Category Archives: Campbell Wrestling

Motivated By Brotherly Connection

Written by: Matthew Sokol – Campbell blog contributor

If you have heard teammates refer to themselves as a family, they are usually just close friends that wrestle for the same team. For the Campbell wrestling team, Nathan and Austin Kraisser plus Ville and Jere Heino experience the true brotherly connection.

They are more than just four Camels wrestling for the same team who help guide each other on and off the mat – including twin brothers Brandon and Bradley Skinner.

The older brothers, Nathan and Ville, are leaders for the Campbell squad, and have been able to show the ropes to their younger brothers during their careers. As both veterans prepare for Senior Day this Saturday hosting VMI, the time spent wrestling together becomes even more meaningful.

“I try to set an example for my brother,” said older brother Nathan Kraisser, adding, “and lead by example than through words. I am constantly checking in on him (Austin), and inviting him over to my house to hangout.”

Campbell head coach Cary Kolat views the Kraisser’s and the Heino’s as great assets to the team.

“I think it shows a lot for our program when we have brothers willing to follow their brother to a program that means they are enjoying the experience they are getting,” said Kolat.

“Those guys in particular have made huge impacts on our lineup with both sets [of brothers]. We hope that [Austin and Jere] shine further than their brothers did earning more wins and accomplishments; not to take away from Nathan and Ville.”

Both pair of brothers share similar feelings of support for one another. Just like any other sibling rivalry there is competition, but helping each other improve is what sticks out in the relationship as Campbell teammates and brothers.

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Austin Kraisser – Currently 18-9 in Dual Matches
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Nathan Kraisser – Currently 23-6 in Dual Matches

“We are from a big family, and we have some other brothers. I am a little taller for my weight, and my wrestling tends to be more technical. Austin uses his athleticism more, but since he has been in college, he has become more technical,” Nathan points out.

For younger brother Austin, he has watched his older brother wrestle both as a Tar Heel and as a Fighting Camel when Nathan transferred in 2014, taking an initial redshirt year.

Austin Kraisser has also seen his brother win the Southern Conference Championship, something that is on his personal checklist this season as the tournament approaches.

“I have always gone to his matches and his work inspires me to do as well as I can,” said Austin. “I want to work hard to be just as good as he is or even better. I see Nathan working hard and it makes me want to work hard. It is like a battle back and forth, as we are pushing each other to our limits every day.”

The Kraisser brothers have had the ability to support each other as teammates this season, something that the Heino brothers went through last season during Jere Heino’s first year at Campbell. Both brothers have won their last five matches in their respective classes and are feeding off each others success.

“I have a learned a lot that I have been able to help him (Jere) like where you get car insurance,” noted Ville, adding, “Now that we are older, we aren’t competing against each other since he is so big now. We are supporting each other, and that has been very helpful. We mostly talk about wrestling and it is something we both enjoy.”

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Ville Heino – Currently 23-6 in Dual Matches
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Jere Heino – 19-6 in Dual Matches

Jere Heino has wrestled together with his older brother, Ville, since they were young. Jere earned a spot on So-Con All-Freshman team last season, and finished fourth in the SoCon Championship – striving for even more as his sophomore season concludes next month.

“Ville has been very helpful and good a role model to me,” said Jere Heino. “On the wrestling mat, I think he has been a good inspiration for myself and the rest of the team. I think if Ville wrestles well, it changes my mentality and I do better and I don’t think we would be this close if it wasn’t for wrestling.”

The Heino and Kraisser brothers return to action along with the rest of the Campbell squad on Feb. 18 when they take on VMI for Senior Day at 5:00pm inside Carter Gym, closing out their home career building on the impressive 5-1 start in SoCon action.

Searching For Even More

Written by: Matthew Sokol – Campbell blog contributor

After earning a trip to the finals of last year’s Big South Conference Tournament, the ladies in Buies Creek are eager to get the 2017 season started.

The Fighting Camels were picked to finish third in the preseason poll for the third time since rejoining the Big South in 2011 and for the second time in four years they’ve earned the top-three overall selection.

A major focus for the team this year will be offensive production led by Amber Schisler, the 2017 Big South Preseason Player of the Year. Schisler led the team in hits (67), and tied the team lead in home runs (16), while driving in a team-best 46 RBI for the Camels.

Another key component from the Fighting Camels offense last season was Rachel McCollum. The Seven Springs, N.C. product tied with Schisler for the home run lead, while recording 55 hits and scoring 41 runs as a freshman. McCollum led the team with 25 two-out RBI and she is looking to continue her success heading into this season.

“I am preparing for the upcoming season by staying mentally tough,” said McCollum. “We are taking a lot of cuts in practice, and we are keeping our offense strong … Stepping up to the plate and really performing with two outs is very important and changes the momentum of the inning tremendously.”

“Pitching to Rachel in front of me or in back of me along with my other teammates getting on base as well is a big deal,” said Schisler on having McCollum beside her in the lineup.

