ROCHESTER, Minn. - The Rochester Community and Technical College is coming off a big year. However, as any good coach would, Randy Rager is expecting even bigger things out of his team this year and it all starts on Nov. 2 with the Yellowjacket Open.
“So far we’ve got a good group this year,” Rager said. “They’ve been working hard both in the room and their academics, been hitting the weights pretty hard. I definitely think they’re ready for this weekend. It really kind of sets the pace and tone for our entire season. They get to see how the scene is as far as college wrestling.”
Rager enters his 15th season with the Yellowjackets and has helped shape the program into one that is nationally known, winning the last seven Minnesota College Athletic Conference titles.
This year poses a new challenge for Rager with 23 freshmen on the roster.
Before taking the mat for his first collegiate match, Seth Brossard admits college wrestling is a whole new caliber.
“It’s been a lot different,” he said. “The hand fighting is a lot tougher and finishing a shot, you've got to learn to go right away and I’ve been working on my feet a lot. It’s a big change from high school.”
Even though these grapplers are new to the college level, they carry a lot of experience and Alex Lloyd says the team is already looking good.
“I’m very happy with the way that everyone has been wrestling. Everyone has been competing with each other. There’s a lot of heart, a lo of grit, everybody is just aggressive,” said Lloyd.
Coach Rager is confident this aggressiveness will help the team achieve its goals for the year.
“The goal each year is to win the national title. To win the national title you have to have guys at the national tournament. Going into this year again, that’s always the goal – win the national title. With this group, it will depend on how that other competition is but I think we’ve got a great group and I expect to send quite a few to nationals at the end of the year.”