The Tiger grapplers are back for the first time since the 1970s, and they’re ready to show competitors what Doane wrestling is all about. Hard work.
Head Coach Tyson Springer said the team’s philosophy is to work hard, but “have a good time” while reaching success. The newly reinstated wrestling team is young, but dedicated. Of the 19 members all but three are first-year students.
“We want to make up for our lack of experience by going hard for seven minutes,” Springer said.
Junior Austin Borne, who transferred from Iowa Western Community College, said Springer’s practices are more low key but very serious on attendance.
If a wrestler misses a practice, he is told to run two miles.
Freshman Reid Melani, from Yuba City, Calif., said Springer’s practices focus more on “live wrestling” and what to do during a match.
“It’s a lot more one-on-one coaching...and correcting what we’re doing wrong to build us up individually,” Melani said.
Borne also said his coach is very supportive of other Doane athletic teams on campus and encourages the wrestlers to do the same.
Springer and his team’s school spirit will be a key factor in rebuilding the program from the ground up. In his previous job as an assistant coach and admissions counselor at Dickinson State University (N.D.), he said his experience in recruiting has helped him understand the process of attracting students to different programs.
Springer said the most important lesson he’s learned while building the program is to step back and take a deep breath.
“You’ve got to be patient,” Springer said. “We try to tell the kids that Rome wasn’t built in a day…we have to take baby steps.”
The team started competition this month and has a total of seven meets. Tiger wrestlers had to put aside any nerves or doubts and just dive in.
“We just threw them in the deep end of the pool and told them to swim, “ Springer said.
The team has four home meets this season and the first one will take place during the first week of December in Butler Gym. The facility has acted as the temporary home of the Tiger wrestlers until the Fuhrer Field House is opened some time in January 2014.
“It’s awesome anytime you have wrestling mats from wall to wall,” Springer said. “Butler has been awesome because it’s our facility and has a good atmosphere.”
Springer’s last message to the Doane community: “Come watch us December 4th.”
The Tigers will go head-to-head with Graceland University at 4p.m. in Butler Gym. They’re ready to show everyone what they came here to do: Compete.