Manchester University
Oak Leaves

November 18, 2016

Wrestling Team Prepares for Strong Season

Jensen Lassiter

With the start of winter sports just around the corner, the wrestling team has put in a lot of hard work in order to make this upcoming season a success. 

"We have worked super hard for this season so far,” said sophomore Raekwon Gathright. “Conditioning has been really rough. It has been our coach's main focus this year. He wants us to push; he wants us to score.

“Every day we do a dynamic workout,” he continued. “We do a lot of handsprings and front and back cartwheels. We do a lot of live 30-second ‘goes,’ which, for 30 seconds, you give everything you've got. You have to try to score.”

Gathright explained why scoring is so crucial to the team. "The higher the points that you score, the higher the percentage you have to win in a match,” he said. “If you score the first two points, you have a 57 percent chance of winning your match." 

Points on the mat, however, aren't the only things gained with daily conditioning. The dynamics within the team have also grown during the off-season. "We're all pretty close, we all eat dinner together,” Gathright said. “The only difference that will change within the team is when the football players that also wrestle join us. The freshmen that we haven't really gotten to know yet have to work their way in, but we all end up really close throughout the season."

For Gathright, the hard work and dedication pays off during the season in big ways. ""I've wrestled since I was six years old,” he said. “Whenever the winter sports season rolls around, I always get excited. This year is no different. Every Saturday I wake up, and I'm automatically excited for the match."

The first match, which was on Friday, November 11, resulted in a Manchester loss against nationally ranked Wabash College. "They're a very talented team, but we've been working really hard!” Gathright said, animatedly. “We're ready to wrestle!”

With an entire season left to go, there's still a lot of potential for wins. "We put so much into it before the season and during, it's hard to not be successful,” Gathright said. “All of the work you put in, you expect a lot from it."