Oct. 14, 2010
Hey Tigers! It's getting to be that time of year again. NFL season is in full swing, MLB playoffs are underway, the leaves are changing and I actually have to use the heat in my car on the way to morning workouts. You know what this all means... wrestling season is just around the corner.
We are just about a month out of our first dual against the University of Illinois in Edwardsville, Ill. It's kind of a bittersweet feeling for me personally. I am so excited for season to start and to start competing but it's sad that this is going to be my last year in the black and gold and my last shot at a title. Regardless I think that I speak for everyone in our wrestling room that our team is more then prepared for the season. Everyone has their sights set on not only improving on last years 10th place finish at nationals but making a run at being Missouri's first national championship team. This team is one of the most talented, dedicated and close knit teams I have ever been apart of. It truly feels like a family, although we are a young team with just 3 seniors no one in our room looks at it like that. Freshmen like Kyle Bradley and Zach Toal already think of themselves as the big man on campus. These guys don't want to just step in and fill a spot in the line up, they want to go out there and let the rest of the country know just how good we all know they are. It is great to have guys like them in the room. Everyone has been working hard all summer and pre-season.
We have a lot of talent in our incoming freshman as well and they are not afraid to ask questions or learn from veterans such as myself, Dorian Henderson, Brent Haynes or Dom Bradley, and they have a positive influence on us as well. They have made our room even tougher than it already was and bring great attitudes every day. We also have had two transfers this year both of which were 2010 NCAA qualifiers, Mike Larson from Cal State Bakersfield and Danny Gonser from the University of Virginia. These guys have made a great addition to the team and have fit into the family perfectly. Both of them will be big assets to our team and achieving the goals we have set forth for ourselves this year.
Practices are going great. Everyone from the coaching staff to the wrestlers to trainers are all on the same page and have been all summer long. It makes practices much better when you know that everyone is in shape, put in the work over the summer and are dedicated to this program. Now we can just go in the room and scrap knowing that everyone is on the same page and that everyone believes whatever Coach Smith has in store for us that day is the best thing to get us to the top of the podium in March. It makes for a very positive atmosphere and raises the intensity level in the room. We are working on every aspect of wrestling you can think of, both physically and mentally. Once a week we have a team meeting to talk about the physiological aspects of sports and what it takes to be a champion. Last week Coach Smith showed us an ESPN documentary on the best athletes ever, which featured the Triple Crown winning horse Secretariat, and that sparked some interest in a lot of the guys. Over the weekend a bunch of us went to go see the movie in theatres. In the pre-season of 2007 Bill Belichick showed the same video to his team (New England Patriots) who that year became the first team to complete the regular season undefeated since the league expanded to a 16 game regular season in 1978. If any of you are familiar with the story or have seen the movie you have a good idea of what our goals and mindset for the upcoming season are like.
I hope to see you all on October 30th at the Hearnes Center for the annual black and gold meet. It's going to be a great year to be a Tiger fan!