The Case Western Reserve University wrestling team capped off its season at the NCAA Central Regional Championships with a 16th place finish (25.5 points) and two individual wrestlers placing in their respective weight class.
Second-year wrestler Alec Hoover ended his season with a fifth place finish. His brother, second-year grappler Andrew Hoover, advanced to the second day of competition but failed to place. Third-year wrestler Gavin Dersh-Fisher finished sixth. None of the wrestlers placed high enough to advance to the national tournament.
Head Coach Danny Song said that the tournament was sort of a microcosm for the season as a whole. He could see progress being made, but the team fell just a bit short in achieving their goals. However, he is excited for the future, and feels the team can make the next leap next year.
Progress rests in the players, according to Song.
“[I] want the guys to be independent … I put the resources at their disposal, and trust they’re going to make the most of it,” said Song. “The guys who are able to do it independently are our best guys.”
While he is focusing on next year, Song didn’t fail to recognize the students who are graduating.
“Having consistency in a program is critical, whether it’s the coaching staff or the roster,” he said. “But for us to have five seniors graduating is a major compliment to the program, that those guys … stuck with it and showed grit and perseverance, but [it also] says that we have a pretty good thing going since guys are sticking with it … It’s showing through in the team culture, too.”
He continued, thanking Nick and Nate Tommas, Cito Balsells, Nate Lewis and Connor Gordon for all they have given to the program.
The wrestlers will have two weeks off and will begin an intense lifting program after returning from spring break. Now, preparation begins for next season.