Jacks Impress In Season Debut

Jordan C. Smith

         Sunday was the season debut for the Jackrabbit Wrestling team. Frost Arena opened its doors early Sunday morning for the large crowd that came to watch the 21st Annual Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open.

The tournament was host to an impressive 294 wrestlers. Missouri stole the show, with a total of six first place finishers. Although the Jacks didn’t have a first place finish, head coach Chris Bono was all about the positives.

         “We had a ton of guys place in the tournament,” Bono said. “Every match here is experience for the National Tournament.”

         The Jackrabbits only had one NCAA Tournament qualifier last year, but with the sixth best recruiting class in the nation, it is clear the future is very bright the Jackrabbits.

         “We are young, we have no real vocal leaders,” Bono said. “With that being said, we have a lot of hungry guys that want to win.”

         One of the advantages of an open are that you are allowed to wrestle freshman that would otherwise not be eligible. There were a lot of wrestlers Sunday who wrestled “unattached” from their respective schools.

         “As true freshman it’s their job this year to get as many matches and as much experience as possible,” Bono said. “The more matches, the more experience they get, the better that they are going to be.”

         The expectations this year for the Jackrabbits this year are clear, win the Summit, and garnish as many All-Americans as possible. “It’s important to see where our starters are,” Bono said. “These are the guys that we are relying on to get us to the National Tournament, and get us some All-American honors.”

         With the Jackrabbits being so young this year, Bono wanted to make it clear that he wants his team to lead by example. Cody Pack, Joe Brewster, and Alex Kocer, all of whom had difficult brackets and finished within the top four.

         “A lot of them are leaders in different ways,” Bono said. “To me a leader is someone who can perform.”

         Pack (157 pounds) who was the lone NCAA Tournament qualifier for the Jacks last year, finished the tournament in third place. 

         “I wrestled well, but had a couple mistakes against a good kid,” Pack said. “It’s the beginning of the season though, what were building to, is March.”

         In a tournament that lasted well over ten hours, it was clear that exhaustion and injuries played a factor. Multiple wrestlers were forced to forfeit due to injuries sustained throughout the day. Some wrestlers saw up to as many nine bouts in Sundays Open.

         “You have to worry about yourself,” Pack said. “You have to get your rest in between matches, and you have to get your fluids and your nutrients.”

         SDSU will see action again Saturday Nov. 9 as they host their opening duel against Drexel at 11 a.m. at Frost Arena.