Pack leads Jacks in Philly

By Austin Hamm, Sportswriter

The Jackrabbit wrestlers traveled to Philadelphia this weekend to face Drexel in a dual and to compete in the Keystone Classic hosted by Penn.  

Coming off a tough loss to Oklahoma State last weekend, the Rabbits (1-1, 0-0 WWC) took on a Drexel team that stole a win from Frost Arena last year and claimed total redemption, dominating the Dragons 31-6.

“We beat a team that beat us pretty bad last year,” said SDSU Head coach Chris Bono “We take our first road trip and for these guys to respond and get the big dual meet win was great.”

Isaac Andrade opened the dual with an injury default victory at 125. Brance Simms and Luke Zilverberg dropped the next two matches, with Simms falling to No. 20 Kevin Devoy, but the Jacks went on a tear after that.

Colin Holler started it off with his first dual win as a Jackrabbit. After becoming the first SDSU wrestler to be ranked in the top 10 in either of the major polls in the D-1 era, two-time NCAA qualifier Cody Pack recorded his first pin of the season. Kyle Leet also snagged his first win as a Rabbit, while David Kocer and Brady Ayers kept the up the winning at 174 and 184 respectively.

Two other ranked Rabbits closed out the night with victories, as freshman No. 18 Nate Rotert got a hard fought 3-2 victory, while No. 19 J.J. Everard won smoothly 3-1.

Sunday, Pack turned around and finished a memorable week with a title at 157 in the Keystone Classic. The top seed heading into the tournament, Pack took care of business and got his second tournament win of the season with a 4-0 day that included three major decisions.

Simms and Zilverberg, after taking the Jacks only losses the night before, came back strong, taking fourth after battling back through the consolation brackets. Kocer also came back from an early loss to take fourth.

Ayers and Rotert both fought through the consolation brackets but fell in the consolation quarterfinals. Andrade and Leet opened the day with wins, but both were eliminated after dropping their next two matches.

“Any time you have a champion is great, and to have three young guys place in the top four was pretty good,” said Bono.

Next week, the Jacks host the Badgers of Wisconsin in Brookings, Starting at 2 p.m. in Frost Arena.

“It’s going to be tough, they’re a top 20 team, they have All-Americans in their lineup, and guys ranked in the top five in the country,” said Bono. “We just want to go out in front of our home crowd, compete hard, and do the best we can”