Wrestling team ready for first competition

by Katie Buchholz

With eight upperclassmen and nine freshmen competing this Saturday, the Storm wrestling team opens their 2013-14 season at the Luther Open.

The team has been practicing off campus at the Catholic Church since mid-summer and head wrestling Coach Nate Hansen said the guys are ready to compete with someone else on the mat.

“It’s exciting to see with a young team, see what we can do on the mat,” Hansen said. “They’ve gotten after it and gotten after each other for a couple months. They’re ready and anxious to get on the mat against someone else.”

Hansen expects the team will do well, but it’s not going to be easy. The wrestling team will be facing some D1 opponents, D1 redshirts and even some Hawkeyes.

“We are going to face some high level wrestling this weekend,” Hansen said. “The Hawkeye team are no longer doing traditional wrestle offs. This means that they are not having an inner squad to determine their lineup. They’re putting their varsity guys that are close at the same weight class and entering them in the Luther Open.”

As the first match this year, this open will be a good experience for the coaching staff to get more specific with the team’s training as the season continues.

“It’s a measuring stick with this being the first weekend,” Hansen said. “You feel good about what we’ve done so far, but you really just don’t know.”

Storm wrestling has volunteer and assistant coaches such as Matt Hansen and Justin Ferguson on campus as well as Kurt Backes, a previous volunteer assistant coach for the Hawkeyes the past three years.

“He has been pouring a lot of knowledge into our guys from his coaching experience that has taken him a long ways,” Hansen said. “We have such a great group of support this year.”

Hansen is looking forward to the only freshman division this weekend and what the upperclassman have to bring.

“Some upperclassmen are not satisfied with where they’ve been the last couple of years and they are looking to go out with a statement,” Hansen said. “I really trust and believe that these guys that are down to their last eligibility are going to make the most of it.”

A couple wrestlers will not be competing this weekend due to not enough practice time from injuries.

“We are looking forward to what we can do on Saturday,” Hansen said. “Storm is #OnTheRise.”