Preseason poll ranks Loras at No. 1

By Connor Halbmaier

DUBUQUE, IA. – Brisk wind isn’t the only thing blowing in this November. The wrestling season is looming ahead, so it’s time to take a look at what’s to be expected for this season.

Looking back on the previous season, the Duhawk wrestlers, who had a 13-2 season score, ended the year with a second-place title at the NCAA DIII Wrestling Championship, a first in the history of the program. The wrestlers who competed in this tournament were then-juniors Brice Everson, Clint Lembeck, Brandon Murray, Eddie Smith, Guy Patron Jr., sophomore Jacob Krakow, and senior Kevin Kelly. Many of these wrestlers earned a placement during the tournament, and Lembeck, Murray, Smith, Krakow, and Patron Jr. were given All-American titles as part of their successful tournaments. All, except for Kelly who graduated last year, will be returning for another season.

At the start of this season, the Loras wrestling team will be opening up with a match against Buena Vista. The 2018-2019 season opened with the same match-up, one which the Duhawks triumphed with a 32-6 win. This victory had marked the ninth one in a long winning streak against Buena Vista, which started in the 2011 season. Based on the performance of the wrestlers during the 2018 match and considering many of those wrestlers are returning for another year, it is safe to assume that they will be able to notch another win onto their belts.

Shortly after their Buena Vista meet, the Duhawks will have their first tournament of the year, the Super 8 Invitational. The last invitation saw four Duhawk champions crowned out of a possible ten brackets. They were then-sophomore Jake Hiles, Patron Jr., and then-seniors Javier Soto and Kelly. Along with Patron Jr., Hiles will also be making a return to wrestling, further increasing the team’s overall strength.

Overall, the Loras wrestling team performed admirably during their 2018-19 season. With many of their previous champions returning for another bout, this year of wrestling is sure to be an exciting year. The first match of the year against Buena Vista will be taking place on Thursday, Nov. 7, here in Dubuque. The Super 8 Invitational will follow on Saturday, Nov 9, starting at 10 a.m in Platteville, WI. Loras students, faculty, staff, and alumni will undoubtedly be present to support the wrestlers in these matches, and all the ones to follow, as they strive for even great heights.

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