Colorado Mesa grapplers face tough test vs. rival Western

Colorado Mesa University’s wrestling team is back on the mat tonight.

The No. 17 Mavericks will wrestle RMAC rival Western State Colorado University at 7 tonight at Paul Wright Gym in Gunnison in a non-conference dual.

“We’ll see how some of these guys handle the environment,” CMU coach Chuck Pipher said. “The bleachers are right on top of you. It’s definitely a radical environment. On paper, we should beat them, but there’s no doubt it will be a tough dual.”

This is the 47th dual meeting between the two schools. Western holds a 24-21-1 lead in the all-time series and has won nine of the past 11 meetings. The Mavericks defeated Western State in two duals last season.

Mesa junior Tyler Nelson is back after resting a minor injury the first month of the season. Justin Schumacher will wrestle at 149 pounds. James Martinez will rest a minor knee injury.

Jordan Passehl was cleared to practice last week, but Pipher won’t wrestle him until January. Jake Goddard will wrestle in his place at 197.

Kyle Piatt of Olathe will wrestle at 184 pounds for Western State.

The Mavericks moved up to No. 17 in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association Division II poll. Senior Jon Gappmaier is ranked eighth at 157 pounds, Chester Granard is ranked seventh at 165 pounds and Nick Petersen is seventh at 184.

Academic Awards

Colorado Mesa football players Matt Mankoff and Trent deBraga were selected to the Capital One Division II Academic All-America team, which was announced Wednesday.

DeBraga earned first-team honors for the second consecutive year. The senior defensive back has a 4.00 grade-point average in criminal justice. He is an All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference kick returner and was 10th in the RMAC with 101 tackles. He led the RMAC with 642 kick return yards and a 25.7 average.

Mankoff made the first-team offensive line. The senior center was the only RMAC player to make the Capital One Academic All-America team. The business administration major has a 3.95 GPA and earned All-RMAC second-team and RMAC All-Academic team honors. He blocked for the leading rusher in the conference and was a four-year starter.

Regional Recognition

Colorado Mesa linebacker Jake Edmiston made the Daktronics All-Super Region 4 second team.

The junior from Palisade led the Mavericks with 122 tackles (11.1 per game), ranking second in the RMAC and ninth in NCAA Division II. He finished with 92 assisted tackles and had 30 solo tackles. He led the team with nine tackles for loss yards and five quarterback hurries.

Edmiston made the All-RMAC third team and was first-team All-Academic.

Soccer Star

Colorado Mesa midfielder Marco Escobar was selected to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America South Central All-Region second team.

The junior from Edwards led the Mavericks with 11 points, 27 shots and 11 shots on goal. He scored four goals and had three assists.

Escobar made the All-RMAC first team.

Track & Field

Colorado Mesa begins the indoor portion of its 2012-13 season Friday at the Air Force Academy Holiday Open in Colorado Springs.

The men’s and women’s teams were picked to finish last in the RMAC preseason poll released Wednesday.

Adams State is favored to win the men’s and women’s titles.

The Mavericks’ next meet is Jan. 11 at the Air Force All-Comers meet.


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