Wrestling Closing Out on a Standout Season

Madison Handwerger (mahandwerger@ursinus.edu)

The NCAA Mideast Regional Championships quickly came and went on the weekend of February 26th and 27th. Ursinus College Wrestling hopes to continue their successes in the 2021-2022 campaign. 

Key individuals such as Gary Nagle ‘22, Terry Adams ‘23, Romeo Rodriguez ‘23, and Jason Carter ’22 shined throughout the season, however the team as a whole stood tall finishing at the top of the conference tied with Washington and Lee at the end of the regular season with a 5-1 record in dual meets. At conference championships, the Bears finished in third as a team overall, their best placement since the 2016-17 season when they came in second. 

Coming off a year of no formal competition, with expectations uncertain, the wrestling team looked to make a statement, and succeeded. Strong leadership, key young guys, and a core focus propelled the team to great heights this winter. 

When speaking of some of the keys to getting the great results this year, junior standout Terry Adams stated, “The keys to the team’s success this season has come from the trust of the coaches and the team itself. We put a lot of hours in the room working on the little things to further our knowledge and skills to perform at high levels. Also, the way we push each other at practice every day has allowed all of us to succeed.” 

Additionally, something that can make or break a team, no matter the talent level, is the culture within the program. Bad attitudes, laziness, and cliques, all make it harder to be a well-rounded team that works well together. However, that was not the case for the 2021-22 team. Adams stated later that “the team culture has been a big help with this years’ success as we were faced with injuries and health problems. This allowed a bunch of younger guys to step up and perform when we needed them to. Plus, the whole team is like a family, helping each other with classes, getting to appointments, or being there in a time of need.” 

With a breakthrough season for individual performers, the team, and the program, the future’s looking bright. 

Adams stated, “The biggest difference this season compared to past is that we are a way more experienced and mature team. This allows for us to be comfortable and confident to perform in big duals such as Muhlenberg. I felt that a few years ago we had the confidence but lacked the experience levels as some of the other teams in the conference. Also, this year everyone is on board, has the same goals they were striving towards, and has stayed consistent throughout the season.” 

An incredible season brought together by a family culture, collective team goals, and strong leadership. 

More wrestling is still on the horizon for four guys, Jason Carter, Gary Nagle, Terry Adams, and Romeo Rodriguez, as they have qualified and are set to compete in the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships. The best is yet to come.