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Wrestling program ready for debut season

By Cody Vergara
On September 23, 2014

Many changes have been made here at Ottawa University. There are many new additions this year at Ottawa University, one in particular is the first ever men and women’s wrestling teams. 

The program is starting off strong with 40 wrestlers signed to compete this year. The team is coached by Kevin Andres whose career is well built in starting up new wrestling programs and taking teams to national tournaments. 

For the men’s squad, there are six transfer students that will be able to bring experience to the team, as the majority of the team is freshman. 

For the women’s team, there is only one transfer student and the rest are freshman. “We have some experience, but then we also have a good solid group of talented freshmen as well. Let’s just say we’re going to shock some people.” Coach Andres said when talking about the program.

“We’re going to take it slowly, there’s a lot to do. We have to create our own culture and our own conditions that are going to move us ahead for future growth.” Coach Andres said about the process of starting up a new program.

With the difficulties of starting a new program, Coach Andres also has to worry about the talent his team has, due to the fact that Ottawa just joined one of the hardest qualifying groups in the nation. The qualifying group consists of 14 teams and includes the three time national defending champions. 

Coach Andres said this does not make him nervous. “When you wrestle the best you know where you stand. Also if you can make it to nationals out of our qualifying group, there is a chance at being really successful at the national championships.” Coach Andres said about his thoughts on the programs ability to qualify for nationals.

The men’s team takes the mat for the first time on Nov. 1 against Lyon County here at Ottawa, while the women’s team begins their season on Oct. 18 at the Spartan Tournament (Missouri Baptist) in St. Louis, Mo.

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