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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

SFSU wrestling team battles hard in home opener

SFSU dueled against ranked Nebraska Kearney in their hard-fought home opener
Matthew Ali
SFSU’s Josiah Hurd grappling with UNK’s Trenton Munozin at Mashouf Wellness Center. Nov. 11, 2023. (Matthew Ali/ Golden Gate Xpress}

A crowd of roughly 100 supporters gathered when the San Francisco State University wrestling team hosted 18th-ranked Nebraska Kearney for its home opener at the Mashouf Wellness Center on Saturday.

Amidst their 30-9 loss to the Lopers, there were a few bright spots that the team can look back on as the long season progresses.

SFSU was victorious in three bouts after Lawrence Saenz claimed an impressive 10-5 victory over No. 12 ranked John Burger at 149 pounds. Basil Othman secured an 11-8 victory over Nic Stoltenberg at 157 pounds, while at 165 pounds, Kyle Botelho clinched a hard-fought overtime win against Kaden Hart.

Head coach Jason Welch appreciated the level of effort shown and felt Nebraska Kearney was a good test to analyze areas the team could improve on going forward. Welch stated that he felt the team didn’t take full advantage of all their opportunities to score points and could’ve been more aggressive in their advantageous positions.

“My biggest thing right now is that I’m excited to have more data for us to work on,” Welch said. “It’s hard when you’re just training for months for free, that’s about a 10-week streak of just training and you don’t compete at all, so you don’t really know what you need to work on. Now we know what we need to work on and we have time before the end of February to work on that.”

Othman –– a junior –– admitted that he believes the team has made a lot of progress but still has some work to do if they want to reach their full potential.

He also felt he leaned on his preparation in the lead-up to his match.

“I know that I’ve done the work,” Othman said. “I know that I’ve put in the hours, been putting in the blood and the sweat. I just trusted God and win or lose, I know he has a plan for me, so I just trust in his plan and make sure to give him glory.”

Gage Mettler, senior, earned Gator of the Week and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Men’s Wrestler of the Week honors for his first-place performance last week at the Menlo Open.

Mettler expressed his excitement at the strong support and shared his pride in the team’s performance against a ranked opponent. He believes the group has the potential to be one of the best he’s been a part of during his three years at SFSU.

“When the hard work pays off, that’s the best feeling in the world,” Mettler said. “I spent all summer working in wrestling camps. Out of high school, I didn’t wrestle for two years. This is my third year back college wrestling, so it was an adjustment at first, but everything’s finally coming together. You’re getting big wins, you’re competing, conditioning right and I feel like that’s just such a great feeling. We’re growing as a team along with coaching. All that hard work pays off and that’s why you do it.”

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Victor Harris Jr
Victor Harris Jr, Podcast Editor
Victor Harris Jr (he/him) is a reporter for Golden Gate Xpress. Raised in Fairfield, California, he is a transfer student from Solano Community College, majoring in Journalism with a minor in Management. During his free time, you can find him watching sports, bowling, gaming, or working on his sports podcast, More Trophies.
Matthew Ali
Matthew Ali, Staff Reporter
Matthew Ali is a reporter for the Golden Gate Xpress. He is a journalism major and works as a wedding and portrait photographer. He is from Los Angeles. He is also of a particularly nerdy persuasion. He enjoys comics, video games, fantasy novels, and tabletop games. He also aspires to write fiction and eventually comic books for DC and Marvel Comics.

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