Beavers Ready for Battle in the Big Sky
Dec. 31, 2008
LOOKING AHEAD -- The Oregon State Beavers (3-4, 0-1 Pac-10) stay out on the road to take on the No. 15 Michigan Wolverines (1-2, 0-0 Big Ten) in Bozeman, Mont., on Friday. The Battle in the Big Sky is hosted by Montana State.
TRACKING THE BEAVS -- Full results from Thursday's tournament can be found through the newly redesigned osubeavers.com.
dual meet no. 8: no. 15 michigan (1-2, 0-0 big ten) -- Friday, Jan. 2 (6:00 p.m. PT): Oregon State is 0-3 all-time against Michigan. The last time the two teams met was Jan. 12, 2002.
The Wolverines haven't competed since Dec. 14, when they fell 19-12 to No. 16 Central Michigan at home. Prior to that meet, Michigan had finished sixth at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational led by 174-pounder Steve Luke, who captured the individual title with Kellen Russell placing third at 141 pounds and Anthony Biondo finishing fourth at 184 pounds. Head coach Joe McFarland is in his 10th season at the helm of Michigan wrestling, and Friday's meet marks the team's first dual of the season in a neutral location.
Barnes went 5-2, while Davis went 6-2 en route to seventh place finishes at 149 and 165 pounds. Davis knocked off the No. 9 wrestler in the country in a 4-2 decision to take seventh.
Also surviving to the second day of the tournament was senior Ben Harris at 174 pounds, falling in his first match of the day.
ODDS & ENDS -- Oregon State has won its season opener for the last four seasons with two of those wins being on the road.
Senior Kyle Bressler is the first wrestler to break into the national top 10 since Ty Watterson did during the 2006-07 season at heavyweight.
Oregon State has had two different wrestlers earn Most Outstanding Wrestler honors at the Best of the West Tournament each year it has competed. Last year it was senior Heinrich Barnes at 141 pounds and this year it was redshirt freshman Clayton Jack at heavyweight.
Although it's not the 100th season of wrestling at Oregon State, the first year of varsity wrestling was 100 years ago in 1908.
Barnes moved into the top 20 for 149 pounds starting at No. 20 in the Dec. 9 poll before moving to No. 17 in the Dec. 16 poll. He is 1-1 against opponents ranked higher than him this season.
Barnes and Davis have placed in all three tournaments that they have entered this year. Barnes finished first at the Best of the West Tournament, third at the Reno Tournament of Champions and seventh at the Midlands Championships at 149 pounds. And Davis finished first at the Best of the West, fourth in Reno (unattached) and seventh at the Midlands.
looking back at last season -- Many new faces appeared in the Oregon State lineup for 2007-08. In head coach Jim Zalesky's second season, the team finished third in the Pac-10 and sent three wrestlers to the NCAA Championships in St. Louis, Mo.
Junior transfer Heinrich Barnes made an immediate impact at 141 pounds, emerging as one of the most exciting Oregon State wrestlers to watch with his explosiveness and quickness.
Redshirt freshman Chris Platt offered the program stability at 174 pounds, making his debut on Jan. 18 against Cal State Bakersfield.
Redshirt freshman Tim Patrick stepped into the Pac-10 Championships, wrestling at 157 pounds, and marking his first varsity matches after overcoming a season-ending injury in 2007.
Redshirt freshman Jon Brascetta started the season at 165 pounds before an ankle injury ended his season in December at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
Senior Neal Beaudry and redshirt junior Ben Harris split time at 174 pounds early in the season before sharing time at 184 pounds after Platt took over 174.
Redshirt freshman Brice Arand wrestled at 197 pounds throughout most of the season.
intermat top 25 -- Senior Kyle Bressler stayed at No. 7 at 184 pounds in the Dec. 23 USA Today/NWCA/Intermat rankings of the season. Senior Heinrich Barnes joined him in the Dec. 9 poll in the top 20 with a 20th place ranking, but he is still ranked No. 17 in the Dec. 23 poll. Although the Beavers as a team didn't quite make the top 25 cutoff, the team received votes in the first couple of polls and in the Dec. 23 poll.
bressler and barnes some of the best -- Senior Kyle Bressler returns as the only Oregon State wrestler with NCAA Championships experience having qualified in 2007 at 184 pounds and in 2008 at 197 pounds. He is currently ranked No. 7 in the nation at 184 pounds. Senior Heinrich Barnes has Olympic experience after qualifying for South Africa for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. Barnes is currently ranked No. 17 in the nation at 149 pounds with an 16-2 overall record, 6-1 in dual meets.
young wrestlers making their marks -- The three redshirt freshmen in the lineup -- Kelly Kubec at 133 pounds, Chad Hanke at 197 pounds and Clayton Jack at heavyweight -- are making their marks boasting solid records. Jack won the Best of the West Tournament and taking home Most Outstanding Wrestler honors after pinning his way to the title.
wrestlers in the media -- The Oregon State wrestling team will be featured in a special Beavers All Access as it continues its 2008-09 season to air on FSN. No other Pac-10 school has produced a show entirely focused on its wrestling squad. The show's debut will be Tuesday, Dec. 9 at 5:00 p.m.
GET YOUR TICKETS -- Season tickets are available for the 2008-09 wrestling season. The adult season ticket price is $42 and the youth/senior price is $26; all seating is general admission.
Season tickets can be purchased online at osubeavers.com or by calling the OSU Ticket Office located in Gill Coliseum Monday-Friday at 1-800-GO BEAVS.
Single-meet tickets are also on sale now through the Oregon State Ticket Office at $7 for adults and $5 for youth/seniors.
OREGON STATE VS. RANKED OPPONENTS -- The Beavers will face six preseason top 25 opponents this season in No. 2 Iowa State, No. 5 Missouri, No. 6 Nebraska, No. 10 Michigan, No. 13 Wisconsin and No. 14 Boise State. Oregon State will tackle some of its top opponents early at the end of November in back-to-back matches against Nebraska and Wisconsin.
2007-08 ATTENDANCE AVERAGE -- Oregon State showed that wrestling is still a top sport, averaging 1,138 in attendance per home meet. That number ranked as the 14th best in the nation, and the Beavers posted a season-high 1,852 fans in the last Dodge Civil War meeting ever in Corvallis. Oregon State edged out all other west coast opponents on the list.
LEGENDARY GILL COLISEUM -- Legendary Gill Coliseum is the home to Oregon State's volleyball, men's and women's basketball, gymnastics and wrestling teams. The arena seats 10,400 for competitions on Ralph Miller Court. The building which opened in the winter of 1949-50 has seen several refurbishment projects in recent years and is on the docket for a major renovation. Gill has seen over 3,000 victories, 150+ All-Americans and more than 25 individual and team titles.
what's next for the beavers -- Oregon State returns home to host its conference home opener against Portland State on Wednesday, Jan. 14 before hosting No. 2 Iowa State on Sunday, Jan. 18 in legendary Gill Coliseum.