We hosted the CAA duals on Saturday. Due to weather, the kid’s duals were canceled. Our team spent 6 hours moving mats and setting up for the tournament on Friday, so it was disappointing that the tournament was cancelled. Even with an indoor sport, we still have to rely on outside elements. After the tournament on Saturday the team had to roll up the mats. We returned the mats to the high schools on Monday (lots of effort, with little to show for it). It is always interesting to see who helps and who doesn’t when the arduous chore of moving mats happens. I was definitely impressed by some of the team. Conversely, some of the team members let their teammates down.
It was my first time watching the CAA duals. I was impressed by the quality of the wrestling. There is definitely some talent in this league. It was also great to get to know some of the coaches better. We had a coaches meeting before the tournament to discuss a proposal by the NWCA. As the coaches discussed the proposal, they offered great insight. I felt positive about the direction of the conference and college wrestling while listening to these men discuss future strategies for building our great sport.
Our team finished 0-4 in the duals. There were some good individual wins, but it did show us we still have significant ground to gain. A few of the highlights were: Vince Rodriguez beating a higher ranked opponent; Kevin Timothy and Hunter Manspile each winning a match by fall; Bagna Tovuujav overcoming a 6-1 deficit in one bout to win it in the end (10-8); Corey Smith and DJ Dwyer stepping in at the last moment, wrestling up in weight class, and saving the team valuable team points; and my wife making brownies for the entire team (I found my way to a few of them as well).
We just finished a tough run of competition. We had 12 duals in 16 days. I could tell on Saturday the guys were physically and mentally worn down. We have 6 competitions left in the 6 weeks remaining before the conference tournament. We need to keep improving technically, building our intensity and learning to wrestle and train at a higher pace. We can still make significant gains. Mentally we need to work on staying focused in our matches and wrestling with confidence. We need to believe in our training, believe we are ready, and believe we can succeed.
This week we will be home for the 3rd straight weekend. Friday night we host Bucknell University at 7:30pm at the RAC.