by Steve Peterson
Joe Sievert, a senior from Akron, had his final season of competitive wrestling probably cut short as he sustained a knee injury at a recent tournament for Morningside College.
The injury happened at the Augsburg Open in Minneapolis, Minn., but Sievert went on to win his weight class title at 174 pounds despite the injury.
“Joe was looking great this year; he was undefeated (8-0 record). He definitely will be missed in the room as he is a great competitor,” said Morningside Coach Jake Stevenson.
Stevenson said his team is a deep one and will be able to recover. Rulin Pederson, a sophomore from Sioux City, won the 174 pound title at the Buena Vista University Open on Dec. 8.
Sievert finished seventh at the NAIA National Wrestling Championships in Des Moines to earn NAIA All-American status, for the second time in his career, at 174 pounds. He was Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Wrestler of the Year. He is a former state champion for Akron-Westfield.
Joe Sievert won all four of his matches for an 8-0 record. He won, despite the injury, an 11-9 decision against James Roach of St. Olaf College in the 174 pound title bout. He had also won his weight class at the Dakota Wesleyan University tournament in Mitchell, S.D, by a 15-7 major decision win against Dakota Wesleyan’s Tyler Sarringer in the title bout.
Joe Sievert had a 30-2 record last season with nine falls. He was undefeated going into the NAIA National Championships, where he placed seventh at 174 pounds. Sievert’s best place at the national meet was third place as a freshman at 165 pounds. His record stood at 84-14 for the Mustangs.
John Sievert, also a senior, will join the Mustangs’ squad for the second semester at 197 pounds. He led the Mustangs in victories last season with a 43-13 mark in the heavyweight division with a school-record 24 falls. He is the Mustangs’ career falls leader with 36 and has a 65-30 record over the past two seasons.
Chad Morehead, ranked 11th nationally at 165 pounds, is a senior from Akron and doing well, said Stevenson. “Chad has been wrestling really well. He has had some high finishes at tournaments and has a shot to have a great season,” said Stevenson.
Morehead finished third at BVU. He reached the semifinals before a 3-1 loss against top-seeded Zach Fischman of Northwestern College dropped him to the consolation bracket. Morehead opened the tournament with a 13-2 major decision win against Jesse McCann of Northwestern and then won 3-1 decisions against Mitchell Rechtzigel of Augustana and Kyle Wichman of York. Morehead was 2-0 record for the consolation bracket with a 3-2 win against Tyler Schaefer of Northwestern and a 5-2 win against Nathaniel Stadeker of Grand View University in the consolation final.
Freshmen are contributing well to the team, said Stevenson, including Nathan Ryan, of Moville, Iowa, who was third at BVU at 133 pounds. Chris Bridgeford, at 197 pounds, was the champion.
Morningside, after Christmas break, faces Grand View University in Des Moines on Jan. 5; is a the Cliff Kleen Invitational in Springfield, Ill., Jan. 12-13; at Minnesota West Open at 9:00 a.m. on Jan. 19 and will host Midland University in a GPAC battle at 7:00 p.m. Jan. 23.