North Texas Daily

North Texas club wrestling team looking for more success in their fifth season

North Texas club wrestling team looking for more success in their fifth season

North Texas club wrestling team looking for more success in their fifth season
October 18
00:50 2018

The North Texas club wrestling team is in its fifth season of competition in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA). They have already found success, winning three straight conference championships led by head coach and USA wrestling Hall of Famer Andre Metzger.

The training for wrestling matches and tournaments for the Mean Green consists of an intense amount of conditioning and practice. The athletes begin practices with a one-mile run to warm up before moving on to practice techniques.

“We do a lot of conditioning and a lot of one-on-one with our wrestlers,” junior wrestler Ikaika Neal said. “If not one, we have two practices a day Monday through Sunday, and it’s just constant conditioning and drilling,”

Wrestling is a physical sport, but like most others requires a strong mental game to be successful at the collegiate level.

“A lot of people think this is a sport just about the physical aspect, but when you get to this level it really comes down to the mental tenacity,” senior wrestler Scott Akers said. “Everybody’s tough. Everybody’s strong, but who’s willing to put in that hundred percent when they are on the mat, willing to go head to head with that guy and just not give up?”

Technique is also considered to aid in overall success in wrestling.

“Technique in this game is huge,” head coach Andre Metzger said.  “In a sport where you are trying to take over somebody’s control or their full body and score points on them while they’re trying to take over your body, it is a battle and it’s a true sport from that standpoint.  You have to study technique, and you have to do it right. You work on details, and the more work you do on details, the better you become.”

All of these aspects are put together for a three-round match with rounds lasting three, two and two minutes long, respectively, and the wrestler with the most points in the end wins. A wrestler can also record a pin — holding down their opponent for a certain amount of time — before the match ends to win.

As a Hall of Fame wrestler himself, Metzger’s credibility adds to his influence as a coach — he simply tries to coach to the strengths of each individual wrestler.

“You have to see what their skills are, what they’re doing and then modify their skills to moves that are going to put them into a strong position so that they can take control of the person and put them on their back,” Metzger said.

Scott Akers is the North Texas wrestling team’s first All-American and believes his upbringing around wrestling plays a big role in how he’s been able to obtain success.

“I contribute [my success] to growing up and how often I practiced this sport,” Akers said. “I started when I was 6 years old, did this sport all through elementary school, middle school and high school. I wrestled through the summers and went to camps and clinics. I attribute it to being put through a lot of that, and I know it sounds harsh, but my family is [really] supportive, I liked what I did.”

The Mean Green club wrestling team begins its fifth season in late November, and with the success the team has already seen in the first four seasons, Metzger is ready for a higher level of success.

“Now we hope to have a national champion,” Metzger said.

Featured Image: Pinning Trenton Wilson’s legs, Suhk Tiwana quickly plans his next move. Matthew Flores

About Author

Jacob Solomon

Jacob Solomon

Business student at the University of North Texas and sports writer at the North Texas Daily.

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