BROOKINGS, S.D. — Home duals against perennial national championship contenders Iowa, Iowa State and Oklahoma highlight the South Dakota State University wrestling team’s schedule for the upcoming 2016-17 campaign.
“We are fired up about this year’s schedule,” said Chris Bono, who enters his fifth season as Jackrabbit head coach. “We always schedule with the idea of getting ready for conference and NCAA tournaments, and with this schedule our men will be ready come championship time. With Iowa, Iowa State and Oklahoma visiting Frost Arena, our fans will get to see some of the greatest wrestling in the country.”
The Jackrabbits, who posted a 14-6 dual record and a fourth-place team finish at their inaugural Big 12 Conference Championship last year, will host a pair of events on this season’s opening weekend. SDSU will take on Iowa State in dual action on Nov. 4, followed by the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open on Nov. 6 at Frost Arena. Both events are part of the Jackrabbit wrestling program’s Alumni Weekend.
After traveling to Minnesota on Nov. 19, the Jackrabbits will welcome Iowa to Brookings on Dec. 2 for a 7 p.m. matchup to complete a home-and-home series. To wrap up the first weekend in December, SDSU will again compete in the South Dakota Showcase on Dec. 4, taking on in-state programs Augustana, Dakota Wesleyan and Northern State at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls.
Following a three-week break, the Jackrabbits close out the calendar year by competing Dec. 29-30 at the Midlands Championships in Evanston, Illinois, again facing a number of elite wrestlers.
SDSU rings in the new year with a Jan. 6 home dual against Boise State, then resumes Big 12 dual action Jan. 8 versus Northern Colorado.
From there, the Jackrabbits will wrestle three consecutive conference duals on the road, traveling to Wyoming (Jan. 13), Air Force (Jan. 15) and Oklahoma State (Jan. 22).
The Jackrabbits are slated to compete in a pair of triangulars against non-conference opponents to complete home-and-home series that began last season. On Jan. 28, SDSU will travel to SIU-Edwardsville and also face Gardner-Webb (N.C.). Two weeks later, on Feb. 12, SDSU will move on to meet Virginia Tech and also square off against Duke. The February road weekend kicks off with a Feb. 10 dual at Big 12 member West Virginia.
Three other Jackrabbit duals in February will be on their home mat at Frost Arena as Oklahoma, which ended SDSU’s school-record 12-match winning streak last season, pays a visit on Feb. 3, and Utah Valley comes to Brookings for a Feb. 4 matchup. The regular season finale will feature SDSU and rival North Dakota State squaring off on Feb. 19.
The March schedule will consist of postseason tournaments. The Big 12 Championship is slated for March 4-5 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and will serve as the qualifying tournament for the NCAA Championships March 16-18 in St. Louis. Four of the five Jackrabbits who competed at the 2016 NCAA Championships — Seth Gross, Alex Kocer, David Kocer and Nate Rotert — all return to the SDSU lineup this season.
Season tickets will go on sale July 26, although requests for season tickets can be made now by calling the Jackrabbit Ticket Office at (605) 688-5422. Single-match tickets will be available starting Sept. 26.
2016-17 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE WRESTLING SCHEDULE
Nov. 4 *IOWA STATE
Nov. 6 WARREN WILLIAMSON/DAKTRONICS OPEN
Nov. 12 at Bison Open; Fargo, N.D.
Nov. 19 at Minnesota
Dec. 2 IOWA Dec. 4 at South Dakota Showcase; Sioux Falls (Sanford Pentagon)
Dec. 29-30 at Midlands Championships; Evanston, Ill.
Jan. 6 BOISE STATE
Jan. 8 *NORTHERN COLORADO
Jan. 13 *at Wyoming
Jan. 15 *at Air Force
Jan. 22 *at Oklahoma State
Jan. 28 at SIU-Edwardsville, vs. Gardner-Webb (N.C.)
Feb. 3 *OKLAHOMA
Feb. 4 *UTAH VALLEY
Feb. 10 *at West Virginia
Feb. 12 at Virginia Tech, vs. Duke
Feb. 19 *NORTH DAKOTA STATE
Mar. 4-5 at Big 12 Conference Championship; Tulsa, Okla.
Mar. 16-18 at NCAA Championships; St. Louis, Mo.