Warriors ready to contend for section title
With 14 letterwinners returning, including seven who placed at the section tournament, head coach Jacob Oyster is counting on the United North Central wrestling team to be a top contender in the Park Region Conference and Section 8A ranks.
The Warriors return a veteran lineup, led by seniors Jared Seibert, Isaac Tellers, Brock Kako, Mason Bradley and Gator Bettin; junior Ethan Trout; sophomore Dakota Meech; and freshman Ethan Hendrickson.
Seibert finished third at 285 at the section meet to cap off a 33-9 season. Seibert is rated No. 5 at that weight in the state Class A pre-season poll. Tellers also placed third at the section meet at 113. Tellers, who had a 19-13 record last season, will wrestle at 120 this season. Hendrickson also just missed qualifying for the state tournament after going 20-9 and placing third at 106 at the section meet. Hendrickson is rated No. 5 at 106 in the pre-season poll. Kako placed fourth at 220 at the section meet and posted a 13-22 record. Kako will return at 220 this season. Bradley finished fifth at 195 at the section meet and will wrestle at that weight this season. Trout placed fifth at 126 and Meech placed fifth at 160 at the section meet. Bettin will wrestle at 182 after going 17-21 last season.
Also being counted on to fill varsity spots are junior Tucker Holmes at 120 or 126; sophomores Hunter Skaro at 113 and Dominick Fuller at 138 or 145; freshmen Eion Ness (who went 17-19 last season) at 145 or 152, Torrey Carlson at 152 or 160, Dylan Rasmusen at 126 or 132, TJ Jasicki at 106 or 113 and Spencer Erickson at 106 or 113; and eighth grader Hank Tellers (who had a 15-26 record last season) at 126, 132 or 138.
"I'm really excited about this group. We have some great seniors that are good role models and we have a great group of younger wrestlers that are able to compete at a high level," said Oyster. "I think this team will be one of the most balanced teams UNC has ever had. We should be able to put 14 guys on the mat that are ready for a varsity season. With that being said, I think UNC will be a contender for conference and section championships with a handful of individuals with legitimate chances to compete in the state individual tournament."
Dec. 6 - vs. Park Rapids, Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena at Blackduck, 5 p.m. Dec. 8 - at Crookston Invitational, 11:30 a.m. Dec. 11 - vs. Ottertail Central, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie at Parkers Prairie, 5 p.m. Dec. 14-15 - at Big Bear Tournament at Cass Lake. Dec. 21 - vs. Staples-Motley, United Clay Becker, Roseau at Menahga, 5 p.m.
Jan. 4 - vs. Fosston/Bagley at Sebeka, 7 p.m. Jan. 8 - at Frazee, 7 p.m. Jan. 11-12 - at Bemidji Invitational. Jan. 15 - vs. Wadena-Deer Creek at Menahga, 7 p.m. Jan. 17 - vs. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley at Menahga, 7 p.m. Jan. 24 - vs. New York Mills at Sebeka, 7 p.m. Jan. 29 - at Mahnomen-Waubun, 7 p.m. Jan. 31 - at Osakis, 7 p.m.
Feb. 2 - at Park Region Conference tournament at Wadena. Feb. 5 - vs. Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus at Sebeka, 7 p.m. Feb. 16 - Section 8A team tournament at Thief River Falls. Feb. 22-23 - Section 8A individual tournament at Crookston.