Coe Coach John Oostendorp has witnessed Kohawk wrestlers produce in practice.
With the postseason less than a month away, he wants to see them continue to transfer it to the mat.
“This time of the year late in the season you want to see your guys moving forward and making gains,” Oostendorp said. “You want to see what you’re working on in practice carry over into competition.”
The 11th-ranked Kohawks get that opportunity when it faces No. 18 Cornell in the battle in the Bremner Cup All-Sport Series Friday night at Small Multi-Sport Center in Mount Vernon, starting at 7. Coe has won seven straight duals in the series and 13 of the last 14.
The Kohawks (12-4) have five ranked wrestlers and two others who have been ranked previously. Oostendorp said the team has concentrated on making the most of every moment during training. He has been pleased with the progress to this point.
“I feel good about this team,” Oostendorp said. “This team has really been focused and they’re getting a lot out of their practices. They have a really great attitude.”
Coe has been wrestling well, despite a 24-10 loss to Iowa Conference rival Wartburg last week. It was their only IIAC setback. The Kohawks have produced a balanced lineup, spearheaded by national finalist Jimmy Gotto (133), second-ranked Dmitry Boyer (157) and fourth-ranked 174-pounder Ethan Ball. Farai Sewera (165) is ranked 10th.
“Your goal is to have 10 guys that you can put out there that are going to fight and battle and win tough matches,” Oostendorp said. “I feel this team has really embraced that. Each one of them is taking on the responsibility of getting better every week.”
The dual features one contest of ranked wrestlers. Cornell NCAA runner-up and fifth-ranked Alex Coolidge will face No. 10 Donnie Horner. Coolidge, who competed at the Midlands Championships in December, is 19-4. Horner owns a 15-7 mark. The pair have had some good contests in the past.
“They’ve had a couple of close ones," Oostendorp said. "I think Donnie is right there. He’s wrestled all those top guys pretty close. The key is to start beating them on a regular basis.”
Cornell's Trevor Engle (24-5) is ranked ninth at 149. He has won 17 of his last 18 matches. Engle will try to help Cornell win its first dual in the rivalry since a 27-19 victory in 1999. The Rams do lead the overall series, 18-14-2.
“Obviously this is a big rivalry,” Cornell head coach Mike Duroe said in a news release. “It should be a real competitive dual. They have several guys nationally ranked and always fight us hard. It’s always a challenge, and our guys are looking forward to it.”
Take Down Cancer
The night will also provide fans a chance to support fundraising efforts to help those coping with cancer. “Take Down Cancer” Night will include a youth clinic before the meet with guest clinicians, including former Hawkeyes Joe Slaton and Matt Fields and legendary wrestler and coach Dan Gable, who will also sign autographs.
The clinic is just $10 and t-shirts will be sold with all proceeds donated to the Hall-Perrine Cancer Center at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids. All children that attend the clinic will receive a t-shirt and admission to the following dual between the Kohawks and the Rams.
The goal is to raise as much money for the cause of “Taking down cancer.” Additional fundraising activities and the list of clinicians will be updated later.The shirts will display the Take Down Cancer logo on the front and Team Reckless #Bill Bails on the back. Bails is an area administrator and avid wrestling supporter, who is battling cancer. He has spoken with a couple NCAA Division I programs about his battle.