Jan. 29, 2009
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Western Wrestling Conference portion of their schedule begins this weekend at home for the University of Wyoming Cowboy wrestling team. The Cowboys will take on the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on Friday, Jan. 30., then the following evening, UW will then face another WWC foe, the North Dakota State Bison on Saturday, Jan. 31.
Both duals will begin at 7 p.m. in the UniWyo Sports Complex. Ticket prices are $5 for adults and $3 for kids 18 and younger, while UW students are free with a valid ID.
The `Pokes are 7-2 in dual action so far this season and are coming off of a one-day East Coast sweep of Duke, Liberty and North Carolina State two weeks ago. Having wrestled a very full slate of tournaments and duals, six Cowboys have reached the 20-win plateau this season, including two that have broken the 30-win barrier.
Leading the team in wins, No. 19-ranked Shane Onufer is 31-8 at 174 pounds, while No. 7 Joe LeBlanc is 30-5 at 184 pounds. Michael Martinez is 27-7 at 125 pounds, Alex Rieder has a 23-12 record at 165/174 pounds, Jacob Scharbrough is 20-12 at heavyweight and Chase Smith has a 20-15 mark at 149 pounds. LeBlanc, Martinez, Onufer and Smith are all redshirt freshmen, while Rieder is a junior and Scharbrough is a true freshman.
Martinez has a winning streak of seven straight matches at 125 pounds. Included in that streak is a victory over No. 18 Brian Owen of Boise State, three wins by major decision and one by forfeit.
The Jackrabbits are 7-6-1 overall in dual action this season, 0-1-0 in the WWC. They matched up with Northern Colorado last Sunday and fell to the Bears in Brookings, S.D., 29-15. SDSU is led by No. 16 Tyler Sorenson (7-0) at 197 pounds and Jason Stripling (25-9) at heavyweight.
The Bison are 2-7-1 overall in dual action this season, 0-1-0 in the WWC. They also wrestled Northern Colorado this past weekend, losing a tight match on Saturday to the Bears, 18-16 in Fargo. NDSU has been led by Ryan Adams (19-8) at 149 pounds and Tyler Johnson (13-3) at 165 pounds.
The Bison defeated the Cowboys last season in Fargo by a score of 29-10. Wyoming's Coxbill and Dallaserra also won their matches in that dual.
It has been a long time between home events for the Cowboys, as the last time they competed in Laramie was Friday, Nov. 14, 2008, against Stanford and Saturday, Nov. 15, when UW hosted the Cowboy Open.
As with all of Wyoming's home duals in 2008-09, Friday and Saturday's match-ups will be streamed live online at WyomingAthletics.com, via UW's multimedia subscription service, Wyoming All-Access. Cost is $7.95 a month or $59.95 for the school year, and the fee includes coverage of a multitude of UW events and features.