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November 3, 2008

2008-2009 Season - Viking wrestlers eager to begin 2008-09 campaign

As he heads into his second season as the Terry & Sandy Shockley Head Wrestling Coach at Augustana, Eric Juergens is excited about his team’s prospects heading into the 2008-09 campaign. Juergens was the interim head coach last year and was named to the position full-time in April of 2008. In September of 2008, Augustana announced that the head wrestling position was going to be endowed thanks to a generous gift from Terry & Sandy Shockley. He is looking forward to maintaining the momentum of the off-season news and translating it to success on the mat.

 

“I think that we are building a base here,” said Juergens, who was a two time NCAA Division I national champion at the University of Iowa. “We had a solid recruiting class and several of those kids will make contributions this year. I don’t think there will be any question that we are going to be better than we were a year ago.”

 

In Juergens’ first year as the head coach the Vikings went 2-9 in dual meets and placed fourth in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin championship meet. Two of his wrestlers, George Gogonas (Bowie HS, Austin, Texas) and Brian Kerr (United Township HS, East Moline, Ill.) went over the 20 victory mark. Gogonas compiled a mark of 28-13 at 125 pounds and was third in the CCIW while Kerr was 25-15 at 184 pounds and was second in the conference.

 

INDIVIDUAL WEIGHT CLASS BREAKDOWN

 

125 – Gogonas is coming off a solid season when he went 28-13 overall and placed third in the CCIW. He was 18-18 as a freshman and is 46-31 in his career. Junior Kyle Brodwater (St. Joseph Hamm HS, Medford, New Jersey) is back after lettering as a freshman in 2006-07 when he went 8-18. Sophomore Felipe Villagomez (Moline HS, Moline, Ill.) posted a 4-7 record in 2008-09.

 

133 – Senior Andrew Randone (Davenport Assumption HS, Davenport, Iowa) has put in a lot of work in the off-season and he should handle the 133 pound weight class. He was 7-14 last year. Sophomore Max Gailey (Lake Forest HS, Lake Bluff, Ill.), who was 6-15 a year ago, has improved his offensive moves.  Another possibility at 133 will be freshman Joseph McGuire (Hinsdale South HS, Burr Ridge, Ill.).

 

141 – Sophomore Alec Rizzo (Fremd HS, Palatine, Ill.) was a letterwinner last year and was 2-10. A pair of freshmen, Andrew Krcatovich (Allegon HS, Allegon, Mich.) and Alberto Quiros (Morton HS, Cicero, Ill.) have been impressive in the early workouts.

 

149 – Junior Zac Holland (West Des Moines Dowling HS, Pleasant Hill, Iowa) will handle the 149 pound weight class after going 11-25 as a sophomore. He will be backed up freshman Joshua Andrzejewski (Lisle Township HS, Lisle, Ill.).

 

157 – Freshman Matthew McIntyre (West Carroll HS, Savanna, Ill.) is very athletic and figures to be the number one guy at 157 pounds. Sophomore Kris Kovach (Oswego HS, Oswego, Ill.) was a letterwinner a year ago.

 

165 – Junior Billy Gallo (St. Joseph-Ogden HS, St. Joseph, Ill.) has been away from wrestling for a few years but he has made tremendous progress during the fall. Sophomore Nick Kein (Geneva HS, Geneva, Ill.) has also show good promise. This could be a very solid weight class.

 

174 – Sophomores Matt Nykaza (Brother Rice HS, Oak Lawn, Ill.) and Gabe Gardner (Air Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.) were both letterwinners a year ago. Gardner went 14-22 and was fourth in the CCIW at 174 pounds while Nykaza was 5-24 at 197 and was fourth in the CCIW. Either Gallo or Kein could bump up here if needed.

 

184 – Kerr placed second in the CCIW last year and was 24-15. He finished fourth in the Great Lakes Regional and has 60 career victories.

 

197 – Junior Pat Kilroy (Lisle Township HS, Lisle, Ill.) was 4-23 last year at 197.

 

Hwt. – Freshman Andrew Wier (Bettendorf HS, Bettendorf, Iowa) will handle the heavyweight duties.