The Wresting Club shoots in to action for Dixie State College as it prepares to take on its first meet on Nov. 3.
Dixie begins its matches at the Cowboy Open in Laramie, Wyo. In the meantime, the Red Storm has been practicing from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. every day.
“Wrestling is a very demanding sport,” assistant coach Wayne Briggs said. “The two-hour practices we have each day are for wrestling and technique only. These practices are at a high intensity with all members competing at 100 percent…with very little rest.”
At practice the wrestlers work on their form and different drills such as takedowns and situational wresting. They also occasionally have early morning runs to stay in shape.
“I have been doing a lot of work,” said senior Aaron Camis, a business major from Big Piney, Wyo. “I have been running and sprinting up hills. I also fight every day and just keep my cardio up.”
Briggs said the wrestlers are expected to lift weights and run at least three days a week on their own because it’s not included in the practices. The club is led by head coach Brian Pace and Briggs. It is also being led by the team president Robby Briggs, who was the president last year, and team officers, Camis, sophomore Jaylen Weaver and sophomore Cody Hone.
“There are quite a few outstanding wrestlers on this team,” Wayne Briggs said. “We do have high expectations for Cody Hone and Jaylen Weaver because they transferred from Utah Valley University after being state champs in high school.”
Dixie also has Camis and Brian Curtis, who both took No. 4 at National Collegiate Wrestling Association Regionals last year but missed going to Nationals by one match.
The club has about 20 wrestlers coming to practice and is projected to have more guys from the football team once the football season ends.
Last year the club attended the NCWA Regional Tournament at San Jose State University in California. That region is composed of 25 teams, but only 16 of those teams were represented at regionals.
“With only seven wrestlers on our team we surprised everyone, including ourselves, by taking sixth at the tournament,” Wayne Briggs said.
Wayne Briggs said the team’s goal this year is to take the regional tournament, qualify several wrestlers for nationals, and make some type of impact at nationals.
“It is going to be awesome,” Camis said. “We have a bunch of great wrestlers. It is great when you have a bunch of tough wrestlers on the team; you just make each other better.”
This year the Red Storm will have a full team, which means a man in every weight class.
“The hardest thing for us this year is not preparing the young men for competition,” Wayne Briggs said. “Rather, it’s getting the necessary funds to get them to as many competitions as we can.”
Wayne Briggs said since they are not considered an official team, only a club for Dixie State College, funds for travel and tournament fees all have to be raised and/or donated.
The wrestlers have to raise $210 each to pay for team uniforms, club memberships and so on. They are doing that by selling ESPN magazine subscriptions.
“I was able to get ESPN to approve our [club] to be one of the 300 teams in the nation chosen to sell the magazine,” Briggs said. “For $40, [buyers] get a two-year subscription, and the team gets to keep $30. That means that a wrestler can get his funds together by selling seven subscriptions.”
Wayne Briggs said all of this is part of the club’s commitment to bring college wrestling to southern Utah.