By Zach Huss, Contributing Writer
Head Coach Rob Fisher is looking to rebuild the KU wrestling program with incoming freshmen after Ziad Haddad, All-American and national champion, and five other seniors graduated last semester.
He believes that KU wrestling can still be competitive this season despite the fact that the team will be younger this time around.
Fisher said, “The new guys coming in this year will give us a new look and fill some of the gaps that we are missing.”
The 2015-2016 National Collegiate Athletic Association wrestling season is approaching quickly and the team is already preparing with preseason workouts, which began officially on Oct. 10.
The first meet of the season will be on Nov. 1 at the University of Maryland, which is a Division I school. The fact that UMD is in DI has everybody on the team excited to test their mettle and see how far they have come since the last season.
Matt Martoccio, senior, said, “Divisions do not matter. I just wrestle whoever’s out there.”
Other wrestlers share Martoccio’s confidence that divisions do not matter once they hit the mat.
Along with Martoccio, Brandan Clark, senior, will be leading the young Golden Bears into this upcoming season. Martoccio and Clark are both excited to have their first meet be against a DI program.
Although KU wrestling is a young team this season, Clark still has high hopes that KU wrestling is going to do great things this year both as a team and individually. He also has high hopes for the team later on into the postseason tournament.
“There is a great atmosphere on and off the mat,” he said. “Plus, wrestling Division I will test us; it’s better competition.”
The consensus among the KU wrestling program from the freshmen to the experienced veterans is that they are all ready to get on the mat this November.
They hope to prove that divisions do not matter when they are on the mat, and that their skillsets and endurance are enough to win the matches against their competition at larger schools.