You might not have heard of it, but there is an event coming that you would not want to miss. What started out as friendly banter between these two students has now received enough attention and gained enough momentum to become a reality. On January 14, during Northwestern’s home wrestling meet, two of campus’ best non wrestlers will face each other on the mat and under the light.
The students in question are none other than Nicolaas VanRijs and the Beacon’s own Aaron Eckmann. It started out as a “who would win in a wrestling match?” question among friends. The pair then obtained permission from Coach Dahl to realize their dreams and wrestle in the most official setting possible. They have also enlisted the help of two wrestling superstars, Sam Copley and Luke Jenness, to be their trainers before the match and coaches during it. There will be an upcoming drafting event where the two wrestling pros will choose who their respective fighters will be.
Now, both Eckmann and VanRijs are gearing up for an official wrestling match that has everybody talking. There is a buzz building up in Colenbrander Hall, where both Eckmann and VanRijs reside, but also in other dorms. Student Jonah Tews even called it, “The sporting event of the decade,” and said it would be, “bigger than any Superbowl.” People on campus have started making several bets, not only on the outcome of the match, but also on their predicted points to be scored and whether or not one of them will be able to pin the other. A promotional campaign is in the plans which will include posters, a recorded weigh-in event and promotional videos of the wrestlers preparing for the match.
Another aspect of this upcoming match that is generating excitement amongst the students is the fact that Colenbrander resident director, Brian Follett, will be the referee of the match. Follett, a former wrestler for NW is excited to return to the mat in a different capacity. “I want to see a clean match and good NW wrestling,” Follett said. Follett, a prolific wrestler back in his day, knows something about winning matches. When asked about the highlights of his wrestling career he said, “I’m surprised they have not named the Sioux City open after me.”
Eckmann is quite confident his soccer background will give him an edge over his opponent. After years of experience with the sport he believes that his stamina and ball control will translate well on the mat. “Soccer is all about precision and playmaking, both useful for wrestling.”
VanRijs, on the other hand, is placing his bets on different strengths. Being part of the NW tennis team, he is sure his upper body strength will hand him the win on matchday. “Eckmann ain’t ready for what’s coming. I’m a former menace on the T-ball field and have since developed into a mild wrestling fan. I have been a practice dummy too many times to take the L here.”
Students on campus are divided when it comes to support for the two Colenbrander men, while others are not sure who the winner is going to be. What we do know is that the match will be nothing short of legendary and an event that will go down in history as one of NW’s greatest.