The award-winning Richland College wrestling team is recruiting for a new seasoned experience is not necessary.
“Although experience from high school life is appreciated it is not a requirement,” Coach Bill Neal said. “This year we’re pretty new. We lost most of the wrestlers we had over the last two years, and so we’re kind of starting all over again.”
Neal said it’s hard to tell who will make the team and encourages those who are interested to attend practice in the gym from 2 to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
Neal said the team will work with students any time, but for those who intend to try out for the team, time is running out.
“We start competing in November,” Neal said.
The Richland wrestling team is not limited to men.
“There is a women’s team as well. Usually, we have five or six gals that are here,” he said.
Students need to buy their own shoes, but the college provides the rest.
“I provide the uniform and there’s a headpiece they wear to keep from getting cauliflower ears,” Neal said.
Neal understands joining the team is an investment. He asks students to spend time just going to practice to make sure they have a good time and want to stay.
“Spend some time with us. See if this is really what you want to do before you spend $50 to $60 on a pair of shoes,” he said.
Chris Gooseman and Tyler Stevens began wresting in high school. Tyler Stevens started wrestling in high school.
“I started as a freshman in high school so I guess this will be my fifth year,” Stevens said.
Gooseman said he found out about the Richland wrestling program from his high school coach.
“My coach. He told me about some colleges that I could wrestle for and the only good college was Richland. That’s how I heard about it,” Gooseman said.
“I had a couple of old teammates who actually go here now and wrestle here, so I heard it through them and my coach,” Stevens said.
Gooseman and Stevens both said wrestling was important to their futures. Stevens said he’s looking forward to getting more team trophies and possibly a scholarship.
“If I’m going to Nationals, then I go All-American,” he said.
Those who are interested in the Richland wrestling program should contact Neal by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by Guadalupe Hall, Room 122. Additional information about the program is available at www.richlandcollege.edu/sliferlc/athletics/wrestling/pages/default.aspx.