Wrestling team hits the mats for winter season: First-year heavyweight Paul Triandafilou named Centennial Conference Wrestler of the week
By Michael Boncardo, Staff Writer
Last weekend’s storm may have pushed back the continuation Gettysburg men’s wrestling team’s winter season, but by no means are the Bullets letting the weather or the competition get the best of them. Head coach Andrew Vogel and his wrestlers are ready to finish the 2016 portion of their season on a high note.
The Bullets got off to a rough start to the 2015-2016 season, with many of their key upperclassmen out of commission. “The first part of the year was challenging,” said head coach Vogel. “A few of our top wrestlers were dealing with injuries that, while not serious, kept them out of some competition. Most of them are back in action at this point, and we are putting a stronger lineup on the mat now than we did early in the year.”
“We hoped to use the beginning of the year to get in shape and prepared for the important matches during the second half of the year and our postseason competition. Overall, we could have performed better to this point,” said head coach Vogel.
The Bullets have been back on campus since the start of January, training hard to ensure that the team is ready for the second portion of their season. Coming back to campus early and the stress of training can be taxing on a team, as coach Vogel described.
“Winter break training can be tough. It’s two weeks with not much going on besides two workouts a day. The team did a good job, for the most part, of staying focused, and managed to take advantage of some time to improve without the stress of schoolwork or classes,” head coach Vogel said.
The team put on a strong showing in their first contest of the winter season, and finished third at the Washington & Lee Invitational despite stiff competition. This matches the Bullets’ finish at the event last year.
“It was nice to get off to a good start for the second half of the year,” said head coach Vogel. “There have been some stumbles along the way, but that’s to be expected in a long season.”
Vogel and the team certainly intend to keep their focus on the future. The Bullets are determined to wrestle their best in the next few months.
“Our goals moving forward are to win as many dual meets as possible, place highly in the conference championships, and qualify a few wrestlers for the NCAA Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa,” said Vogel. “We have the ability to reach our goals, and it will take everyone giving their best effort from now until the end of the season while keeping in mind that wrestling in college is an opportunity that few people have, so they need to take advantage of it while they still can.”
Sophomore Anthony Puca shared the team’s goals for the weeks to come. “Approaching the final stretch of the season we’re looking to get those with injuries back into the lineup so we can be at full strength. We’ve been working hard all season and look to carry that intensity into the post-season and finish as strong as possible.”
You can see the Bullets in action on January 29 when they will wrestle in split squads against two Centennial Conference opponents. The home squad will take on Washington and Lee at 7:00 p.m., with Gettysburg’s remaining wrestlers heading to compete with Thaddeus Stevens.