Season opener has team pumped


The NIU men’s wrestling team saw their first live action of the season Saturday afternoon at the Northwestern Open in Evanston.

After putting in many long hard hours of work in the practice room, Head Coach Phil Rembert and his troops were ready to get things cooking.

Shannon Gregory, at 118 pounds, was the first NIU grappler to take the mat. He set the tone for the Huskies with a 7-3 decision over Tim Dernlan of Purdue.

Gregory went on to win his second and final match of the day, to finish the tournament undefeated along with four other Huskie wrestlers.

The four other Huskies that fought through the tournament unscathed were Jason Solomon (2-0) at 126 lbs., James Spillman (3-0) at 150, Ben Lehrfeld (2-0) at 167, and Demond Rodez (3-0) at heavyweight.

It was no surprise to Rembert that these individuals were able to have their way with their opponents because they are all projected as starters for this year’s squad.

Rembert was surprised by the handy work of freshman Eddie Valadez at 150 who went 2-1 for the day.

“Eddie had an excellent tournament although I must say it was a pleasant surprise,” said Rembert. “As a whole we looked okay, we just need to cut down on mental errors; that’s what is hurting us.”

The matmen resume their pre-season schedule Nov. 27th at the 23rd annual University of Wisconsin Northern Open.