2021 SIUE Cougar Clash Preview


This Saturday morning, at 9:00 a.m., Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville will host its annual Cougar Clash. This year’s field of six includes host SIU-E, as well as the University of Wisconsin, currently ranked number 19, Northern Illinois, Little Rock, Brown, and Bellarmine. The tournament will take place at the First Community Arena at the Vadalabene Center, and it will be streamed live by Illinois MatMen through their Rokfin channel. There are a variety of ranked wrestlers who may be in the lineup; however, little has been posted to confirm registration. What we know is each school is allowed to have 15 wrestlers compete, so expect to see a few backups in the brackets. Here is the list of anticipated wrestlers and their rankings as of November 30th.


141 Saul Ervin (So), #29

157 Justin Ruffin (Jr), #18

The Cougar Clash will be SIUE’s first competition since the Lindenwood Open almost two weeks ago. Saul Ervin finished 2nd at 141lbs in the Lindenwood Open and will be looking to get atop off the podium this weekend. We will see who enters at heavyweight for the Cougars since Colton McKiernan picked up a 3rd place finish at the Lindenwood Open but Redshirt Junior Aric Bohn started at the beginning of the season.

Northern Illinois University

165 Izzak Olejnik (So), #19

174 Mason Kauffman (Jr), #33

184 Brit Wilson (Jr), #8

Brit Wilson, who is ranked No. 8 at 184, looks to remain undefeated on the season when he competes Saturday. He improved to 9-0 on the year and earned MAC Wrestler of the Week honors following his performance at the Boilermaker Duals last weekend. NIU’s 165lber, Izzak Olejnik is ranked in the top 20 and also had a solid showing in West Lafayette, going 4-0.

University of Wisconsin

125 Eric Barnett (So), #6

149 Austin Gomez (Sr), #19

165 Dean Hamiti (Fr), #26

174 Andrew McNally (Sr), #8

184 Chris Weiler (Sr), #14

197 Braxton Amos (Fr), #16

285 Trent Hillger (Jr), #5

As expected, leading the way with the most nationally ranked wrestlers will be Illinois’ neighbors to the north, Wisconsin. They currently have seven wrestlers ranked in the top twenty-six, and three in the top ten. InterMat also has the Badgers ranked as the fifteenth best tournament team around right now. Again, all of the tournament’s action can be viewed live on Illinois MatMen’s Rokfin channel.
*Rankings courtesy of InterMat

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