Gators wrestling is in for a gargantuan challenge when they travel to Stanford to grapple the D-1 squad this Saturday, Nov. 10.
“It’s definitely a big challenge for us,” said SF State head coach Jason Welch.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Gators roster has a couple of preseason top 25 ranked wrestlers, highlighted by the seventh ranked Division II 125 pounder, redshirt junior Nathan Cervantez.
But the Gators must face a Stanford unit that houses three of the U23 All-Americans.
Gabriel Townsell, Paul Fox and Austin Flores all placed in the under 23-years-of-age nationals category for the Cardinals to get their U23 All-American Status.
“Stanford is not only DI, but they are one of the better in PAC 10,” Welch said. “But that said, we can definitely get some wins in there.”
SF State will challenge Stanford after going 1-1 in their season-opening tri-meet. They will need to be on their A-game to compete with the Cardinal.
Welch emphasized working on ground wrestling this week, believing the Gators are good on their feet.
“We are doing a lot of mat wrestling this week,” Welch said. “Our top, bottom stuff, less on our feet.”
No matter the final score, the Gators will get a great opportunity to gain valuable experience of competing against some of the best talent they will face all season.
“Yeah, we want to win and that’s a big emphasis, but I want them to wrestle hard, be true to themselves and to do the best they can,” Welch said.