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|Five honorary coaches named for Collegiate All-Star Challenge in Sioux City, Iowa, Dec. 30|
By Tim Tushla Collegiate All-Star Challenge
SIOUX CITY, IOWA - December 28, 2006 - Five honorary coaches have been selected to for the Collegiate All-Star Challenge in Sioux City, Iowa on Saturday, December 30, 2006.
The list includes: Richard Fergola - Dana College, Luke Moffitt - Iowa Central, Joe Parisi - Lindenwood University, Jason Reitmeier - Augustana Collge and Mark Schwab - Buena Vista University.
Wrestlers from across the country will represent their institutions in 13 matches between some of the finest wrestlers in NCAA Division II and Division III, the NAIA and the nation's Junior Colleges.
Fergola is in his third year at Dana College and his first as head coach. Since his arrival at Dana College, the Vikings have produced the No. 4 and No. 1 Non-Division I recruiting classes in the country as reported by Wrestling USA magazine as well as completed their highest finishes at the NAIA National Tournament with a 5th place finish in 2005 and a national championship in 2006. 2006 also brought a NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals Championship as well. In his two years at Dana, the Vikings posted a 29-6-1 dual record.
Moffitt returned to his alma mater and led the Tritons to the NJCAA National Team Title in 2006. Iowa Central finished the season 13-0 and ranked #1 nationally. The Tritons qualified all 10 wrestlers and 7 of them gained All American status. In his collegiate wrestling career, Moffitt was an NJCAA National Champ for and a Big 10 Champion for the University of Iowa.
Entering his 13th year as a coach, Parisi has garnered National Championships in 2002 and 2005 and runner-up finishes in 2003 and 2006 at Lindenwood. He was named the 2002 and 2005 NAIA Coach of the Year and serves on the Executive Board of Directors for the NAIA National Wrestling Coaching Association.
Reitmeier is in his fourth season as head coach of the Augustana wrestling team. Prior to being named head coach, he spent six seasons as an assistant coach with the Vikings. In 2004-2005, Reitmeier guided the Vikings to one of their best seasons in school history - a school-record 14 dual victories, a runner-up finish at the prestigious NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals and a school-record 101 points and runner-up finish at the DII National Tournament. For his efforts, he was named NWCA Division II National Coach of the Year awards.
Schwab is in his second season coaching Buena Vista after joining the staff in 2004. During his first season, he led Buena Vista to a 7-8 dual record. Prior to moving to Storm Lake, Schwab had been a member of the University of Minnesota coaching staff for nine seasons. During that time the Gophers won back-to-back NCAA Division I National Championships, along with placing second in the nation three times and third two times.
Returning national champions scheduled to compete include: Mark Dickman (149) and Jake Dieffenbach (165) of Lindenwood University and Jesse Laber (197) of the University of Mary. Athletes who have earned a No. 1 ranking this season are: Andrew Lacroix (141) of Roger Williams University, Joe Soto (141) of Iowa Central, Mikel Delk (149) of Ft. Hays State, Hayden Harrison (157) of Embry-Riddle, Jasper Lockett (184) of Missouri Valley College and Sam Sand (285) of Jamestown.
Also competing are four wrestlers ranked No. 2 in the country: Richard Byrd (125) of Embry-Riddle, Jestin Hulegaard (133) of Buena Vista, Joffre Lander (184) of Embry-Riddle and Nate Buys (197) of Augustana (SD).
Wrestling gets under way at 7:00 p.m. at the Long Lines Center (adjacent to the Tyson Events Center) in Sioux City.
Final match assignments (individual ranking in parentheses):
125 pounds: (2) Richard Byrd - Embry-Riddle vs. (6) Anthony Nicolicchia - Roger Williams
133 pounds: (2) Jestin Hulegaard - Buena Vista vs. (3) Burke Barnes - Dana
141 pounds: (1) Andrew Lacroix - Roger Williams vs. (1) Joe Soto - Iowa Central
(3) Terrance Almond - Dana vs. (4) Chris Frejie - Western State
149 pounds: (1) Mark Dickman - Lindenwood vs. (1) Mikel Delk - Ft. Hays State
157 pounds: (1) Hayden Harrison - Embry-Riddle vs. (3) Austin Scarset - Augustana
165 pounds: (1) Jake Dieffenbach - Lindenwood vs. (6) Blake Peterson - Truman State
174 pounds: (5) Cody Henriksen - Augustana vs. (7) Enoch Francois - Northwestern
184 pounds: (1) Jasper Lockett - Missouri Valley vs. (2) Joffre Lander - Embry-Riddle
(6) Mike Howell - Ft. Hays State vs. (8) Jay Figgins - Loras
197 pounds: (2) Nate Buys - Augustana vs. ('05 NAIA Champion) Jesse Laber - Mary
(4) Ben Strandberg - Buena Vista vs. (5) Andrew Lundgren - Northwestern
285 pounds: (1) Sam Sand - Jamestown vs. (3) Andrew Ubben - Ft. Hays State
All tickets are general admission and will be available only at the door. Adult tickets are $10 and children under age 12 are $5.