For those not familiar with the sport of wrestling, the combination of individual results as well as team results dictate the overall outcome of the match. Different than most sports, if a wrestler does not win his individual match, the team’s entire score is impacted.
This year, the Oredigger team has faced some tough opponents but they are taking steps in the right direction to start winning some of the individual duals. Assistant Coach Tyson Reiner is an important part of the team’s success.
“We are right on track with our goals. Unfortunately we’ve dropped a couple of RMAC duals already, but we knew going into those they were going to be tough teams. We knew we weren’t going to have tough RMAC individual duals, but tough duals as a team,” said Coach Reiner when asked about the team’s progression throughout the season and the accomplishment of their goals.
“As a team, we wanted to build a family atmosphere. That was one of our biggest goals. We have a very young team, so coming together was one of the most important things. Everyone on the team has their own individual goals, but team-wise we wanted to have a winning record in the RMAC, place in the top three in the RMAC, and qualify three individuals into the national tournament,” responded Coach Reiner when asked what the team goals were. “They’re high goals for a tough conference and young team, but they’re goals we believe can be achieved.”
All opponents in the RMAC have been very tough this year. When Mines squared off with Colorado Mesa University this season, they were ranked 11th in the nation. The team also faced Western State University, another top 20 opponent, who was ranked 16th at the time of the dual. Head Coach Austin DeVoe is an integral person to leading the team to victory over these tough opponents.
“Mesa, Western, and California Baptist are the top teams right now. Pueblo has a crew of transfers. It’s different for us because there are teams that aren’t in the conference, but are a part of our region. So not only do we have to face our conference, but there’s also a handful of non-conference teams we must beat in order to qualify for the NCAA tournament. We face teams in the region that have won Nationals in the past [Nebraska Kearney],” answered Coach DeVoe when asked about the team’s toughest opponents this season.
“The team needs to improve on nothing in particular. We could work on wrestling the entire match. We do a pretty good job of wrestling 6.5 minutes, but we have those 30 seconds where we take off, and at this level we are getting caught. So we just need to work on wrestling the entire seven minutes,” stated Coach Reiner. Compared to six minute matches in high school, the matches last seven minutes in college.
“Being such a young team, some of our athletes are still making that transition from high school wrestling to the college level. They might not have had to wrestle the entire match. We’re making big gains though, so the future is looking very bright for us,” said Coach Reiner confidently.