By Cierra Joiner
Ohio Wesleyan hasn’t hosted a home’s wrestling match in more than three decades.
That ended on Nov. 13 against Thomas More. The Bishops lost 19-27. The last home match was Feb. 11, 1984.
“I felt excited because I knew all of the guys on the team were excited,” said coach Paul Reid. “Wrestling had been absent from Ohio Wesleyan campus for a long time. It was fun to be a part of the event.”
Sophomore wrestler Nathan Scott came from a dominant high school team where he said the home meets were always filled with energy and he wanted Ohio Wesleyan’s meet to be the same.
“I was marketing the meet really hard all over social media and word of mouth around campus,” Scott said. “I wanted everyone to experience it. A lot of people came and supported and the gym was really loud.”
Not only did Ohio Wesleyan host the first home meet in 35 years, but also this is the second season wrestling has been back on campus after being absent since 1985. The sport was brought back as a way to help bolster the university’s student recruitment efforts and as a men’s team to balance a new women’s team in competitive rowing, which is required under federal law.
“At previous coaching stops in my career, I have assisted in both starting and rebuilding a program,” Reid said. It is difficult to start up again from scratch, but all it takes is hard work. Not just me working hard but the current members on the team also.”
Sophomore wrestler Bryce Wittman said Coach Reid played a big role in his decision to come to Ohio Wesleyan, but he also liked the idea of being on the first team since the 1980s and being a trailblazer for the program and the school.
The wrestling team has had four meets so far and much like any other team, it has set goals for the program as a whole.
“The goals are the same regardless of the year or season,” Reid said. “The expectations and standards always stay the same. Get better at every opportunity and approach everything with the right attitude and effort.”
The wrestling team will participate at the Baldwin Wallace Invitational in Berea, Ohio on Nov. 23.