What’s New with BVU Wrestling?


Cody Holtgrewe

Austin West, Contributing Writer

Last Saturday, Nov. 9th, the Buena Vista Wrestling team headed to Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota for the Dakota Wesleyan Open. This would be the first tournament of the 2019-20 Wrestling season for the Beavers.   


Before coming into the tournament, Buena Vista got their true start to the season with a dual in Dubuque, Iowa taking on the top-ranked Loras Duhawk squad. The four-hour trip took place last Thursday, Nov. 7th.   


Going into the dual, the Beavers knew it would be a tough matchup. Five of the Duhawks’ starting wrestlers in their lineup were ranked in the top five in all of D3 wrestling. 


A tough dual for Buena Vista indeed as it would end up a decisive win for the Duhawks, 51-6, as Loras scored bonus points in all nine of their victories 


The Beaver standout from that dual was senior wrestler Collin Stilson. He would be the only BVU competitor able to score points for with a pin in the second period during his 149pound match. With the pin, Stilson would also earn the 16th win of his career.   


“He did what he needed to do. Overall, a good bright spot for us on the night,” said Head Coach Mark Rial.  


Rial was pleased with the effort and passion the squad showed in the matchup. 


“We had some fight in our guys which we were looking for. It was a good experience for the young guys to be in that environment against those kinds of opponents,” he added.   


While BV left Dubuque with a 0-1 record both overall and in American Rivers Conference matches, the team looked forward to a fresh start the following Saturday at the Dakota Wesleyan Open.   


In Buena Vista’s first tournament of the year, it proved another challenge.  On the day, BV finished strong with two finishers in the top five of the tournament within their respective weight classes.   


The finishers included the aforementioned Stilson in the 149pound weight class, as well as freshman Stephen White at 184. 


Stilson would lose his first match of the day but was able to wrestle his way back on the consolation side of the bracket. He was able to dominate his way through the consolations picking up a technical fall, a major decision, and two pins on his way to a medical forfeit. As a result, Stilson earned his spot in the consolation finals.   


However, Stilson would come up short in a close 4-3 loss to take the fourth-place spot in the tournament and moving to 6-1 overall with three pins on the year.  


Meanwhile, White had a strong showing in the first two rounds of the tournament with a 3-2 sudden victory in the first and a 2-0 decision in the second. White would then take a fall in the semifinal match and lose a close one 5-4 in the consolation bracket before taking a forfeit to earn him his fifth-place finish.   


“He finds ways to win, which is important. Overall, he had a good tournament and it’s good to see the results for how hard they’ve worked,” praised Rial.   


Stilson and White would not be the only strong performers in the Dakota Wesleyan Open as some other non-place winners had a good day of wrestling. Two freshman Beavers had stand-out days including freshman Diego Escarcega, who was able to pick up two pins on the day. Sophomore Bryon Fleming also shone as he was able to grab three wins including a fall and major decision.   


BVU Wrestling is off to a decent start under a young group of wrestlers with the leadership of seniors Nick Mitchell, Parker Preul, and Collin Stilson. the next time the wrestlers hit the mat is Saturday, November 16 at the Grand View Open.