MILWAUKEE - Plenty of experience returns for the MSOE wrestling team as it enters the 2017-18 season with possibly its deepest roster under fifth-year head coach Matt Zwaschka.
Six lineup regulars return this season, led by senior Devin Mahnke at 197 pounds. He was an NCAA qualifier last season at that weight and is already ranked eighth in Division III at that weight in a preseason ranking.
Mahnke has the most experience of the bunch, posting a 49-24 record with 11 falls in his two active seasons with the Raiders. Last season, he went 26-8 to reach the national championships. He won two in-season tournaments and was second on three occasions, including at both the CCIW Championships and NCAA West Regional Championships. He did not drop a match last season to a wrestler that did not qualify for nationals.
Sam Rathburn was a constant in the lineup at 157 pounds, going 17-19 with eight falls, which ranked him second on the team. He placed fourth at the CCIW Championships at that weight. This season, he will give Zwaschka a veteran presence in the middle of the lineup, showing his flexibility by wrestling at both 157 and 149 pounds.
The younger Rathburn, Jack, did just that last season. He opened his rookie campaign at 157 pounds before dropping to 149 pounds after the new year. He wrestled in 23 matches in his first collegiate season and posted six wins.
Rounding out the starters was Snyder at 165 pounds and Cushman at 141 pounds. Snyder posted four wins at his weight last season and secured one fall. He does have slight experience up a weight class, securing a fall at 174 pounds as a freshman, but has focused on 165 pounds primarily. Cushman, meanwhile, opened as a 149-pound wrestler last season, dropping to 141 after five matches. This season, he'll be able to demonstrate his flexibility between the two weight classes.
Stojanovic will wrestle at 184 pounds for the first time this season after dropping a weight class in each of his first two seasons. He started at 285 pounds and was limited to six matches through injury. Then, last season, he was behind Mahnke at 197 pounds and wrestled nine times. Zwaschka has been impressed with his dedication in the off-season and what he has been able to do against 184-pound competition in the preseason.
Carter, meanwhile, got his first taste of collegiate wrestling last season. He started the season at 165 pounds before dropping to 157 and wrestled 10 times. This season, he is expected to hold at 165 pounds and compete for time at that weight.