Jackson says Drouin will return this weekend

Jake Calhoun

Chris Drouin will be returning to the lineup when the Cyclones travel to Columbia, Mo., for a conference dual meet against No. 16 Missouri.

Coach Kevin Jackson said Drouin, who was sidelined after sustaining a concussion at the National Duals in mid-January, passed his concussion test before last weekend’s dual meets against Northern Iowa and No. 13 Arizona State. However, there were still concerns with his weight and conditioning.

“He drilled today” Jackson said Sunday. “Obviously his conditioning is a little bit down, but his weight is not too bad.”

Having Drouin back is crucial for the Cyclones (9-8, 0-3 Big 12), who have given up six points to each of their last nine opponents by forfeiting the 141-pound match. Over that span, Iowa State was 3-6, a stretch that began with six-straight losses.

“They’ve got a real good squad over there,” Jackson said of Missouri. “[Drouin] should be back against a former teammate of his [141-pounder Todd Schavrien]. They both were at Arizona State for a while. So we expect him to be back, we expect him to be at full strength.”

Schavrien, who transferred to Missouri after spending two years as Drouin’s teammate at Arizona State, has never faced Drouin in his time as a Tiger, making this the first match between the former teammates.

Reader remains perfect, hones technique

Jon Reader extended his streak of perfection on Sunday after wrestling up at 184 pounds to defeat Arizona State’s Jake Meredith by a 14-3 major decision, bringing his record to 30-0 on the season.

“Jon’s a great leader on and off the mat,” said teammate Chris Spangler. “He’s just a great person overall. He should be everybody’s idol.”

Reader, who normally wrestles at 174 pounds, got a victory in his last match in a home dual meet as a Cyclone, which held a certain significance for him.

“My family was here to be able to watch my last home dual,” said Reader, who hails from Davison, Mich. “It’s always great going out in front of your home crowd.”

Heading down the final stretch of the season before the Big 12 Championships on March 6, Reader said the trick to staying consistent isn’t learning new technique, but perfecting it.

“Communicating with your body is huge, and especially in the last stretch of the season,” Reader said. “Because the season is very long; we’ve been going at it for months now, so it’s just about being smart with your body.”