis as they host the Burnaby Wrestling Club of Simon Fraser University at the Northern gym. Face off is slated for 7 p.m.
Theyve got four individuals that are very good, Ray said, noting the matches at 141 pounds, 149 pounds, 157 pounds, and 184 pounds boast some national placers.
Burnabys Neal Ewers at 157 pounds placed third at nationals last year, while Luigi Bianco at 184 pounds was second in 1998 and fifth in 1999.
Tyson (Thivierge) beat him (last year) at nationals, Ray said of Bianco. But hes tough.
Fans will get their first look at the level of competition the Lights face in their quest for a third-straight NAIA national title.
I would say our competition is tough. Its always good to watch Simon Fraser. They always have some good individuals, Ray said. Its a good opportunity to get on the mat and compete hard.
Here are the match-ups for the Lights-Burnaby competition:
125 Abel Valdez (N) vs. Nick Charette, 141 Jessie Schaeffer (N) vs. Dwayne Magnusson, 149 Lyle Cronk (N) vs. Carlos Aquilera, 157 Brendan Burns (N) vs. Neal Ewers, 165 Chris Hayes (N) vs. Danny Einhorn, 174 Casey Pinion (N) vs. Lars Blomgren, 184 Tyson Thivierge (N) vs. Luigi Bianco, 197 Turk Lords (N) vs. James Messenger, HWT Dane Jacobsen (N) vs. Ted Smith.
Montana State-Northern Maroon-Gold results
133 Kurt Lorenz over Josh Johnson, 6-4; 141 Jessie Schaeffer over Kyle Nay, 9-4; 149 Dustyn Azure over Tamien Labuff, 12-10, OT; 157 Brendan Burns pinned Brent Riggins, 5:00; 165 Chris Hayes over Kyle Fisher, 5-1; 174 Emmett Willson over Art Castillo, 4-2; 184 Sean Salmon over Tyson Thivierge, 13-8; 197 Turk Lords over Dane Jacobsen, 8-0; HWT Damion Martindale over Dan Eaves, 12-4.