By William Callahan
The Sacred Heart men’s wrestling season is right around the corner.
Looking to build off their finish last year, the team is eager to have a more successful season in 2016.
“The name of the game is to always do better than last year,” said senior captain Matt Fisher. “As coach preaches all the time, when you’re building a program, it’s not about wins or losses but it’s about the progression each of us makes.”
The coach of the men’s wrestling team echoes these statements and believes leadership will be a key part of the team’s success.
“We’re extremely excited for the upcoming year, myself included,” said coach Andy Lausier. “My first recruiting class are now redshirt juniors and seniors so I’m excited to have national leadership on our team that represents the standards and expectations I have for this program.”
Having lost four dual meets last season in the final match, the team is anxious to right a wrong that has been simmering within them all offseason.
“Those matches were difficult to lose but we feel this season will be the pivot point in those matches and we feel we’re going to come out on top,” said Lausier. “Schools like Franklin and Marshall, George Mason, VMI and Brown are the games we have circled on our calendars.”
Both the coach and his players are looking to win these pivotal games this season.
“The game that has been sticking out in my head for a few years now has been Franklin and Marshall because we’ve had such close matches with them,” said Fisher. “We lost in overtime to them in the last seconds last season so that’s one I’d definitely like to have back.”
Their focus remains high for the other matches as well. Each match is different based on the team the Sacred Heart Pioneers are facing.
“Other than that, we’re focused on approaching each opponent the same way with the mentality of finding their weaknesses and beating them,” said Fisher.
The two conference place winners from last year, Elliott Antler and Gerard Daly, are returning players from last season’s team. Antler is 184 pounds and Daly is 133.
“Both of those guys are going to be on a mission this year to qualify for the NCAA championships,” said Lausier.
Along with Antler and Daly, Fisher knows his role as captain will be vital to the team’s success this season.
“I believe all the younger guys, especially the freshmen, need someone to look up to and I’m that guy,” said Fisher. “Not only am I the vocal guy, but I’ll be the one putting in the extra work to show them what is right and what is wrong.”
Fisher does not shy away from the role he was cast for this upcoming season as he will look to be a role model for younger players.
“Being a good leader is leading by example and hopefully they see the success me and the other guys have,” said Fisher. “Hopefully they’ll follow suit.”
With this sense of attitude present, Lausier knows his wrestlers will be just fine this season.
“They’re already better than they were last year because of their attitude,” said Lausier.“We’ve really focused on gratitude so we appreciate the opportunities we have.”
The coach believes that his team’s positive attitude will allow his team to succeed.
“Our sense of gratitude allows us to go out there and perform at the highest level
possible,” said Lausier.
The Sacred Heart wrestling team has their first dual of the season, Dragon Duals, on Nov. 5 at North Penn High School. They will be competing against Shippensburg, Lycoming and Gardner Webb.