While the team may have the players and means in place to have a successful season, they know executing on the opportunities that are presented on the field will be vital to their overall success.

“Our focus is to score runs, but one big thing for this year is that we want to make sure we aren’t leave people on base and not leaving opportunities on the field,” said head coach Todd Bradley.

As one of the seniors on the team, Schisler believes she is surrounded with teammates that can contribute well beyond their years. The San Diego, Calif. natives plans to execute the opportunities presented their way through a collaborative team effort.

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“These girls have experience under their belt, and our lineup is made up of a lot of three-hole hitters all the way through, something that coach Bradley preaches every time,” noted Schisler.

Head coach Todd Bradley has centered the team focus on offensive production, and wants the team to connect on every opportunity they can one step at a time.

“We want to start the season strong, and it is about going out by competing every single inning of the weekend,” before adding, “Everybody knows where we were last year, and ultimately the goal is to not fall short.”

The Fighting Camels open the 2017 season this weekend at Amanda Littlejohn Stadium as Campbell hosts St. Francis (Pa.) Friday at 3:00pm in the Campbell Invitational. Follow the Fighting Camels all season long on social media @GoCamelsSB

Outdoor Wrestling Sensation

Campbell Wrestling wrapped up their successful preseason slate, celebrating Homecoming Weekend in the Orange vs. Black Scrimmage right outside Gore Arena.

Head coach Cary Kolat organized his squads for 10 exciting matches featuring the best of Campbell Wrestling in front of a packed crowd lining the streets of campus.

Check out the entire photo gallery

Featuring the produced Facebook Live video coverage, thousands viewed the second annual event and the response was positive all across the board.

The Fighting Camels open the regular season November 6 at the Mountaineer Quad, starting with the 10 a.m. matchup against host school West Virginia. Follow @GoCamelsWrestle for the latest news, scores and updates from the mat.

Buies Creek 2 MSG

The Fighting Camels embark on the final trip of the 2015-16 season as Nathan Kraisser and Ville Heino represent Campbell at the NCAA Wrestling Championships in New York.

Nathan Kraisser, the SoCon Champion at 133-pounds, will kickstart the championships against No. 16 seed Anthony Giraldo (Rutgers) in the opening round. The winner will go on to face either No. 1 Nahshon Garrett (Cornell) or Mason Beckman (Lehigh).

Ville Heino, the SoCon Champion at 184-pounds, will face Jack Dechow from Old Dominion in a pigtail bracket for the chance to wrestle in the first round of the tournament. The winner will compete against No. 1 Gabriel Dean (Cornell).

Action gets started on the mat Thursday as both Heino and Kraisser will compete in the afternoon session, hoping to advance into Friday’s Second Round from the historic Madison Square Garden.

Fans can check out the official brackets, video links and other information pertaining the wrestling championships can be found at the NCAA Wrestling Championships Media Central on the Campbell Wrestling page through GoCamels.com.

Duggan’s Senior Day

Campbell Wrestling prepares to send off its lone senior on Friday night as Paul Duggan will be honored for the Fighting Camels.

Duggan, the 165-pound redshirt senior from Olivia, N.C., owns 19 wins this season, including a 4-2 mark in SoCon dual matches.

Known as an entertaining presence on the team, Duggan is hoping to qualify for the NCAA Tournament later in March following his final dual match on the regular season.

Learn more about Duggan’s transformation from redshirting last season to now emerging as one of the leaders on Campbell Wrestling primed for a deep postseason run.

The Fighting Camels welcome Davidson into Carter Gym starting at 7 p.m. and fans can watch the action live on the Big South Network.

Heino Saves The Day

Campbell Wrestling needed every last bout, including a final takedown from Jere Heino to upset The Citadel, 19-16, Thursday night.

The Fighting Camels were tied heading into the heavyweight class when Heino landed a takedown in the final 20-seconds, holding on by preventing an escape from The Citadel to secure the win, firing up an emotional crowd inside Carter Gym.

Read the full match recap here:

Campbell has now won consecutive dual matches for the first time since Jan. 23, 2014, improving to 2-2 in Southern Conference play. Check out the closing moments during a back-and-forth affair.

The Fighting Camels return to action this Sunday in Boiling Springs, N.C. for a SoCon matchup against Gardner-Webb at 3 p.m.

Make sure to follow the official home for Campbell Wrestling on Twitter: @GoCamelsWrestle for updates on this weekend’s match.

Camel Cam – Wrestling w/ Nathan Kraisser

The Fighting Camels Wrestling squad is off to a good start in 2016, defeating VMI and heading into the next home match on Thursday the 28th with a win under its belt.

Campbell has three grapplers in the 1st NCAA wrestling coaches panel of the season. Nationally-ranked Nathan Kraisser (#24), Paul Duggan (#29) and Ville Heino (#32) all have made tremendous strides this season under coach Cary Kolat.

For more on the Fighting Camels success on the mat, Camel Cam interviewed Nathan Kraisser about his rise in the national rankings.