Young team looks to revitalize Simpson wrestling


Photo by Coby Berg.

by Madison DePover, Staff Reporter

The Simpson wrestling team is looking for a fresh start with a young team and growing expectations. The Storm have already had a few meets, but haven’t had much success early on.

“It is starting point and I had a feeling we were going to have a developing year, with a slower start,” Head Coach Nate Hansen said. “But it is a long season and as long as we take the right approach early on… We will continue to develop this young team.”

The Storm’s top returners include seniors DeVaughn Scott and RJ Brown, who had a combined 50-30 record last season. Junior Sam Mathis will help bring some veteran leadership to the program.

“We have a young team this year, so the focus is on scoring points and winning duals,” Mathis said.  “A large part of our lineup is made up of freshmen, so they are making the transition from high school to college wrestling. We just need to be focusing on the little things.”

The team is taking it slow, trying to change the culture by settings short-term goals on top of the end of season goals.

“Our goal every day is to focus on effort, attitude and being aggressive,” Hansen said. “Making sure we aren’t whining, complaining or having any excuses. Since day one they have done a good job of buying in to that and thinking about the process.”

Mathis has changed to heavyweight this year, bumping up from 197 a year ago. Even though a weight change is tough, he still has high individual goals set.

“My individual goal for this season is to be a national qualifier at heavyweight,” Mathis said. “It’s a transition for me from last year but I definitely think I can do it. I am looking forward to each meet, one at a time, one match at a time.  Eventually all these competitions lead up to Regionals which is the big picture focus.”

Since wrestling is a winter sport, there are breaks that happen throughout. Mathis thinks those can be used to the advantage of the wrestling team.

“Once you’re past your freshman year, you understand there is always a break right around the corner,” Mathis said. “We have been getting after it pretty hard since mid-October with every day on the mat…  You’re going to make it there and come back stronger after the break.”

Before Thanksgiving, the Storm will travel for the Coe Turkey Invitational to Cedar Rapids on Nov. 17.