WSC Wrestling team competes at Nationals

Matt Thompson, Sports Writer

The Wayne State College wrestling team competed in the 2022 NCWA National Championships in Allen, Texas March 10-12.  

This was the first time having Nationals since 2020 due to COVID. 

For returning wrestlers it was an exciting accomplishment to be back.  

“It was a relief to be back,” Captain Ryan Zoucha said “You start to miss the sport after so long of not competing.” 

Returning to Nationals from previous years were juniors Ryan Zoucha and Marcos Osorio who qualified a second time and senior Matt Thompson who qualified a third time.  

The team kept five wrestlers alive into the second day but fell short later on the second day.  

The team didn’t perform as well as I thought they would’ve, but they did handle the adversity of the whole weekend very well,” Dylan Zoucha said. 

Junior Kelly at 125 lbs and sophomore Dylan Zoucha at 174 lbs lead the team making it to the heartbreak round but getting eliminated after their respective matches. 

Both Kelly and Dylan Zoucha were surprised at the competition of NCWA. 

“My main takeaway is that the NCWA National tournament is no joke…we need to step up our training a little bit,” Dylan Zoucha added. 

We wrestled top guys all year and assumed that this tournament was going to be a huge step-down from the D2/Naia tournaments we’ve been wrestling at, but these guys are the real deal and can scrap,” Kelly said. 

Kelly felt like the team could have done better, but unplanned injuries got in the way.  

Looking forward, the team is very optimistic about the team culture that they are building.  

“We picked up a lot of traction this year from D2/Naia schools to wrestling media outlets noticing who we are and what we are about,” Kelly said. “I strongly believe that this team could be the starting point of something massive at Wayne State and that in a few years’ time we will be the team in the NCWA division that everyone goes, ‘I pulled a guy from Wayne State first round come on.’” 

The team is done until November 2022, but many wrestlers could be going to Texas in June for NCWA Go Greco Nationals.