Raven wrestling preps for regional tournament

By Michael French, Reporter

After the Raven wrestling team dropped its final dual meet of the season to Bethany College 38-7 on Feb. 5, they turned its focus to Saturday’s NAIA regional tournament.

Keeping the team in good health and condition will be critical entering the weekend as nearly two weeks have passed since the loss to the Swedes.

Coach Thomas Williams speaks with All-American 197-pound senior Stephen Loosbrock. Photo by Hannah Pinkerton
Coach Thomas Williams speaks with 197-pound All-American senior Stephen Loosbrock. Photo by Hannah Pinkerton

“The first week off we had some more intense training and two-a-days to try and get our conditioning up another percent,” coach Thomas Williams said. “We’ve started tapering off a lot more this week just working on the individual needs of each guy.”

Some coaches prefer to hype up their teams prior to larger events such as this. Williams believes a more laid back approach will help his squad be successful.

“I try to downplay it a little bit,” Williams said. “I don’t want them to focus on the end result of what can and can’t happen. If our guys take it one match at a time they’ll wrestle their best.”

The Ravens placed ninth overall out of 13 teams in last year’s tournament. A large part of the mixed success the team experienced then and during this season is due to the difficulty of the conference.

“We can place a few higher if we have a good day but we could place a few lower if we have a bad day,” Williams said. “We have the hardest region in the country. If you make it through this region you have a really good chance of placing at nationals just because it’s such a meat grinder.”

The Ravens travel to Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday for the day-long tournament.