After securing the best team winning percentage in school history of 10-2, and a perfect 3-0 in conference, the wrestling team attributes its success to being a team family that works hard and believes in each other.
After coming back from 9-15 deficit against North Dakota State last week, the Wolverines Adam Fager and Diego Avalon pulled it together, winning their last two matches in dramatic fashion and boosting the team to an 18-15 win.
“We all jumped up and started cheering,” said sophomore Flint Ray. “We were pretty loud for our teammate. We were louder than all the people in the stands. After Diego won it was dead silent except for the coach and our team.”
Avalon led UVU to its 10th consecutive win and with his heroics won the Western Wrestling Conference’s Wrestler of the Week. Avalon, who is normally a 184-pound competitor, stepped up to wrestle at heavyweight for the Wolverines.
Also, sophomore Benjamin Kjar won to find himself back in the rankings at 125 pounds. Kjar is currently ranked 19th in the country.
Even with the amazing individual successes, UVU wrestling remains a family.
“Just like any other team sport we are family,” says true freshman Adam Fager. “We have fun and work hard. We are like brothers. We are working hard, sweating and dying for each other on the mat. And as a family we are irreplaceable. It’s the best way to describe it.”
Ray, who is still only a sophomore, can attest that the best attribute they have as a team is work ethic.
“Our team is basically a bunch of kids from Utah,” Ray said. “We have talent but it’s not like some of the other schools we wrestle that get the best recruits. I think we realize all we really got is work ethic.”
According to Fager, a great coaching staff supports the team. Coach Williams helps him believe in himself as well as in the team. Preparing the team mentally is what he does best.
“Williams makes us see the vision he has for us individually and as a team,” Fager said. “His vision for us is portrayed to each of us very well.”
“One unique thing about our team is we are winning just as much for the team as we are for ourselves,” Ray said. “As for me, I am trying to win for my team more than for myself.”