Spandex, head gear, sweat and bodies slamming on to the mat. It is wrestling season once again and California Baptist University’s team is well on its way to nationals.
Wrestling season spans from Sept. to March and with each tournament, the team hopes to have wrestlers qualify for nationals. In the Santa Ana tournament, CBU had one champion. And in the CBU open on Oct. 23 the team had four placers.
Head Coach John Petty has wrestled since high school and pushes the wrestlers to be the best they can. He quoted Colossians 3:23 as he explained his philosophy for the wrestling team.
When asked what got him into wrestling Coach Petty said, “It sort’ve just grabbed me. I didn’t make the basketball team and my football coach gave me a shot at the wrestling team.” He later wrestled for Fresno State University and the United States Army.
Coach Petty has been coaching for 8 years, this being his third at CBU.
“Our goal this year is to go to Nationals,” Petty said. “I won’t take a loss, I’ll accept defeat but I won’t take a loss,” explaining that if they go out wrestling to their fullest potential and still don’t win it’s a defeat. Anything less is a loss and is unacceptable.
Another philosophy Coach Petty tries to instill in the wrestlers is to accept a win with humility and to accept a defeat with dignity.
Alex Evers, one of the only two wrestlers in the heavy-weight class this season transferred from Saddleback Community College, and after being scouted in high school and not wrestling during his time at community college, was still able to come to CBU to join the wrestling team.
He said that sometimes it is a David and Goliath situation, which makes it even more exciting when he wins. But he enjoys it because it is fighting without hitting, and because wrestling is the only sport God did with man.
When asked the same question as to how he got into wrestling Evers had a similar answer. “I was always a bit of a rough-houser, and wrestling kind of found me, and gave me a positive outlet and ministry.”
Another question asked of Evers was, if he could compare wrestling to one other sport in any way, what it would be?
“I would almost say that wrestling is uncomparable. Because every other sport is derived from something else. But wrestling, all of the moves you see today are the same as the original greco-roman wrestling in biblical times,” Evers said.
CBU’s wrestling team’s next tournament will be held Oct. 30th at San Luis Obispo University and will host their next home tournament on Jan. 21. The Lancers are hoping to rank within the top 25 percent to qualify for nationals.