Bison wrestlers split homestand

Win vs Buffalo gives Kish 100th win

This weekend, the North Dakota State University wrestling team split a two-match homestand losing to Minnesota on Friday 24-9 and defeating Buffalo 30-6 on Sunday. Sunday’s win over Buffalo gave NDSU Head Coach Roger Kish his 100th win at the Bison helm.

Minnesota 24 – NDSU 9

            On Friday night at the SHAC, the Bison welcomed the 10th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers. Starting at the 165lb class, NDSU’s Michael Caliendo picked up the first win for the Bison in a Top 20 matchup. Caliendo pocketed two takedowns, one each in the first and second periods to walk away with a 5-2 win over 19th-ranked Andrew Sparks. Caliendo, currently ranked 13th in that class, moved to 6-0 on the season.

            The Gophers then won the next two matches beginning at 174 as Gaven Sax had a 4-2 loss at 174 to No. 17 Bailey O’Reilly, before No. 15 Isaiah Salazar secured a tech fall win over DJ Parker at 184.

            NDSU’s Owen Pentz picked up the second win of the night for the Bison in the 197-pound match, as he secured the first of two upsets in the dual, taking down No. 20 Michial Foy with a 4-3 decision. Pentz, ranked 30th in the 197lb class,  picked up his second career win over Foy as secured a pair of reversals in the third period to win 4-3.

Heavyweight Juan Mora would battle with No. 24 Garrett Joles in the next match but fell 6-2 heading into the break. Minnesota would win the first four matches out of the break, including tight wins at 133, 141 and 149. No. 20 Aaron Nagao edged McGwire Midkiff 4-2 at 133. No. 7 Dylan Droegemueller fell to No. 4 Jakob Bergeland 6-2 at 141. In the 149-pound match, Kellyn March fell to No. 16 Michael Blockhus 2-1.

NDSU’s Jared Franek wrestles the University of Minnesota’s Brayton Lee on Friday night at the SHAC. In a battle of Top 10 wrestlers, Franek, #7, defeated Lee, #4, 2-1 in two overtimes. Photo Courtesy | NDSU Athletics

            Finally, the Herd would get another win at 157lbs. Jared Franek defeated the Gophers’ Brayton Lee, the 4th-ranked wrestler at 157. Franek, from Horace, N.D., decisioned Lee 2-1 in a match that would go to two overtime segments.

            In post-match comments, head coach Roger Kish was happy with his team’s performance. “I thought we actually had a really good effort on Friday night,” Kish said. “I think we were victims a little bit of some positional things and we were victims a little of our youth, but we’ll learn.”

Bison roll past Buffalo 30 – 6

          On Sunday, the Bison defeated the Buffalo Bulls to wrap up the home portion of their non-conference schedule 30-6. The win earned Roger Kish his 100th win while at the helm of the North Dakota State wrestling program.

            The Bison started out quickly in this dual winning the first five matches. The highlight of those matches was Kellyn March’s pin of Buffalo’s Kaleb Burgess in the 149lb match. March, a junior, pinned Burgess at the 13-second mark of the first period, the 2nd fastest pin in the program’s D-I history. “I knew when I shook hands with him I was gonna’ get it,” March explained. “I saw fear when we shook hands and I had been prepping all week.” Kish was excited about the win, too. “Yes, he’s one of the few kids on this team and probably in the country that can be one of those big move kind of guys,” Kish said. “With his experience, athleticism and power, he can take some guys to some tough places that might not otherwise be able to keep up with him.”

            #27 Carlos Negrete Jr. started off the dual at 125 with a 7-4 win over Patrick Adams, as Negrete scored a takedown and a two-point near fall in the first period to lead to the victory. McGwire Midkiff then followed up with another early takedown to lead to a win at 133, defeating Thomas Maddox 7-2. #7 Dylan Droegemueller would extend the Bison lead as he jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the 141-pound match in the third period and held off a late charge from Matt Ryan to win 8-5.

Following the pin, #7 Jared Franek then picked up a ranked win at 157 over #23 Michael Petite to head into the break. Franek secured a pair of first-period takedowns on his way to a 6-3 win and an 18-0 lead for the Bison. After the break, #13 Caliendo remained undefeated (7-0) on the year and grabbed his second pin of the season at 1:29 to defeat Ty Raines in the 165-pound match.
Gaven Sax then stepped up to defeat Jay Nivision 3-0 following a second-period takedown and riding time point to clinch the victory and Kish’s 100th win with the decision. Buffalo would pick up a pair of wins at 184 and 197 pounds. DJ Parker led in the third but fell to #24 Giuseppe Hoose following a late takedown and four-point near fall. Spencer Mooberry fell in his dual debut for the Bison at 197 pounds.
Juan Mora would close out the dual for the Bison with an 8-3 win. More secured a takedown in the second and then added two more takedowns in the third after a quick escape for a dominating victory.

Kish wins #100 at NDSU –

The win against Buffalo earned coach Kish his 100th win. Kish began his stint with the Bison in the 2011-12 season after being an assistant at NDSU for two years under the legendary Arthur “Bucky” Maughan. “It’s nice, it’s really nice. It’s nice to be somewhere and be able to build a good foundation and a good legacy,” Kish reflected. “It speaks to the opportunity that the community and the administration has given me to build.”

NDSU Head Coach Roger Kish earned his 100th win at NDSU with Sunday’s defeat of Buffalo. Kish is now 100-68 at the Helm of the Bison program. Photo Courtesy | NDSU Athletics

The Bison will now hit the road to finish their non-conference schedule and begin a tough Big 12 schedule that lies ahead. The Bison will wrestle the University of Little Rock (Ark.) on Sunday, Dec. 18th, and then kick off the Big 12 schedule in Columbia, Mo., to face the Missouri Tigers currently ranked #7 in the country. The Herd returns home to the SHAC next year on January 21st and 22nd  for a Saturday-Sunday homestand against Big 12 foes Wyoming and Utah Valley, respectively. Tickets are available at

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