Nebraska wrestling article
They have the desire.
They have the experience, and they have a national champion.
But there's one more ingredient the Nebraska Cornhuskers will need this season to excel on the wrestling mat.
"We've got to keep them healthy," NU coach Mark Manning said.
Last season, the Huskers dealt with several injuries, including one that ended heavyweight Jon May's season.
Nebraska finished fourth at the Big 12 Championships, 16th at the NCAA Championships and managed to bring home the school's ninth individual national championship last season when Paul Donahoe, now a junior, defeated No. 1 Sam Hazewinkel of Oklahoma 3-1 in overtime in the final to take the crown at 125 pounds.
With Donahoe, May and six others with experience at the NCAA Championships in the Huskers' starting 10, Nebraska is ranked No. 14 preseason by InterMat and No. 7 by WIN Magazine going into tonight's dual against Wyoming in Laramie and Saturday's Cowboy Open.
The wrestlers and Manning also have high expectations.
"They know what it takes to be an All-American, to be a national champion. . . . I think that bodes well for their focus and vision of where they want to go," Manning said. "I think we have really good competitors at every weight class. I don't see us right now having a really weak weight."
The strongest would have to be 125 pounds, where Donahoe will try to become the first Husker to bring home back-to-back national titles.
Donahoe went 35-5 last season, tying three Huskers for the fourth most wins as a sophomore in school history.
"I think he's going to be a target," Manning said. "We've prepared him to be ready for everyone's best effort.
"His work ethic is second to none. . . . Part of Paul's secret is he wrestles harder than his opponent. They don't have a second to rest."
Donahoe and the Huskers won't have much time to rest, either.
The Huskers, who went 10-7-1 in duals last season, will face seven preseason top 25 teams in duals, including matchups at InterMat No. 1 Minnesota, No. 2 Oklahoma State, at No. 3 Iowa State and No. 7 Missouri.
Nebraska also will compete in the Las Vegas Invitational and National Duals. Both fields include top-25 teams.
"We don't have a lot of breaks," Manning said. "We're going to have to be on top of our game."
That's a place May has worked almost a year to reach.
At heavyweight, May went to the NCAA Championships in 2006 but injured his knee early last season. The injury had been reported as a torn ACL, but Manning said it was torn cartilage in May's knee, and the squad's lone senior will be ready to go.
"I think Jon's primed for a big year this year," Manning said.
Sophomores Jordan Burroughs (149), Stephen Dwyer (165) and Craig Brester (197) and junior Chris Oliver (157) also have impressed Manning.
All four made their first appearances at the NCAA Championships last year, with Brester and Dwyer each winning two matches.
"I'll take all those guys on my team every time," Manning said. "I believe in those guys."
Rounding out the lineup are juniors Vince Jones (184), Brandon Browne (174) and Robert Sanders (141) and sophomore Kenny Jordan (133), who won the junior college national championship at 133 last year for Lincoln Community College in Illinois.
"I think we have competitors on this team," Manning said. "They might hate losing more than they like winning.
"These guys are tough."
Probable starters <hr>125 – Paul Donahoe, Jr.
133 – Kenny Jordan, So.
141 – Robert Sanders, Jr.
149 – Jordan Burroughs, So.
157 – Chris Oliver, Jr.
165 – Stephen Dwyer, So.
174 – Brandon Browne, Jr.
184 – Vince Jones, Jr.
197 – Craig Brester, So.
Heavyweight – Jon May, Sr.
Last edited by Schlottke; 11-09-2007 at 01:01 PM.
Re: Nebraska wrestling article
they also have a strong red shirt freshman team as well
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