By: John Miller
Former MSUM standout wrestler Blake Bosch has found his way back to Moorhead by joining the Dragons as an assistant coach.
Bosch graduated in spring 2017 and was looking to further his education by getting his MBA. He considered three schools – University of Mary, Drury University (Missouri) and MSUM. Bosch’s familiarity with MSUM is what ultimately led to his return.
“What it came down to is this is just home for me,” Bosch said. “I feel comfortable with the guys and the team; and the MBA program is well credited.”
Head coach Kris Nelson, who recruited him out of high school, was another attraction for Bosch. He has always appreciated the straightforwardness of Nelson and strives to learn and develop his coaching skills under his former coach.
Bosch said transitioning from student-athlete to assistant coach will be his biggest challenge this season.
“As an athlete, it’s pretty easy to just focus on yourself and making ‘you’ better,” Bosch said. “Now I focus on everybody as a team and try to get everyone to the top of their ability. That’ll probably be the toughest part for me.”
Although the transition from player to coach will not be immediate, Bosch is confident he will bring an aspect of relatability to the team. He feels that the team will benefit from its familiarity with him. On top of conveying his vast knowledge of the sport, Bosch will also be a big brother type of figure to his team.
“I’m closer to their age and they can come to me with any questions they have; whether it’s wrestling, school, girlfriend issues, whatever,” Bosch said. “I feel like I’m still kind of a friend and that I can show them a lot of stuff on the wrestling mat as well.”
A goal for the team is to finish above its projected fifth place finish in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC), two places higher than MSUM placed last year. St. Cloud State is chosen to win another conference championship, followed by Upper Iowa, Augustana and Minnesota State Mankato.
Bosch wants to see the Dragons improve from last year, and exceed expectations by ending the season within the top three of the NSIC.
“I feel like we can place higher than fifth this year,” Bosch said. “We’re a very talented squad as long as we can stay healthy and keep everybody motivated and on the right track.”
Junior Adam Blees will need to be a key contributor for the Dragons to reach its peak. Blees, MSUM’s top returning wrestler, posted a 17-11 record last season.
He is hoping his offseason-training will help fill the void left by last year’s graduated team leaders, Bosch and Isaac Novacek.
“I tried to put in as much work as possible this offseason to get bigger and stronger,” Blees said. “I also tried to take care of my body and do things right so I’m healthy to kick the season off on the right note.”
Individually, Blees wants to take a leap forward by pinning his way to the postseason.
“For my goal this year, I want to make the national tournament,” Blees said. “Ultimately, I want to be an All-American and see how high I can be on the podium, but to do that I first have to make the national tournament.”
Though Blees wants to see himself succeed, he also wants to see the team come together and perform as one. He said the past couple years have been full of matches that were treated as solo competitions.
“I’d like to see a little more team unity in our duals,” Blees said. “I think if we can do that, we’ll be able to do really well this year.”