Published: October 16, 2015
The Scranton wrestling team hits the mat Nov. 1 as it hosts the Electric City Duals tournament in the John Long Center.
The team is hoping for a bounce-back season after finishing the 2014-15 year with a record of 6-13. At the NCAA East Regional Tournament, the team’s final match of the year, the Royals placed 13 out of 18 teams.
This year, the Royals have six home meets, as they host East Stroudsburg University, King’s College, Ursinus College, Centenary College and the College at Brockport Nov. 1.
Sophomore Zach D’Apolito said the offseason served to prepare the team for a rebound season.
“Our offseason was intense. We practiced twice a week, conditioned three times a week and the upperclassmen encouraged the underclassmen and new guys to get in the weight room,” D’Apolito said.
D’Apolito also noted that the team has 12 first-year students, in addition to two sophomore transfer students. D’Apolito thinks the newcomers have adjusted well.
“They’re definitely adjusting well and fitting in great. Wrestling with all of us and all of us giving them advice has helped them a lot,” he said.
D’Apolito went 15-18 in his matches last year, competing exclusively in the 165-pound weight class.
The team is hoping for a more successful 2015-16 season, and the hard work they put in during the offseason could be the main catalyst for a turnaround.
The Royals also have big goals in mind for this year.
“We haven’t really had the opportunity to be in too many dual matches, so one of our main goals is to stay above .500 and win more matches down the road,” D’Apolito said. “We also want to try to send more people down to the NCAA nationals. So those are probably two of our big goals for the year.”
While participating in a sport as physical as wrestling, it is imperative that the body is given rest. Throughout the course of a match, wrestlers can be thrown around and slammed hard on the mat. Smart rehab is something very apparent on the wrestling team.
D’Apolito said the team makes sure it takes the necessary steps to prevent injuries.
“We have to make sure we’re not overworking ourselves. We make sure we’re resting and eating right. Also, sometimes ice baths after a long week of practice or tournaments are big helps,” D’Apolito said.
While the team is certainly physically tough, the mental aspect is also something the Royals pride themselves on. Wrestling is a rare of example of a pure one-on-one sport. Although the members of the team combine for a total score, the individual members compete alone.
“I absolutely think we’re all mentally tough on this team,” D’Apolito said. “You get mentally tough through working hard and dealing with adversity. However, I don’t think anyone is more mentally tough than someone else. We all push each other in that aspect, so we all share that trait.”
The team’s regular season begins Nov. 1 and concludes Feb. 14. Both matches will be held in the Long Center.
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