Wrestling team prepares for Las Vegas trip

Hunter Kiburz, Staff Writer

The Wayne State wrestling team started their season on Nov. 3, in Fort Collins, Colorado and has been on the move ever since. WSC has competed against DI, DII, NAIA and DIII athletes. Coming up later this month, WSC will be flying out to Las Vegas for one of their biggest tournaments so far.

“This tournament coming up is actually our National duals, so we’ll be able to put out guys against other wrestlers in their division, and we’ll be able to see how they stack up against that,” head coach Devon Rupp said. “It’s the top 16 teams in our division, so they hold us to a pretty high standard, hopefully we can compete and gain some points for the National Tournament.”

Sophomore wrestler Hunter Weiss is currently one match below .500 for the season so far, even though they have been facing DI wrestlers for some part of the season, he still believes you can see the work paying off for the wrestlers, even though the results might not necessarily show that yet.

“Our team has put in a lot of effort at the meets, but the results might not show because we also have been facing top Division I, Division II and NAIA schools,” Weiss said.

There’s been a lot of leadership on he wrestling team so far this year but one wrestler who has stepped up and taken on a leading role and showed the younger guys what it takes to be a leader as well a very good wrestler has been senior Matthew Reeves.

“He’s taken on that leadership role to heart and really stepped up for us this year,” Rupp said. “Another wrestler is junior wrestler Ethan Fitzler. You can tell in the practice room he’s putting in the work and effort, he competes in the wrestling room and you can tell that out in the tournaments too.”

The Wayne State wrestling team will have had a nearly two month break by the time they hit the mat on Jan. 25 and 26, but that doesn’t stop them from competing hard every day on the stage in the Rice Auditorium. They currently are practicing on the stage but have been moving all over Wayne the past couple years since they don’t technically have a wrestling room to practice at.

“You can tell that this group is a tight-knit group, we have a lot of good guys that help each other out, this year we have a little bit more work ethic especially in the practice room you can with our drilling is a lot better this year compared to last year and that’s up to the guys pushing each other and making everyone around them a better wrestler,” Rupp said.

In the second half of the season there really has not been any awards or records to be broken yet. One thing all the wrestlers really look forward doing is going down to Las Vegas and get to compete against University of Central Florida, some Texas schools as well as a couple of Arizona schools.

“We’ll face top rated guys in our division, a couple kids from UCF and a couple from top ranked schools, we’ll be able to put our guys against them so to be able to come out on top on a couple of those matches is a very big accomplishment,” Rupp said.

Wayne State will be flying out to Las Vegas on Jan. 23 to compete in a dual tournament. They will then be put into pools and depending how they come out of that, they will get team points toward the National Tournament that will be held in Texas in March.

Since Colorado State switched conferences this past year, Wayne State was unable to host a wrestling match this year, but are always looking for support from students.

Wayne State wrestlers are always looking for fan support from students, staff and faculty members, either in the stands or even a follow on Facebook, which helps keep their fans updated on their tournaments while also providing photos and updated scores.