Dragons Look to Build on 2014-15 Successes

By Tom Berg, MSUM

MOORHEAD, Minn. — The Minnesota State University Moorhead wrestling team posted a solid 8-5 record in duals during the 2014-15. The season culminated with sophomore Blake Bosch earning All-American honors at the Division II National Championships in mid-March.

“We went 8-5 and that’s something we want to improve on,” MSUM head coach Kris Nelson said. “We started six sophomores in our lineup. We were pleased with the record but want to improve on it and keep improving on it every year.”

Bosch finished eighth at 133 pounds at the national championships to secure the first All-American honor of his career. The Wishek, N.D., native finished the season with a 27-12 mark and led the team in victories. He also earned All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference First Team honors.

“We’re excited about Blake Bosch becoming an All-American,” Nelson said. “He had a good national tournament. His goal is to be a national champion.”

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MSUM is losing four seniors (Philippe Walker at 141, Michael Joseph at 174, Shawn Porter at 184 and Chris Bascon at 197). Those four combined for 56 wins in the Dragon lineup this season.

“Our seniors did a good job,” Nelson said. “They worked hard every day and they were leaders.”

In addition to Bosch, five starters are slated to return next year. That includes sophomore Garret Hoffner at 157 pounds; he finished 16-9 and was one of two Dragons to advance to the second day of the Super Region 3 Tournament.

“Garret Hoffner had a good regional tournament,” Nelson said.

Also returning for MSUM are sophomores Shane Novak (13-9 at 125), Isaac Novacek (14-11 at 149), Dan Murakami (nine wins at 165 pounds) and Nader Abdullatif (15-17 at 285 pounds.

“We’ve got a good group coming back,” Nelson said.

The Dragons’ season included trips to both coasts for competition. MSUM competed at the famed Grapple at the Garden in December, where it beat LIU Post in a dual. The Dragons also competed in San Francisco in January.

“We had a lot of alumni support,” Nelson said. “We had the opportunity to wrestle at the Grapple at the Garden and got to wrestle at the San Francisco State Open. Those trips created a lot of memories for our guys.”

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