The Baker Orange

Wrestlers open new season

Story by Hayley Morrical, Writer

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Baker wrestlers had a busy schedule to start their season. Ranked No. 16 nationally in the NAIA, the team experienced difficult matchups in a quad hosted by the University of Oklahoma followed by a dual win over Bacone University and then the Dan Harris Open.

In Oklahoma, the team struggled, losing to the University of Oklahoma 50-0, Oklahoma City University 19-18, and Shorter College 36-9.

Three days later, the ‘Cats hosted Bacone University for their first dual of the season. At a final score of 35-6, the men easily bested Bacone, winning every match but one.

Seniors Nick Haugen and Beau Bennett, junior Connor Middleton, sophomores Josh Thomas and Bryce Shoemaker and freshman Juan Rivera, Alex Fortuna and Tyler Dickman all brought back wins in their weight classes in the Bacone dual.

Sophomore Colby Watters said the team’s success so far is attributed to a high level of competition and intensity during practices.

“I think we have a good room to practice in that really pushes everyone to be the best they can be,” Watters said. “When we wrestle each other we are wrestling someone that is as good as the person that you will be wrestling at the tournaments, and that helps a lot.”

After another three-day break, the wrestlers competed in the annual Dan Harris Open in Collins Center. Both Haugen in the 157-pound weight class and sophomore Byant Guillen in the 184-pound weight class took first place.

Freshman Sean Dolan at 125 pounds and freshman Billy Leone at 197 pounds brought home second place. Dickman at 149 pounds came in third.

“I think we have done well. I think if you added up all the team points we would have won the (Dan Harris) tournament. That’s as good as you can ask for during a first open,” Watters said.

In hopes of continuing their high reputation and early success the team will host the HAAC Quad Saturday at Collins Center.

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