Of all the sports and clubs offered at Ohio Wesleyan University, wrestling is not one of them. That changed when sophomores Ifa Abduljelil and Josh Pyles started the wrestling club.
The club currently has 24 members and practices from 6–8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday with a Sunday practice from 4–6 p.m. All practices are held in Branch Rickey Arena.
“I was really surprised (with the turnout),” Abduljelil said. “I mean, wrestling is a big thing, but I didn’t expect 24 guys to be signing up at a small school like this.”
While setting up the club has taken some time, and there are currently no wrestling meets scheduled, a major accomplishment has been made – the wrestling club found a coach.
Tom Josefowicz, the new coach, has been an athletic trainer for OWU since the fall of 2009.
Josefowicz wrestled at Eastern Michigan University and worked as a graduate assistant athletic trainer for the Iowa State University wrestling team.
“I’ve known Tom from football and track. He has the famous cauliflower ear so when you see that you have to talk about wrestling,” Abduljelil said.
He continued by saying that Josefowicz was very excited that someone finally started a wrestling club and that students who are interested will finally have an opportunity.
“I look forward to getting in shape and sharing different techniques with other wrestlers,” said junior Soma Yoshida, who is studying at OWU for a year. “I’m from Japan so it’s good for me to wrestle in a different style.”
Yoshida is a free style wrestler; university level wrestling is done in folk style.
At this time the goals of the wrestling club are to continue to practice consistently, schedule meets as early as the spring semester of 2015 and establish wrestling as an official sport at OWU.