Top-20 on minds of wrestlers

Andrew Reeves
Sports Contributor

UVSC has one of the only sanctioned wrestling programs in the region and the only wrestling program in the state. 

What does that mean for the program? Top recruiting. 

Never was that more apparent than at the annual green and gold wrestle off at the Shurian Family Activity Center last week to kick of the 2007-08 season. It was a night to showcase the talent and power the team has this year. 

Coach Greg Williams had a busy off-season as he did some heavy recruiting over the summer. On a 28-man squad there are 17 freshman, seven sophomores, and only two juniors and seniors respectively. 

There were 13 matches in the inter-squad competition that featured six challenge matches where each man was competing for his spot on varsity.

The green team beat the gold team 29-18 in the duel where score was a concern. Zach Williams and Josh Larsen, both freshmen, won by pin-fall in their challenge match while most matches were by decision.

"One of the good things about intra-squads is that it puts you in a live match situation," UV Head Coach Greg Williams said. "We are able to find out our strengths and our weaknesses."

In the evening’s final featured match, highly touted recruits Ben Kjar and Flint Ray grappled in a tight contest match. Kjar recorded a second-round escape (4:30) to jump ahead, 1-0. Ray answered in the third round with an escape of his own. Behind 2-1, Ray exploded taking Kjar down, then recording a three-point near fall in the final 20 seconds to win 7-2 with riding time.

When Williams, now in his second year leading the team, took the helm of the wrestling program he promised that within five years he would make it a top-20 program, a bold statement, but one most of his young grapplers are buying into.

The Wolverines first home meet isn’t until Jan. 3 when the team plays host to South Dakota State for its first of five home meets this season.

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