With the loss of graduate student Joseph Fagiano and seniors Brady Bersano and Bradford Gerl, the wrestling team will see key returners step up for the 2016-2017 season.
“Although we lost many veterans, this leaves the possibility of leaving a huge gap of opportunity and learning for the younger guys on the team,” said Ethen Asuncion, sophomore kinesiology major.
Asuncion said he believes the current roster has a solid list of leaders.
“Many of them possess characteristics of ambition, determination, and skills to take all of them to the highest form of competition this year and even for the future,” Asuncion said. “There is no doubt in my mind that these young Lancers will represent our school not only athletically, but also in the glorification of God.”
These returners include Paul Head, senior kinesiology major, Peter Cunningham, junior mechanical engineering, Nolan Kistler, junior criminal justice, and Anthony Racobaldo, sophomore kinesiology.
Head finished the 2015-2016 17-10 overall, while scoring 27 dual points and setting 3 pins. Cunningham finished 11-12 overall, while scoring 12 dual points and setting 4 pins. Kistler finished 14-9 overall, while scoring 12 dual points and setting 3 pins. Racobaldo finished 17-7 overall, while scoring 36 dual points, and setting 5 pins.
“This year should have just as many opportunities as last year,” Racobaldo said. “Last season the team had an enormous amount of success in every aspect of the sport, from younger guys like myself stepping up and winning matches in the varsity lineup to some of our more veteran wrestlers becoming All-Americans. This season I can only see us surpassing that, we are a group of like-minded, goal-oriented, hard-working guys and I can’t see anything less than a national championship from this team.”
Kistler said he sees this season as an improvement and looks forward to making great memories and traveling with the team.
“As a team, our ultimate goal is to win the national championships,” said Kistler. “Likewise, I want to become a national champion individually. I can see these goals becoming a reality, considering the fact that we have such great talent on the team and because everyone is on board with putting their best effort out in order to achieve them.”
The team finished 7-3 overall, and 4-1 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
The Lancers will start the season on the road Nov. 5, against California State University, Bakersfield.
Last season, the team finished 7-3 overall and 4-1 in conference. The season produced the program’s first ever NCAA Division II Champion in Joseph Fagiano, and ranked sixth of 48 as a team at the NCAA Division II Championships.
The team will have only one home meet this year against Simon Fraser University Feb. 11.