Lourdes wrestlers Henneman, Anderson set high goals

As Lourdes University’s men’s wrestling team takes to the mat for the 2020-2021 season, the Gray Wolves will compete in a year unlike any other.

The Gray Wolves have moved to the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference from the Sooner Athletic Conference, as the WHAC is sponsoring the sport for the first time.  In addition, most of the team’s dual meets have been canceled due to COVID-19, leaving Lourdes with a very abbreviated season.

Coach Dock Kelly III embarks on his fifth season leading the Gray Wolves.  Lourdes is coming off its best dual match season in program history, going 11-8 one year ago while also finishing in a tie for 34th at the NAIA National Championships.

Two-time NAIA national qualifier Nick Henneman (Clay) is back for year three as a redshirt junior at 141 pounds.  An All-American as a freshman, he posted a 21-3 record last year and was the SAC Wrestler of the Year, winning a league title. He was also the SAC Wrestler of the Week on Feb. 4 and earned NAIA national Wrestler of the Week honors on Feb. 5. He won six matches by fall, four by technical fall and five by major decision.

Last year at the national championships, Henneman won a pair of matches inside Hartmann Arena in Park City, Kansas. He didn’t finish the way he wanted, going 2-2 and losing in the quarterfinal round and enters 2020-2021 with the goal of challenging for a national title.  

Henneman, the second seed at 141 pounds, started quickly at the national championships last year, scoring a 15-0 technical fall in the opening round against Keshawn Lewis of Cumberland (Tenn.).  After a scoreless opening period, he started on top in the second and scored a reversal followed by a four-point near fall on his way to a 7-0 lead after two.  He scored a takedown and another nearfall in the final period on the way to the victory.

In round two, he added another tech fall, this one by a 21-4 score against Eric Reyes of Menlo.  After leading 3-2 after one, he scored 11 points in the second with a takedown and two four-point near falls.  He added another takedown and near fall in the third to close out the match.

The quarterfinal round saw Henneman fall behind 6-0 in the opening period to Trent Leon of Reinhardt.  He picked up a pair of points in the second and another in the third, but it was not enough as he fell in a 10-3 decision.  

In the All-American round of the consolation bracket, he dropped a 9-3 decision to Connor Holman of Oklahoma City. The match was tied 2-2 heading to the third period before Holman scored a takedown and near fall.  The redshirt-sophomore saw his season come to an end with a 21-3 record.

“This was not the ending to the season that we anticipated for Nick,” Lourdes coach Dock Kelly III said afterwards.  “This will be tough for us to swallow, but we will grow from this experience and come back ready to win a national title. We are proud of the season that Nick had, and we still believe that he has all of the necessary tools to win multiple national championships.”

At Clay, Henneman was twice named Three Rivers Athletic Conference Wrestler of the Year, was a three-time state placer and posted a 163-34 prep record.

Garret Anderson (Clay) will also be a formidable foe for his opponents at 157 pounds.  He went 16-11 as a sophomore one year ago, registering a team-leading nine falls.

As a freshman, Anderson posted a 13-12 record, wrestling mostly at 149 but also competing at 157. He had a team-leading 10 falls, earned one major deicision with his first collegiate win coming over a Penn State Behrend wrestler.

Anderson was a four-year letter winner at Clay and four-time TRAC Champion, named TRAC Wrestler of the Year as a senior. He qualified for state twice, won four sectional championships and four TRAC titles, posing a 144-51 prep record. He also lettered in soccer.

Lourdes was to host Indiana Tech in a dual match on January 21 before hosting the inaugural WHAC Championships inside the Russell J. Ebeid Recreation Center on Feb. 13.  (— by Lourdes SID Ryan Wronkowicz and Press Sports Editor J. Patrick Eaken)








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