It’s Doug Schwab’s tenth season as head coach of the UNI Panthers, and as he pointed out, time really does fly by. It seems like only 9 years ago that we saw him and his 2011 squad get his first win over McKendree at a dual in Northwestern.
Anyway, media day was Monday, and while I wasn’t in attendance (long story) I did watch on UNI All-Access, which you can do as well by clicking this link. As usual there was some talk about seniors leaving the program in a better place than they left it, which is definitely true for 2019 National Champion Drew Foster, and about how everybody in the room has seen it can be done at UNI, so hey, why not go do it yourself too?
The biggest news coming out of Schwab’s remarks was that 197 pounder Jacob Holschlag is out for an undisclosed amount of time. Schwab said that if they have to wait until the Big 12 tournament to wrestle Holschlag they would, which I think raised some eyebrows.
He then kind of clarified on that, saying that, “I’m not saying…if he can’t wrestle [until] Big 12’s, it doesn’t matter. I’m not saying that’s the case, but we want him to wrestle on the 10th. He will be prepared and ready if he gets a full season or not.”
Schwab also said that Holschlag would be around for two more years (this year and next). So that’s good news no matter when fans see the returning All-American back on the mat again. In the meantime fans might expect to see Tyrell Gordon back in the starting lineup, and while Schwab praised Gordon’s improvements in the offseason he said, “This would be a good year to redshirt.”
And from the rest of Schwab’s comments it would not be a big surprise to see 197 pounds left open for a while.
“We’ll have to figure out, if he’s (Holschlag) not ready, like I said, I don’t care. I mean, do I want to win all these duals? Yeah, but, anybody remember what our first dual meet score was last year? I do, but I’m sure you don’t. You remember we had a National Champion and All-American. We’re going to get our best team ready, but he’s got to be healthy.”
By the way, UNI’s first dual of the season last year was a 17-19 loss at Pittsburgh. And actually, no, I didn’t have to look that up. But I did just go over last year’s schedule last night.
The other big news of the day came in an offhand comment from Schwab about his 174 pound wrestler, which apparently will be Bryce Steiert. The All-American at 165 pounds last season is bumping up a weight, filling a hole left behind by Taylor Lujan, who plans on wrestling at 184 pounds. With Steiert moving up, Schwab listed three guys who could potentially fill the 165 pound spot in Austin Yant, Patrick Schoenfelder, and Isaiah Patton, so that’s another hole to fill.
Other than those two weights there weren’t a lot of specifics on the lineup. Schwab did say that Kyle Biscoglia, Drew Bennett, and Michael Blockhus were all pushing for spots in the lineup at 125, 133, and 141 pounds, respectively, but otherwise it was mostly praise for the way that his athletes approached the off season after Foster’s National Championship.
Speaking of that, the head coach did guarantee that it wouldn’t be 19 years in-between National Titles again (as it was between 2000 with Tony Davis and 2019 with Foster) and I think that as long as it’s not 18 years away Panther fans will take it.