by Becca HarrisStaff Writer

The Storm started the off the season with a young team, but they have high hopes for how the rest of the year will turn out.

Coach Clint Manny has a lot of positive things to say about the youthful team. With their young numbers, Coach Manny hopes to get the freshmen plenty of mat time in their first year of wrestling at Simpson College. He also hopes that this will give them the valuable experience and talent that they need in order to develop as better wrestlers, as well as individuals.

“Our main goals for this season will be to keep climbing the ladder one rung at a time,” Manny said. “We wrestle an extremely tough schedule throughout the year, which again will hopefully pay off when we get to the conference and national tournament.”

Senior Sammy Collora says that the team is already off to a good start and is in high hopes of a good season. With the team this year, Collora expects to have some members competing in the national tournament.

“We have a lot of young guys who are really talented, they just need some work to transition to the college level,” Collora said.

Senior Wade Dowling says that the team has set their expectations and goals high this season, and although they have not yet met the prospects, they have a lot of time to do so.

“We believe we have the potential to wrestle with any opponent that we go up against and win using our skill set and endurance to do so,” Dowling said.

Dowling also said that the coaching staff has done a great job in preparing the team for the upcoming season and continue to train and believe in the team every day, helping the men become better wrestlers.

“We expect to be one of the top schools in the IIAC this year but realize that it will take a lot of work,” Dowling said.

The men had their first meet in Illinois, and it resulted in a great start to the season. Junior Caleb Brus placed first in the tournament at 141 pounds.

Senior Calvin Barber took third at 157, Dowling was fourth at 149 and Collora and freshman Cory Stratton took fifth at 285 and 149, respectively.

“We have set our goals high and will never be content until we accomplish our goals, which is what motivates us day after day in and out of the wrestling room,” Dowling said.

Manny said that so far this season the team has shown that they are very capable of competing, but they still have a lot of room to grow and gain experience throughout the year.

“I and the rest of the coaching staff are really looking forward to watching this team grow and improve throughout the season,” Manny said.

“I sincerely believe the talent is there, we’ve just got to continue to fine-tune our shape and learn how to win at this level.”