Dantzler returns in style

By Gregory Janicki

Two-sport athlete T.C. Dantzler made some noise in his return to the wrestling team with a decisive victory last night at Chick Evans Field House.

But Dantzler’s 15-4 win wasn’t enough to help the struggling Huskies overcome Northwestern University. The Wildcats posted a 35-7 triumph, dropping NIU’s dual-meet record to 1-4-0 on the season.

The visitors jumped out to a 10-0 lead as the Huskies managed only one match point in the first two contests.

Sophomore Bill Walsh was the first to put NIU on the board by decisioning Jeff Balvanz by a 4-3 tally. The victory brought Walsh’s season record to an impressive 9-3-1, and revived the NIU squad.

But Northwestern stormed back to win the next three matches, including a pin in the 142-pound match, to take a commanding 23-3 advantage.

Dantzler, who finished up the football season less than two weeks ago, was able to break Northwestern’s streak by beating up on Aaron Hodges. NIU head coach Ed Vatch was pleased with Dantzlers’ effort and glad to see another letterman’s face.

“We wanted him back,” Vatch said. “We really needed him back.

His return will bring a lot of leadership to the team. I wasn’t sure when we would start him back up, but he wanted to get back into the swing of things right away.”

Dantzler’s anticipation was obvious as he took the first period of his match, 7-1. It was the only first period that NIU managed to win—a fact that Vatch doesn’t consider a fault.

“We try to be a take-down team,” Vatch claimed. “We’ll come right out after you and try to get the points. Sometimes it works against you and you have to work harder for the rest of the match. But I’d rather see my guys make aggressive errors than sit back and do nothing.”

Next up for the Huskies is the 29th Annual Midlands Wrestling Championships held in Evanston. The tournament is open to all amateur wrestlers, not just those with collegiate standing. Vatch believes the open policy will make the tournament difficult for college athletes this year.

“This being an Olympic year, every wrestler who’s going will be warming up in this tournament,” Vatch said. “The pressure is off my guys as far as the season is concerned, but the competition will probably be harder than the NCAA National Tournament.”