This year, IA Wrestle is stepping up it’s game and will not only be providing the state with coverage of all the Division I programs that Iowa has to offer, but we are also going to start increasing our coverage of Division III programs as well. Over the next few weeks we will be releasing Team Previews for each DIII school and today we launch our coverage with Buena Vista. You can tweet your thoughts on The BV wrestling lineup to @IAWrestle and @RossIAWrestle using the hashtag #D3wrestle.
Coach Jeff Breese will be starting his second season as head of the BV program and the 2015-16 squad returns six of the ten starters from last year’s team, including NCAA qualifier Nashid Barrow at 141 pounds.
Barrow was one of the lead anchors in the Beaver lineup as he was the lone NCAA qualifier and fell just one win shy of becoming the first All-American for Buena Vista since 2010. In addition to reaching the round of 12 at the NCAA championships, Barrow was also named the IIAC Freshman of the Year. Barrow earned the honor with a 25-9 record and was the only freshman in the conference to qualify for the NCAA championships.
Buena Vista will also return five additional wrestlers from the 2015 squad including Ernesto Garcia (125), Tyler Puls (165), Austin Hays (174), Jacob Staudt (197), and Gable Bonner (285). Both Hays and Bonner will be seniors for the upcoming season and will look to make their last push to the NCAA tournament. Bonner is the second highest returning point scorer for the Beavers, as his 47 second fall over Loras College’s Connor Swier helped him to three points at the Central Regional NCAA qualifier.
With that Bunea Vista will look to plug in starters at four weights in their lineup, and that will come from a combination of veterans and possibly, an incoming freshman or two. BV needs replacing at 133, 149, 157, and 184 pounds.
With 133 being thin on the depth chart we could see either Slade Stiles, a junior expected to compete for the 125 spot, or a trio of incoming freshmen, Jackson Montgomery, Carson Rhoads, or Romelo Salas enter the lineup. Salas probably has the biggest resume among incoming freshmen, as he was a Colorado Greco-Roman and folkstyle state champion in high school.
Sophomore Mitchell Boer is the only veteran on the roster at 149 pounds, and Iowa high school wrestling fans will remember he was a three-time state medalist for Ballard High School. His biggest competition might be incoming freshman Brad Kerkhoff of Audubon who was also a three-time state medalist. Kerkhoff ended the year ranked #5 in the IAWrestle 1A rankings at 145 pounds.
2015 – 16 Lineup Projection
125 Ernesto Garcia or Slade Stiles JR
133 Jackson Montgomery, Carson Rhoads, or Romelo Salas FR
141 Nashid Barrow SO
149 Mitchell Boer SO or Brad Kerkhoff FR
157 Andrew Nelson JR or Adrian Salazar SO
165 Matt Goth JR
174 Tyler Puls JR
184 Austin Hays SR
197 Jacob Staudt SO
285 Gable Bonner SR
At 157 pounds junior Andrew Nelson and sophomore Adrian Salazar will both challenge for the spot. Nelson was voted team captain for the Beavers.
Finally, with 184 pounds only having Dubuque’s Kevin Pape on the roster, it could very well be that we see Puls and Hayes each bump a weight class to wrestle 174 and 184 respectively. That would give junior Mathew Goth an opportunity to step into the lineup at 165 pounds.
It should be a great year to watch the Buena Vista program, with so many returning starters from last year’s program and the addition of a nice 2015 recruiting class, coach Breese continue to move the Beavers in a positive direction.