NIU wrestling: Shawn Scott goes 0-2 at NCAA National Championships

By Frank Gogola

Redshirt sophomore wrestler Shawn Scott was never able to establish his footing at the NCAA National Championships.

Scott, who couldn’t be reached for comment, went winless in two matches Thursday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. He never held a lead during the two matches.

Scott lost in the opening bout by an 11-4 decision to No. 8 Max Huntley, of the Michigan Wolverines. He was then eliminated in the wrestlebacks — the losers’ bracket — with a 12-1 major decision loss to Cornell’s Jace Bennett, seeded No. 9.

“As a sophomore, getting down to that tournament and getting that experience was exactly what [Scott] needed this year so he can finish out his last two years with having the experience of being down there before and understanding what it takes to get to the intensity level he needs to compete at, at the tournament,” said head coach Ryan Ludwig. “He’s more hungry now than ever.”

First round

Scott’s opening dual against Huntley didn’t get off to the greatest of starts. Huntley opened the scoring with a takedown and Scott trailed 4-1 after the first period.

Scott rebounded in the second period by scoring a reversal to pull within 4-3, but he didn’t get any closer the rest of the match. Scott trailed 7-3 after two periods and suffered an 11-4 loss by decision.


Scott’s opening match in the losers’ bracket saw him fall into a hole he couldn’t dig himself out of. Bennett struck first with an early take down and Scott trailed by a score of 4-1 after the first period.

Scott only saw that deficit grow bigger as Bennett scored three nearfall points in the second period. Scott trailed 7-1 after two periods and lost by a 12-1 major decision.

Ludwig said the biggest factor in the matches was Scott’s competitors got to their attacks quicker than Scott did, leaving him on the defensive.

“I think the key factor to any big match is getting out and getting a fast start, believing in your offense and letting it fly from the first whistle,” Ludwig said. “I think sometimes you can get wrapped up in feeling things out a little bit too long. As a young wrestler he understands the value of that more now than ever.”

End of the line

With the season over, all but two of the Huskies’ wrestlers from this year’s squad will return. Seniors Derek Elmore and Tyler Argue have exhausted their NCAA eligibility.

“… A lot of our brightest spots are underclassmen,” Ludwig said. “We’re extremely fired up for the future. That’s been part of the plan to get these young guys in the lineup and get them experience. I think we’ll have a stronger team than ever next year.”