Club wreslting looks to build momentum with home meet

Bryce Derouin

Chances are you probably have yet to see the Grand Valley State University club wrestling team in action.

That’s because besides two early season meets, the Lakers have been on the road the entire season, which makes this Saturday’s Laker Classic in the Fieldhouse Arena that much more meaningful for the group.

“It’s always nice to compete at home,” said senior club president Carl Worthy. “To have a meet at home, your family and friends can see what you can do and see how much hard work you put in.”

Registration is still not complete, so the official list of competing teams is not finished. GVSU has received interest from various teams within the state, as well as teams from Ohio and Indiana.

“Expectations are to compete hard and to work on the things we’ve worked on,” said head coach Rick Bolhuis. “We’re taking a solid approach to the mat. The biggest thing at this point is to go hard the full seven minutes and do the right things. If we can do that, then the results should go in our favor more often than not.”

After a fifth place finish at the National Duals in Georgia, GVSU is hoping to carry out their momentum into the rest of the season. They continue to work toward their main goal, which is a national championship.

“We expect to win the Laker Classic because it’s our tournament,” said junior Kyle Horr. “I think we’re doing really well. We bounced back at our national duels and took fifth. That was impressive, especially with having such a young team. We’re working towards March, looking to accomplish a national championship at the end of the year.”

Bolhuis is pleased with the teams’ progress thus far, especially after his team went through a gauntlet of meets in such a short time. They hope to continue to make noise in the National College Wrestling Association.

“We’re really excited,” Bolhuis said. “In eight days, our guys made weight four times. At the college level, is a grueling stretch to go through. We wrestled really well. We’re pleased with that result and we know that we’re right there at the upper echelon of the programs in the NCWA still. We’re hopeful that with some more work and some more improvement, we can improve to make a run at a team trophy or a team championship.”

The Laker Classic will be one of the last times that GVSU will see top competition before the national tournament on March 14. Another unique aspect about this meet is that the wrestling club is one of the few club teams that can draw varsity competition to Allendale.

“It’s one of the last times that we get to see varsity competition,” Bolhuis said. “There’ll be Division III, varsity, junior college and Division I athletes. So it’s one of the rare occasions that one of the club teams on campus gets to bring varsity competitors onto our campus to compete. It gives us a good feel for where we’re at going into the last stretch into the national tournament.”

Wrestling begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Fieldhouse this Saturday.

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