Big shoes to fill for UCB wrestlers
Head Coach Nick Paur is in his third year of coaching and leads the United Clay Becker Badgers into Section 8AA wrestling this season. The Badgers are coming off a tough 2013-14 season where UCB went 3-19 in duals and return starters Sanden O'Con...
Head Coach Nick Paur is in his third year of coaching and leads the United Clay Becker Badgers into Section 8AA wrestling this season.
The Badgers are coming off a tough 2013-14 season where UCB went 3-19 in duals and return starters Sanden O’Connel, Brayden Boe, Riley Byklum, Alec Korby, Jarrett Lange, Trent Rosing, and Nick Wamre looking to improve on that record.
“We have a good core of young wrestlers that have seen a lot of success in the past,” said Paur. “Wrestlers need to stay healthy and continue the UCB tradition of working hard.”
Wamre and Byklum came into the season with winning records.
Wamre, the lone senior on the team, was 22-19 and recorded a pin in the Badgers’ opening dual against Pelican Rapids.
Wamre was fourth in the section individual tournament last year and has to be looking for a top two spot this year in his final shot at state.
Sophomore Byklum had a record of 19-15 and placed fifth in the section.
Junior Jarret Lange had an even record of 13-13 last year and also placed fifth at sections.
While participation numbers weren’t great for the Badgers last season, this year’s numbers are up and at the youth level - over two-thirds of the team is comprised of freshman or middle schoolers.
It may be a challenge for this year’s varsity team to compete at the top of the talent level in the conference and section, but the future is stacked for UCB if those younger wrestlers put in the work and stick with the program.
The big hole in this year’s lineup will be that of graduated senior Mason Swegarden and his career record of 185-37. Swegarden finished in fourth place at state his senior year at 145 pounds. He was a captain last year and is the all-time leader in career wins and made the trip to Xcel Energy center with sophomore Jonah Lange.
Lange also leaves a hole in the lineup as he moved out of the district. Making it tougher, Lange moved to conference rival Frazee.
Both Lange and Swegarden were section 8AA champions.
Byklum, Korby, Lange, Rosing, and Wamre were noted by Coach Paur as standouts this year to take up the slack and keep state meet appearances going for the Badgers.
To really compete in duals, other wrestlers will need to get into form to fill up the lineup card. UCB dropped their season-opening dual at home versus Pelican Rapids 51-21 and had forfeits at 120 and 138, while both the Vikings and Badgers chose to forfeit the final heavyweight match. Finding a way to get a shot at the 12 lost forfeit points makes all the difference in many matches.
UCB will battle subsection favorites Perham and take on the likes of the Yellowjackets, Frazee and Barnesville to challenge for the top spot in the Heart O’ Lakes Conference.
The Badgers will get after it the first weekend of the season with a quadrangle at New York Mills Dec. 5 and a weekend tournament the following day at Hillsboro, N.D.