With the 2017-18 Wrestling Season officially underway, there is a lot of speculation as to how the Concordia Wrestling team will fare amidst a major transitional period. Here’s what you can expect this season from your CUW Falcons:
The Falcons return eight wrestlers from last season’s team. Led by seniors Mack Braylock and Mitchell Slatton, the team is looking to rebuild after two of the most successful wrestlers in school history, Mason Bumgardner and Mason Mergener graduated last year. Both Bumgardner and Mergener qualified for the NCAA National Tournament last season and helped to elevate the Falcons overall team performance.
“Obviously it’s hard to replace guys like that. They don’t come around all that often and it’s been really fun to have gotten a chance to be teammates with those guys. But we’ve got a lot of hardworking, tough guys on the team right now and those are the guys we’re focused on going forward with.” said senior Mack Braylock. “We’ve got a lot of room for improvement but I won’t be shocked when we’re performing really well down the stretch with the group of guys we have right now.”
The team is also transitioning between coaches replacing, head coach Corey Van Groll. New head coach Kevin Koch has spent most of his time with the team getting them to buy in to his philosophy and coaching style.
“I think a lot of our guys have responded really well to Coach Koch. It is a little different than what we’re used to but at the same time the game doesn’t drastically change. We’re still being taught the same things, just in a slightly different method. And I think our guys are doing a really good job of buying in. And I think it’s going to pay off for us in the long run.” Braylock said.
The Falcons will continue their season on December 2nd taking part in the 13th Annual MSOE Invitational.