Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana wrestling ready for the win


Augustana’s wrestling program has seen a huge turn around during the 2020-2021 season. After losing six senior wrestlers last season and gaining nine first-years this fall, the team is making a name for themselves among their competitors.
“Last year we had a tough dual record, but I have seen what everyone has been doing in the practice room all year and I knew that we had a good group of guys.” Daniel Skold said. Skold returns to play his second season for the Vikings and shares his initial thoughts about this year’s roster.
“I also feel like we started to find ourselves as a team near the end of last year when we finished third in conference. We saw what we were capable of and everyone believed that we could have a great season this year,” Skold said.
New members on a team can often shift the dynamic, and receiving a new freshman class each year presents its own challenges and strengths when joining the family.
“It’s great to bring in a new energy and guys that are hungry to make a difference right away. Fortunately for us, we have some sophomores, juniors and seniors this year who have helped shape the new guys work ethics,” Coach Tony Willaert said.
Willaert recognizes the importance of a shared goal between everyone in the program, as he explains the team values established last season. “Faith, Family, Integrity and Grit. We want all of our wrestlers to leave the program with those ingrained in their minds and really live by them in their lives after college,” Willaert said.
First-year Nick Minnoto described his new experience on the wrestling team as a place of community.
“I had a family instantly which was especially good to have during a year where all my classes are online and it’s hard to meet new people. Plus it’s giving me a reason to get out of my room,” Minnoto said. “I didn’t really know what to expect as a team, but going into the room and meeting all the guys…you can’t help but feel like we’re gonna do big things soon.”
The team is finishing up their season and headed into the last tournament in search of the All-American title. Everyone is optimistic and hungry for more. After receiving third place last year, the Vikings are looking to keep climbing the leaderboard.
“I feel great going into the tournament both personally and as a team,” Skold said. “I know that I have been working extremely hard these past couple of weeks trying to prepare, and I see everyone else doing the same.” My goal for the tournament is to get on the podium and hopefully become an all-american. I know that it will be difficult, but I believe that I am ready and I believe that the rest of the team is, too.”
Coach Willaert shares similar remarks. “We have cemented ourselves as a top three team, and I truly believe that we are setting ourselves up for a big run of conference championships”.
Photo Above: 165-174 senior Josh Bush dominates his match against his Elmhurst opponent in the CCIW Championship on Saturday, February 2021 in the Carver Center. Bush took fourth at 184. The team’s overall result was 3rd of 8 teams.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Augustana wrestling ready for the win