DSU RECRUITING NOTEBOOK: Century standout signs with DSU

Bismarck Century High School senior Cody Hilzendeger wants to wrestle in college while staying active in rodeo. The trouble is, finding schools that offer both sports and are willing to recruit you isn't always easy. Dickinson State seemed to be ...

Cody Hilzendeger
Press Photo by Dustin Monke Bismarck Century's Cody Hilzendeger, front, wrestles Dickinson High's Alec Lindsey during a dual on Jan. 28. Hilzendeger, the Class A state runner-up at 135 pounds, is one of five new recruits who have signed with Dickinson State.

Bismarck Century High School senior Cody Hilzendeger wants to wrestle in college while staying active in rodeo.

The trouble is, finding schools that offer both sports and are willing to recruit you isn't always easy.

Dickinson State seemed to be the perfect fit for Hilzendeger's desires.

"I figured it'd be a place to go for me to do both," said Hilzendeger, whose father and high school coach Randy Hilzendeger was also a wrestling standout for the Blue Hawks.

Hilzendeger is one of five wrestling recruits recently signed to letters of intent by Blue Hawks coach Thadd O'Donnell.


Others include Tyson Mullen of Mobridge-Pollack (S.D.), Andrew Ramos of Las Vegas, Jacob Stewart of Colubmus, Mont., and Dennis Wilson of Caldwell, Idaho.

Hilzendeger, who O'Donnell called "one of the top recruits in the region" was the Class A state runner-up at 135 pounds and was 34-7 during his senior season. He'll likely wrestle at 133 for DSU.

"I think he's one of the top recruits in the state," O'Donnell said. "Watching him wrestle, his style is good for college."

In the rodeo arena, Hilzendeger competes in tie-down roping and team roping.

"We have a hard time getting guys from Bismarck and east, so this is definitely one we're real happy about," O'Donnell said. "When you have the confidence of a highs school coach to send their kid to you, that says a lot about your program."

Ramos, a heavyweight, was a Nevada state champion his senior season and compiled a 133-28 prep record.

Wilson took third at heavyweight in Idaho's largest during his season and had a 33-9 record.

Stewart wrestled at 189 and 215 and finished fifth in state as a senior, compiling a 34-12 record.


Mullen, who will also likely run cross country, was a state seventh-place finisher at 135 during his senior season.

Like Hilzendeger, he'll likely drop to 133 at the college ranks.

O'Donnell said he hopes that Ramos, Wilson and Stewart will be able to eventually help the Blue Hawks fill voids in their higher weights.

Sophomore heavyweight Frank Lopez is the only returning national qualifier in DSU's three largest classes. The Blue Hawks lose two seniors, national runner-up Jake Kallestad (197) and national placer Brett Owen (184).

"Those two weight classes are definitely a concern for us," O'Donnell said.

Orton signs point guard out of Twin Cities

Tim Brown took two days to look at DSU and signed on the dotted line.

Brown, a 5-foot-9 point guard from Bloomington, Minn., played with the Blue Hawks on Sunday and signed his letter of intent on Monday afternoon.


Brown averaged 15 points and 6.3 assists per game for Bloomington Kennedy High School, which is in a talented conference in Minnesota's largest class.

Nevertheless, Brown said he liked the small-town feel of Dickinson and DSU.

"I like the town. It's a small town," Brown said. "I can actually get my work done and play basketball at the same time."

Brown was introduced to DSU though a former player, Gerrell Clardy, who played for Blue Hawks assistant coach Tim Daniel in the mid-90s when he was the team's head coach.

"He knows how to shoot the ball, he knows how to handle the ball and he can pass the ball extremely well," DSU head coach Ty Orton said. "We're pretty happy to get (Brown). He knows how to play."

DSU has also signed Lucas Reller, a 6-foot point guard from Lead-Deadwood (S.D.) High School.

Reller averaged 9 points, 7.6 assists, 5 rebounds and 3.1 steals a game this season. Orton expects him to redshirt the upcoming season.

Brown and Reller bring DSU's incoming freshman total to four. The Blue Hawks also signed Dickinson Trinity's Robbie Morey and Bowman County's Brock Boos.


In his previous three seasons, Orton had brought in a total of four true freshman recruits and all of them -- Nathan Lebsock, Dano Fagerlund, John Hanstad and Matt Lee -- are still with the team.

The coach is also very excited about what the new recruits could mean for his team.

"We're pretty excited about the freshman class," Orton said. "If you can keep these guys together for four years, you're looking at a pretty solid team."

Burgard to join the Blue Hawks' baseball team

Dickinson High senior Caleb Burgard recently signed a letter of intent to play baseball for DSU.

"He's a good kid who comes from a good baseball family background," Monlux said. "The situation will be good for him coming in."

Burgard has played a variety of positions for the Midgets but is primarily an outfielder. During the summer, he plays for the Dickinson Roughriders and coach Andy Emard, who is a DSU assistant coach.

Burgard's brothers, Jeremy and Nathan, were both standouts for Jamestown College.


Mullock gives DSU a presence in the post

Andre Goldberg is excited about Mandy Mullock, especially after other coaches congratulated him on signing her to a letter of intent.

Mullock, a 5-foot-11 post, signed with DSU's women's basketball team earlier this month and Goldberg, the Blue Hawks' head coach, feels she will be able to contribute immediately.

Mullock, a Torrington, Wyo., native, averaged 14.5 points and 9.8 rebounds this season for Sheridan (Wyo.) College, which had a 49-19 during her career.

"She's one of the most talented four, five spots in Region IX," Goldberg said. "Just watching her play, she can shoot it, but she also has a very good post game, which we're excited about."

Tim Brown
Tim Brown, bottom left, signs his letter of intent to play men's basketball at Dickinson State while his mother Carrie, top left, sister Gabby, bottom left, and father Larry, top right, look on.

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