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Heath Hotzler, Published April 18 2008

Wrestling gets new look at JC

Jamestown wrestling coach Cisco Cole at one point didn’t support the idea of women competing in his sport.

He didn’t understand where women’s wrestling fit it. He thought it was a gimmick.

However, everything changed when Cole attended a 2004 coaching clinic with United States women’s national team coach Terry Steiner.

“I just started to take a different approach as far as my thought process,” said Cole, who recently wrapped up his first year as the Jimmies’ coach. “I made a more concerted effort to study it and follow it a little more. Then it just made sense to me.”

So, when Jamestown was looking to add a women’s sport, it was a no-brainer for Cole to bring up wrestling. The Jimmies already have the facilities, and the costs would be low to start up a program, Cole told Jamestown president Robert Badal.

Down deep, Cole had a more important reason.

“This is about just plainly giving the opportunity for women to attend college and play the sport they love,” Cole said. “I have a daughter. She wrestles. She has been met with some resistance at some tournaments as well. But 20 years ago women who played basketball were met with resistance.”

Jamestown’s first women’s wrestling season will begin in October.

Only nine schools in the United States offer women’s wrestling as a varsity sport.

Cole said the total could reach 11 by next year.

There are 15 colleges in Canada that offer the sport, which will help allow Jamestown wrestlers to compete in 20-30 matches per season.

Cole’s newly found enthusiasm for the sport has helped the Jimmies secure 14 commitments from some of the top female wrestlers in the country.

“It’s more about giving people an opportunity than it is about changing hearts and minds,” Cole said. “But that’s going to come.”

NDSCS to dedicate track to ex-coaches

North Dakota State College of Science will name its track and outdoor athletic complex in honor of longtime faculty members and coaches Owen and Dee Jensen.

The track will be named OJ and Dee Jensen Track.

A naming ceremony is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on April 29.

Owen Jensen coached the Wildcats’ track and cross country teams from 1974-2002.

The architect of the NDSCS women’s track and field program, Dee Jensen was the women’s coach from 1975-2002.

Odds and ends

Minnesota State University Moorhead junior Alyssa Schafer was named Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tennis player of the week. Schafer, from Mandan, N.D., was 3-0 at No. 5 singles, and partnered with Laura Benz to go 2-1 at No. 2 doubles. … Jamestown College pitcher Graham Campbell leads the Dakota Athletic Conference with a 2.05 earned run average. In eight starts, Campbell has allowed 10 earned runs.

Readers can reach Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562 or hhotzler@forumcomm.com. Hotzler’s small college blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com