The Waynesburg University wrestling team opened up its season Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Washington & Jefferson Invitational. It was the first time head coach Ron Headlee was able to watch the new freshman class in match action, and he was happy with how the new faces performed.
“I was pretty pleased yesterday with how we did,” Headlee said. “These past three weeks, I wasn’t sure how we were going to do yesterday. It was nice to see everyone in action on the mat in that environment compared to practice.”
In the 157-pound weight class, freshman Colby Morris made his debut and had an impressive one. He finished first and was also named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler
“He [was] the outstanding wrestler and he truly was outstanding,” Headlee said. “He won three [overtime matches] in a row. He just believed and never quit in his matches. He wasn’t intimidated by anyone and if he continues to do that he will have a good career at Waynesburg.”
Some other wrestlers Headlee mentioned that stood out to him were freshmen Zach Baughman, Noah Grossnickle, Luke Lavanway, Rocky McGeary as well as returning juniors Caleb Baxter and Dillon Charlton.
“Rocky McGeary had a good tournament as a freshman wrestling as a heavyweight,” Headlee said. “Caleb Baxter did really well, but we had to pull him out because he got banged up. I liked the way some of our freshman battled. Which is what I am looking for in the season.”
The wrestling team is trying to mimic the women’s cross-country program, and win its fourth straight Presidents’ Athletic Conference championship.
“Our goal is always the same for us,” Headlee said. “We want to win the PAC Championship and get two or three people to nationals.”
Another goal for the wrestlers, Headlee said, is to excel in the classroom this season.
“We are always short on Academic All-Americans so we want our guys to do better in the classroom, so that we can have some of those this year,” he said.
This week the Yellow Jacket wrestlers have to prepare for the Waynesburg Duals this which are set for this upcoming Saturday.
A total of three teams will come to Waynesburg to compete against the Jackets; Johns Hopkins, Messiah and Fairmont State.
“It’s another tough week for us,” Headlee said. “Hopefully we will have another good week and learn from our mistakes this past week.”