The UVU wrestling team began its season with the Annual Green-Gold intra-squad match earlier this month. This match gave the team an opportunity to gain experience before the official start of the season, which began Nov. 14 in Laramie, Wyo. at the Cowboy Open.
UVU’s fourth year head coach, and 14-time coach of the Utah National wrestling team, Greg Williams said that these tournaments have given them an opportunity to see where they’re at.
With three starters out due to injury, the team is susceptible to gaps in the rotation, but Coach Williams is confident in the skill and determination of the 18 freshmen new to the team this year.
“They have the work ethic it takes to be successful,” said Williams of the freshman group. He credits this to the great leadership and hard working examples of the 12 returning wrestlers.
After a great previous season, Coach Williams is optimistic about this year’s talent. “We have more talent in the room this year than ever before,” stated Williams, “with a full lineup, it would show.”
Coach Williams’ main focus for the team right now is to prepare them for success in every aspect. “We’re working on mentally being able to push the pace of the match all the way through,” said Williams. The Wolverine grapplers have added extra endurance training to accompany the in-season peak conditioning.
“They are getting more exposure to situations that allow them to work through fatigue and adversity,” said Williams. This prepares the team for success both mentally and physically.”
According to coach Williams, each member of the team has individual goals this season. “My goal is to help them reach those,” said Williams. “We have a better team this year than last.”
While UVU will be losing two team members at the end of the season, the remaining wrestlers will be well prepared for next year.
Coach Williams predicts number-one ranked Iowa to be a tough competitor this season. The Wolverines will compete against at least five nationally ranked teams this year and the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite is expected to be the teams’ most difficult competition.