Last weekend, the Augustana men’s wrestling team competed against Division I and Division II schools in the Daktronics Open in Brookings, S.D.

Augustana wrestling head coach Jason Reitmeier said that this was a good opener and feels confident in the team’s progress.

“We had some guys wrestle very well and some that didn’t,” Reitmeier said. “We also had a few of our upper classmen that we will be counting on off the mat due to some injuries.”

Reitmeier said sophomore TJ North and redshirt freshman Morgan Engbrecht wrestled well at 125. Redshirt freshman Jake Anderson handled his own at 141. Shawn Hatlestad and Zach Friederich both saw nice results at 149. Sean Derry and Aero Amo wrestled well at 184.

“I thought last weekend’s open went fairly well,” Derry said. “As a team, I thought we had some good performances and everybody wrestled tough.”

Next, the Vikings are scheduled to compete in a quadangular against Morningside College, Chadron State and the U.S. Air Force Academy on Friday, Nov. 15. According to Reitmeier, all three teams are solid and because the U.S. Air Force Academy is a Division I school, they will be the toughest matches.

After that, the Vikings go to Mitchell, S.D. for the Dakota Wesleyan Open , Nov. 16.

“I am confident our men will compete hard and represent the program in a positive way,” Reitmeier said.

It is the Vikings goal to get back into the top 10 in the nation, according to Reitmeier, and so far he said he is impressed with many members of his team.

“I have a handful of men that I am looking for great results from,” Reitmeier said. “I have been impressed with Sean Derry, Jake Anderson and Shawn Hatlestad. The main stays that will compete well are TJ North and Jayd Docken. We have some others that will make a big impact as well.”

These athletes are also the ones Reitmeier said he is looking at to lead by example. He applauds Derry for stepping up as a vocal leader.

Not only has Reitmeier been impressed with his upperclassmen, he is also excited to see some freshmen take on leadership positions as well.

“I really like how hard all of the freshmen work, and their attitudes are great,” Reitmeier said. “Bruce Lemon, Zach Schuman and Aero Amo have made an impact in the practice room.”

According to Reitmeier, in order for the team to reach their goals, many of the wrestlers will have to step it up.

“We need to become more tough physically and mentally before we can step on the mat with the top teams in the nation,” Retmeier said. “I know we have the personal to do it. Now they have to want it.”

Sophomore Shawn Hatlestad feels confident this season is going to be a good one.

“Practice has been great,” Hatlestad said. “We have been working really hard and have great intensity in the practice room. I believe that with this team, we have a shot at making a come back to be one of the top wrestling programs.”