MINOT, N.D. — Head coach Evan Forde announced that five student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent and two more declared their intent to enroll at Minot State in the fall of 2018.
The class includes Conner Ledoux, Colton Miller and Joel Berg from North Dakota, Gerardo Hernandez, Shadi Mitwalli and Nahele Tonge from California and Lincoln Stormer from Montana.
“I am very excited to welcome this class to Minot State University. This group is comprised of excellent individuals, quality students and talented wrestlers,” said Forde. “I know that they have the ambition and work ethic to be very successful at this level, and I believe they will make an immediate impact on our program. It has been a lot of fun to get to know them throughout the recruiting process, and I am really looking forward to coaching them and seeing them develop over the next four to five years.”
Ledoux is from Minot, N.D., and attended Bishop Ryan High School. He was a three-time state placer and was named the region senior athlete of the year this season. He notched 178 career victories and holds the 113-pound career pins record.
“I have had the opportunity to work with Conner over the last three years and he is a hard worker who trains year round,” Forde said. “It’s always exciting to keep the local athletes in Minot, and I look forward to seeing Conner progress in college. He is definitely the type of individual that we are looking for in our recruiting.”
Miller, who will also play on the Beavers football team, is from Burlington, N.D., and will graduate from Des Lacs-Burlington High School. Miller had a 118-48 career record at Des Lacs-Burlington and was the North Dakota state runner-up as a senior at 160 pounds.
“I’ve been able to work with Colton a little bit over the past few years as well as follow his high school career,” said Forde. “I’ve always thought that he had the potential to be very successful as a college wrestler. Colton will also play football here and it takes a special kind of athlete to be able to participate in two sports in college.”
Berg is from Rolette, N.D., and will graduate from Rugby High School. He was a two-time state place winner and a two-time region champion during his career at Rugby High School. He placed fifth at 138 pounds as a senior and was fourth at 132 pounds during his junior season. He notched over 100 wins during his high school career.
“It has been fun to watch Joey throughout his high school career. I feel that he has huge potential to continue to grow and improve in college, and I’m excited to see what he can do,” Forde said.
Hernandez currently attends Capistrano Valley High School and is from Mission Viejo, Calif. He had an outstanding career at Capistrano Valley where he was a two-time National High School Coaches Association All-American. He was a three-time California Interscholastic Federation champion and twice qualified for the California state championships. He finished third at the state championships at 182 pounds and also won over 100 matches during his career.
“Gerardo is a very accomplished high school wrestler both in the state of California as well as nationwide,” said Forde. “He will be a great asset for us in our upper weights. He has great talent combined with an excellent skill set. I believe Gerardo will be very successful here, and I can’t wait to coach him.”
Mitwalli currently attends Carlsbad High School in Carlsbad, Calif. Mitwalli was a two-time California state qualifier and posted over 100 wins during his career at Carlsbad. Additionally, he was a member of the California National Team.
“Shadi came on his recruiting visit here not knowing what to expect. He left feeling like he had found his new home,” Forde said. “He is going to be a great fit with our team. He is also a very talented wrestler who trains and competes year round. Wrestling is a part of his lifestyle which should pay dividends for him in college.”
Tonge currently attends Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove, Calif.
“Nahele is a lot of fun to watch wrestle. He is a great scrambler and competes with intensity,” said Forde. “He is going to bring a different wrestling style to the practice room. I can tell he is the type of guy who will make everyone around him better. He has the potential to do some great things here.”
Stormer currently attends Circle High School in Circle, Mont. He was a two-time state place winner as he earned a second and fourth-place finish. He helped lead Circle High School to a state championship and a runner-up finish. He was named to the all-state wrestling team on three occasions and was selected as the most outstanding wrestler at Circle High School. He also played football and ran track and field at Circle High School.
“Aside from being a successful wrestler, Lincoln is an excellent student and a high character individual,” said Forde. “He is going to bring a great attitude and work ethic to the practice room. I’m very excited to work with Lincoln on a regular basis.”