SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Augustana head wrestling coach Jason Reitmeier announced today the signing of six student-athletes for the 2013-14 season. Mason Bender, Lance Briard, Kase Jacobs, Bruce Lemon Jr., Lane Lettau and David Potratz have all signed letters of intent to continue their athletic and academic careers at Augustana.
These student-athletes bring Reitmeier’s 2013-14 recruiting class to eight as this spring’s signees join Aero Amo and Zach Schuman who inked during the early signing period on November.
“We are really excited about the 2013-14 recruiting class,” Reitmeier said. “All seven of our signees are great additions to our roster, and address our needs for the future of our program.”
Bender, from Brandon, S.D., will graduate from Brandon Valley High School in 2013 as a four-year letterwinner. Bender compiled a record of 40-0 his senior season and won an individual state championship in 2013, setting a school record for wins in a season. As a senior, he won conference and region championships and was named his team’s MVP. Bender went 31-9 as a junior, finishing fifth place at the state tournament after finishing as runner-up as a sophomore, with a 29-10 record.
“Mason continues to improve every year he has competed and I expect him to continue that trend at Augustana,” Reitmeier said. “He has a tireless work ethic and has a very high ceiling and I believe that his best wrestling is in front of him.”
Briard, a native of Springfield, Minn., will graduate from Springfield High School as a four-year letterwinner and the defending Class A State Champion at heavyweight. Briard finished his senior season a perfect 37-0, the first person to do so in the River Valley Conference. He is a two-time team captain and conference champion and has twice been named to the all-state team, as well as all-academic all-state. Earlier this fall, Briard also signed to play football at Augustana.
“Lance is a big, strong, athletic heavyweight with a very bright future at Augustana,” Reitmeier said. “He is an extremely bright and motivated individual which will help him with participating in two sports. We have lacked depth at heavyweight for a few years and now we feel confident in that spot with the addition of Lance.”
Jacobs, a native of Canton, S.D., will graduate from Canton High School in 2013 as a four-year letterwinner and three-time state tournament place winner. Allen compiled a career record of 149-25 and was the State B runner-up during his senior season. He is a two-time Big Sioux Conference individual champion and has been a member of a team that has made three state tournament appearances.
“Kase is a gifted athlete that excels in numerous sports,” Reitmeier said. “Once he concentrates just on wrestling, the sky is the limit for him. He is a tough well-rounded wrestler that loves to pin.”
Lemon, a native of Frazee, Minn., will graduate from Frazee High School in 2013 as a four-year letterwinner and two-time team captain. Lemon owns a career record of 131-39 after going 32-7 as a senior and placing fifth at the state tournament. He was a member of four conference championship teams and three section championship teams. As an individual, Lemon is a two-time conference champion and three-time section champion.
“Bruce comes from a highly successful high school program,” Reitmeier said. “He is a very confident wrestler which will help him bring a winning attitude to our program. I’m looking forward to working with Bruce and watching him grow.”
Lettau, from Pierre, S.D., will graduate from T.F. Riggs High School as a four-year letterwinner and a three-time state tournament placer. Lettau finished with a career record of 124-46 and racked up 88 pins in four seasons. As a senior, Lettau won conference and region championships before placing third at the state tournament. He was a member of two state championship teams and holds a school record for most pins in a season with 32 as a junior.
“Lane is a tireless worker on the mat and in the classroom and will out-work a lot of people in both areas,” Reitmeier said. “His leadership will be an asset to the program and we are really looking forward getting him on campus and around this team.”
Potratz, a native of Sioux Falls, will graduate from Washington High School in 2013 as a four-year letterwinner and two-time team captain. Potratz is a three-time all-conference performer, as well as a three-time academic all-conference honoree. He finished 30-6 as a senior and was named his team’s MVP. As a junior, Potratz finished the season 43-3 and won the Class A State Championship at his weight class, after going 44-13 and finishing third in the state as a sophomore.
“David brings a wealth of wrestling knowledge and experience,” Reitmeier said. “We are looking forward to seeing him grow on our team, and we are excited to add another student-athlete with very high academic goals for himself.”
Augustana went 10-6 on the season, including 5-3 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, which was good for fourth place. The Vikings finished 31st at the NCAA Championships and returned with one All-American.
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