DeAnda upbeat about Jimmie women
There was not much time to waste when Tony DeAnda got to Jamestown about a month ago. The new Jamestown College women's wrestling coach got on campus and immediately started practice with his new team. The preseason is now complete and DeAnda wil...
There was not much time to waste when Tony DeAnda got to Jamestown about a month ago.
The new Jamestown College women's wrestling coach got on campus and immediately started practice with his new team. The preseason is now complete and DeAnda will get a look at his girls in action tonight when the Jimmies head to Forest City, Iowa, to face Waldorf College.
DeAnda, who had been an assistant coach at the U.S. Olympic Education Center in Colorado, was hired to replace Cisco Cole, who ran both the men's and women's programs for four years. DeAnda is the first women's only coach.
"I love it. It really is a great opportunity at a great place," said DeAnda. "I enjoyed being an assistant coach, but it is nice to get to do your own thing."
DeAnda inherited a solid program, which was ranked sixth in the preseason Women's College Wrestling Association (WCWA) rankings.
"I feel really good about the team we have. It's a good bunch of girls to work with and we're excited to see where we are right now and where we need to improve."
DeAnda will break in a few new bodies tonight, but the Jimmies also return a solid nucleus, including four ranked wrestlers.
Michelle Quiles, who considered redshirting, decided to compete this year and was ranked No. 2 at 143, although she'll open at 155.
Two of the Jimmies' other top returners -- Tiffany Sluik and Natalie Rutt -- will also start a class up to give them a strong dual team tonight, but plan to move down later.
Sluik will start at 130 where she's ranked fifth, but plans to challenge at 123 later in the season.
Natalie Rutt has the same idea. Now she's at 116 -- and ranked No. 3, but has designs on the 109-pound spot.
Tonight, freshman Gabby Urzola (101), Shai Mason (143) and Amanda Osborne (170) will make their debuts.
Veteran Michelle Canete will start at 109, but she's likely to challenge at 101 eventually. Michelle Yarrington, a junior like Canete, gets the call at 123 and sophomore Chelsey Fleming rounds out the lineup at 191. The Jimmies will have a hole at 136, but DeAnda hopes Serrina Smith will eventually hold that spot. Smith is dealing with injuries currently. Same is true for freshman Zipporah Drozdowicz, who is expected to be in the mix at 136 when she is at full strength.
DeAnda has high hopes in his first season. He believes the team has a number of All-American candidates. Team-wise, he believes the program is capable of contending for national championships. Whether that's this year or not is still a question, but he said, "It's definitely a goal and something I think can happen in a reasonable amount of time."
He also wants to get his team in USA Wrestling events with an eye on Olympic Trials.
"We want to set the bar high for these girls because," DeAnda said. "So far, things have gone really well. It will be good to see (Friday) if they're picking up the skills we're teaching them, not just against our own athletes, but against another team. We're excited to see them in action."
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org