ROCHESTER, Minn. - Athletes across the state continue to anxiously await attending their first practices of the season. The RCTC wrestling team is no exception and can’t wait to get back in the wrestling room to prep for bringing another title back to the Med City.
“We’re starting to get into the real deal here,” said head coach, Travis Rutt.
For RCTC wrestlers and coaches, January 11 can’t come soon enough. That will be the first day of practice for the defending national champions. Coach Rutt says the upperclassmen are eager to defend their title while newcomers are ready to carry on the legacy.
“Our returners are very excited to get back on the mat and practice – not even necessarily compete right now,” Rutt said. “Obviously when they get to compete they’re going to be excited but they’re pretty excited at the opportunity of just getting in the room. We had three weeks of practice earlier in the year and you could see and feel the energy – feel how everything changed during those three weeks.”
Traditionally speaking, the season would begin in October. However, the winter season was pushed back to the spring and the NJCAA has made a few changes to the schedule including a later start date and fewer contests.
Rutt continues to look at the bright side.
“The NJCAA did us a solid by moving our national tournament back. We’re still going to get a decently long season.”
While this season may look a little different, the core values of this tenacious program remain the same.
“I expect them to develop on the mat like they would any other year,” Rutt said. “I just keep preaching to them that they’re going to have to be more disciplined than they ever have before to achieve the same success that we’ve had in the past.”
Of course, Coach Rutt said he expects his athletes to adhere to those same standards in the classroom.