JACKSON BLEVINS ‘20 | STAFF WRITER • The Little Giant wrestling team kicks off their season on Saturday, and the team has very high expectations for the season. Despite coming off of a 2017-2018 season where the team won five invitational tournaments, sent seven wrestlers to the NCAA Division III Championships, and placed fifth in the country, the team is hungry for even more success.
“Practice has been good to this point,” Head Coach Brian Anderson said. “We’ve got a big roster this year so there are a lot of new faces. We lost one senior last year out of the starting ten last year, but we’ve got most of the same faces back, which is a good thing.”
One of those returners is veteran Darden Schurg ’19, and he is excited to return for his senior year on the mat after earning All-America honors at the national meet last year.
“I think as a team we have worked really well in keeping the progress rolling,” said Schurg. “The team’s goals have been set pretty high early on, and it’s going to take a whole team to get there. Our goal for this season is to win the team title at the NCAA’s this year, something that no prior team has done. I think one way to make this goal attainable is to let our young guys know what’s to be expected and that nothing will come easy. We say it here a lot, our team is only as strong as our weakest link. We look to build up our guys that might not see all the guts and glory or win the big matches. It’s a long season and it can have rough toll on anyone, it’s up to the team to make sure and lift up the guy having a tough time.”
Jared Timberman ’21 is also optimistic that the team can do some special things this year. “Our ultimate team goal is to be regional and national champions for the 2018-2019 season,” Timberman said. “One of my goals is to hold all of the guys on the team accountable, and to push not only myself but the rest of my teammates to work harder.”
“It is very promising to see what we have returning, as we bring back seven national qualifiers or All-Americans, and that’s a big plus,” Anderson said. “We’ve been knocking on the door for the last four or five years, and we need a complete buy-in from the guys in the program. Every individual has to do their job, and they have to do it very well for us to finally win the national title. We’ve got a
lot of very talented guys, and everyone is trying to figure out where their spot
is going to be. It’s a long, grinding season and a lot of things have to go in your favor. I’m looking forward to cutting them loose this weekend and seeing what they’ve got.”
The team will travel to Adrian, Michigan for the Adrian College Invitational where they took first place out of nine teams last season.