Mines Wrestling rebounds with strong 20-13 win over CSU-Pueblo

{gallery}1011/i14/wrestling/{/gallery}All Photos Steven Wooldridge / Oredigger

It is not uncommon for an older brother to wrestle his younger brother as they are growing up. What is uncommon is for that wrestling rivalry to linger between the siblings throughout their college years. That is what faced Mines Wrestler Jesse Snider Friday night when he faced his younger brother Jacob, who now wrestles for CSU-Pueblo, in the 149lb bout. Jesse took on the challenge and reminded his younger counterpart who was the elder, earning a 12-5 major decision, helping to lead the Orediggers to a much-needed 20-13 team victory over the Thunderwolves.

The victory concludes two weeks of tumultuous duals for the Orediggers, who first upset #17 Adams State, then crushed New Mexico Highlands 40-3, but seemed to suffer a letdown as they were handled easily by Mesa State, Jan 23. “This was definitely a rebound for us,” head coach Josh Hutchens said, “but it’s what we’ve been working on: mental toughness and staying mentally focused.  We still have a long way to go, but everyone came out strong today; everyone wrestled tough.”

After Mines fell behind early 3-0, junior Chad Lousberg put the Orediggers on the board, and in the lead, with a dominant 9-0 major decision. CSU-Pueblo regained the lead with a major decision of their own in the 141lb, taking a 7-4 advantage into the 149lb match.

In the 149lb, Jesse Snider took control of his brother early, and jumped out to an early 7-2 lead. The younger Snider pulled to within 7-4, making the match interesting, but the Oredigger’s Snider erased any doubt, closing the bout on a 5-1 run, earning a decision and pulling the score even at 7-7. “There was a lot of pressure on Jesse, ” Hutchens said, “There is a lot of pressure on him, being the older brother, to beat his younger brother. But he came out and wrestled strong. There’s not many people who can beat Jake by as much as he did.”

At 157, junior Jamie Sheets put the Orediggers on top for good with a 7-4  decision. Junior Jordan Larsen continued the success, grinding out a hard-earned 4-2 decision at 165lb in extra time. Brandon Sheldon added to the lead in 174, relentlessly pounding the Thunderwolves Trevor Grant 12-2, giving Mines a 17-7 lead with only three weights remaining. Sophomore Brandon Knerr also recorded a 3-1 decision in the 197lb match.

The match was a simultaneous dual meet at Lockridge Arena, as Golden high school edged Wheat Ridge High School 40-39 in what is becoming an annual tradition. “It’s a good thing for everyone,” Coach Hutchens said,”It’s a great experience on campus, and a great experience for the high schoolers. A lot of them have never seen a college match before, and it’s great for them to be here.”

The win for the Orediggers, who received votes in the latest NCAA division II rankings, moves them to 3-1-0 overall and in the RMAC in dual competition. The Orediggers next travel to Western State University Feb. 2, and return to host #18 Fort Hays State Feb. 5.

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