Winning isn’t something that just happens overnight. Getting a team ready for glory takes many hours of preparation, determination and drive. For the UVU wrestling team, they look to make their tenth season one to remember.
“We know that this is a special group,” Williams said. “Before these guys are done, they will have accomplished really great things. Whether we hit that this year or next year, we don’t know. It depends on how they react to their competition.”
How well they react to their competition will be a responsibility placed on the team captains Avery Garner (141 lbs), Josh Wilson (149 lbs) and Monte Schmalhaus (171 lbs). It’s a responsibility they do not take lightly.
“The biggest thing is to be a help to the team,” Wilson said. “To be an example and help them out, especially to pick them up after losses.”
That kind of leadership will be needed to help the young team achieve their goals this season. Williams has put great emphasis on the team doing well this season, as it is the tenth-year anniversary.
“There’s many positive things, we’ve never had this much talent in the room before,” Williams said. “We have four to five guys with experience that we think are going to do pretty well and we have some young guys that are going to do really well and we are excited about it.”
One of the young talented that Williams is going to look to for success is redshirt freshman, Jade Rauser (125 lbs). Rauser is anticipating success himself and is focused on the task at hand.
“We need to work everyday in the room and fight for it.” Rauser said. “We need to work at it everyday and learn.”
The Wolverines look to get it done early this season with several key match-ups that can help them get to their main goal of being ranked. They take on wrestling powerhouse Wyoming, along with Arizona State and Stanford, for the most antisipated home matches of the season.
Williams knows that the true test of his team will lie in two tournaments: The Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1, and the Midlands Championships on Dec.29 and 30. Both will put UVU against some of the higher ranked teams in the nation.
“Those two tournaments will determine if we are going to be ranked or not,” Williams said.
This season should be an interesting one. There are many wrestlers who are returning after an exciting season last year and are going to build on that success for a season to remember. Fans can catch the wrestling team in action starting Nov. 1 at home when they hold their Intrasquad Duel.
Garrett is native of Orem, Utah. He is a graduate of Timpanogos High School. While in high school, Garrett enjoyed playing sports and was a double lettered athlete in football in wrestling. After a short stint of college football at Dixie State, Garrett made his way back to Utah Valley in pursuit of his aspirations of becoming a sports journalist. Garrett has been contributing for the UVU Review for three years and has covered sports, specializing in wrestling. Garrett is married to Jodi Coleman and served an LDS mission to Baguio Philippines. You can follow him on twitter @legendgary