Wrestling depending on leadership for successful season

By: Matthew Revels, Sports Editor

With fall sports coming to an end, Newman athletics is preparing for winter sports, and one of the teams hoping to improve its performance over last year is the Newman wrestling team.

The team’s 2021-2022 season ended with a record of 4-5 and a conference record of 0-4, but head coach Ryan Smith said he’s eager to see what the team can do now that COVID is behind it.

The coach said he was “extremely excited to see what JD Johnson is going to do in his senior campaign, and then right under him we have the returning rookie of the year, Jace Fisher. Both of these young men are work horses, and I have no doubt these guys will throw this very young team on their backs.”

Smith said he has high hopes for this year.

“The goal never changes year after year,” he said. “The ultimate goal is to grind day in and day out and get a little bit better everyday to put yourself in the best situation possible as it comes closer to regionals and nationals time.”

Smith said he wants his team to put in the work so they can hang another championship banner.

“It isn't necessarily what we want to continue from the previous year, but what we expect to get back,” he said. “These guys get the opportunity to represent Newman University at the highest level of our sport, and the expectations are high.”

One of his hopes, Smith said, is to bring a few All-Americans back from the NCAA tournament.

The wrestling team has its first match of the season on Oct. 29 at Newman

PHOTO: Courtesy photo, Newman Athletics