Dickinson State handles EaglesDickinson State junior Bryden Lazaro takes pride in getting his team off on the right foot.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Dickinson State junior Bryden Lazaro takes pride in getting his team off on the right foot.
The 125-pounder isn’t just winning, he is supplying the Blue Hawks with some extra punch with pins.
The junior from Fair Oaks, Calif., helped DSU begin with three pins in its first five matches en route to a 45-6 win over Chadron (Neb.) State on Wednesday at Scott Gymnasium.
“I definitely like setting the tone for everyone else,” Lazaro said. “I like getting us pumped up. I take a lot of pride going first.”
Getting pins is one area DSU head coach Thadd O’Donnell has seen major improvement. In their last three tournaments, the Blue Hawks have led the weekend in pins once and finished runner-up twice. DSU collected a tournament-high 20 pins at the St. John’s Open on Saturday in Collegeville, Minn.
“It’s definitely an asset,” O’Donnell said. “The pin thing is the name of the game. When we go through drills, we are always looking to finish it off with a pin and always put the opposition to their back.”
However, Lazaro pointed out that it’s not just about picking up pins, it’s also making sure none of the Blue Hawks get pinned.
“Even the guys who aren’t getting pins, we count on those guys not to get pinned and to keep the match close,” Lazaro said. “I think that’s what’s helped up win some big matches this season.”
Along with the three pins the Blue Hawks supplied against the Eagles, DSU was also handed three wins by forfeit. Matt Chambers (133), Kevin Keisler (197) and Jose Lopez (285) all picked up six points without having to wrestle a second.
The two other pins for the Blue Hawks came from freshmen Sean Elkins, a graduate of Hebron High School, at 149 and sophomore Tyler Johnson. The two scored first-period pins totaling less than 2 minutes.
“I always tell them, ‘Hey, you take them down, you pin them and you’re off the mat,’” O’Donnell said with a smile. “You don’t have to waste any energy for the next match.”
Seniors Cameron Schrempp (174), Jesse Hellinger (184) and Brad Steele (141), a graduate of Beach High School, each won by decision.
The Eagles’ lone win in the dual came at 165 when freshman Bryce Wiedeman pinned DSU’s Jon Morales in 4:57.
“Bryce actually leads (NCAA) Division II in pins this year with 13,” Chadron interim head coach Brett Hunter said. “He’s either a pin or go home type a guy. It was a good win for him.”
It was DSU’s final regular-season dual. The Blue Hawks now have 10 days to prepare for the NAIA National Qualifier Tournament, which begins at 9 a.m. Feb. 16 in Fremont, Neb.
“In some of these matches, it was where our guys had to compete for 7 minutes,” O’Donnell said. “It’s do or die at regionals. We can’t hold back when we go out there.”
125: Bryden Lazaro, DSU, pinned Spencer Hunt, 6:12. 133: Matt Chambers, DSU, by forfeit. 141: Brad Steele, DSU, dec. Josh McCance, 5-0. 149: Sean Elkins, DSU, pinned Jesse Larralde, 1:15. 157: Tyler Johnson, DSU, pinned Taylor Pownall, :43. 165: Bryce Wiedeman, CSC, pinned Jon Morales, 4:57. 174: Cameron Schrempp, DSU, dec. Tyler Smart, 4-0. 184: Jesse Hellinger, DSU, dec. Devan Fors, 5-0. 197: Kevin Keisler, DSU, by forfeit. 285: Jose Lopez, DSU, by forfeit.