UVU wrestling fans have had this Friday’s duel circled on their calendar since the schedule came out, and Flint Ray has had a huge part in that.
Before his time at UVU, Ray originally was part of the Boise State University wrestling program. As a redshirt freshman he worked out, trained and practiced with the Broncos before leaving for his LDS mission in Brazil.
After serving his mission Ray decided to transfer from BSU to wrestle at UVU and eventually help really put the Wolverines on the map.
With Ray’s decision to leave BSU to join the Wolverines, a little rivalry formed. Head Coach Greg Williams described Ray as a “late bloomer,” and the Broncos realized very fast what they had lost, creating some hard feelings that would become bad blood as time went on.
In last year’s duel with the Broncos the Wolverines pulled off what is still today’s biggest duel victory for the team when they upset BSU 22-20. Ray was responsible for six of those team points from a huge pin of his opponent in the 133-pound weight class, giving the Broncos a front row seat to a what-might-have-been moment for their program.
“There’s a lot of heated feelings between us and Boise,” said Ray. “I just try to stay away from all that emotion and just stick to my wrestling.”
Sticking to his wresting is just what he has done in his career as a two-time state champion and became UVU’s first conference champion last year winning the NCAA West Regional/WWC Championships in the 133-pound weight class.
“Flint is the epitome of what it takes to be successful in wrestling,” said Williams. “He is a leader on our team because he understands that wrestling takes a lot of discipline, and for a person to be successful it’s not about just having some natural ability and being athletic, which he is, but you have to be disciplined.”
Williams also went on to say, “Nobody works harder, nobody’s more consistent about working harder. He has very serious goals and he works hard to reach those goals every day and everybody on the team sees it. You’ll never see him slacking.”
Ray will have his hands full in his match later this week as he goes up against one of his old friends who just so happens to be ranked second in the nation at 133 pounds.
“The kid that I spend the most time with is who I’ll wrestle and up to right now he’s my only loss,” he said. “I’m excited to wrestle him and see if I can gain some ground on him.”
Ray not only excels on the wresting mats, but is also an All-Academic Team member in the WCC, while being what his coach referred to as a “great father and husband.”
As a senior, this will be Ray’s last year to compete, and just like all great athletes, competition is what he lives for. When asked what he will miss most after the season is over, he said:
“I will miss competition, just competing every day. Being able to come in and grind, getting ready for a match, as hard as it is I’ll miss it a lot.”