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Ottawa wrestling COVID struggles

By Cameron Young-Leggett
On August 27, 2021

Photo courtesy of Ottawa University Wrestling

Around this last time last year, neither our school year nor our athletic season looked very promising. During the time of the pandemic, the Ottawa wrestling team was facing adversity due to having to quarantine as both a team and also certain individuals. As we faced the challenges throughout the season, our head coach Colby Crank had faith and confidence we would make it to the finishing line. Our head coach would always tell us to be grateful for the moment because it's not a promise. 


As a whole, we all reflected on that quote. Overall it made us realize how grateful we are to wrestle and do something we love, even in the hardest times. As a team, we realized other programs around us weren't able to wrestle at all while the pandemic was taking place. I realized that some students weren't going to be able to do what they love without having any say in the school's decision. 


Overall, our team goal was to be the best we can be. With the fear of knowing our season could end any minute, we came together to have a historic season for the Ottawa wrestling program. Throughout the season, we were ranked 14th in the country, which was the highest in school history, and achieved some of our individual goals as a team. As the accomplishments were growing, the effects of COVID-19 played a part in our season affecting some of the starters in our line up which resulted in them missing out. Although this was something that we were aware could take place in the season, we as a team stayed together believing in our coach's words, even during the lows of the season. 


As we stayed positive, we faced some of the tough challenges that everyone faced. I had trouble staying motivated during the season along with staying focused on school. However, I was able to overcome these challenges and continue to push not only myself but my teammates around to reach the finish line of the season. 


As we got closer to the end of the season, it was important for the whole team to stay in good health. While we realized the whole season was a rollercoaster, Ottawa wrestling was able to make history by winning the first KCAC/SAC conference title. The feeling and knowing all the hard work we had to put in to reach that goal was amazing and one of the best feelings of being here at Ottawa University. 


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