Scott fully recovered for wrestling

By Mike Romor

Shawn Scott was in the middle of a promising freshman season for wrestling before a rib injury turned a 10-0 start into a 10-4 finish.

He knows shutting down his freshman campaign was the right move for his career, but it wasn’t the preferred one.

“In every year I’ve wrestled I’ve never had to sit out,” Scott said. “Last year just killed me. Watching my teammates losing duals, winning duals; I wasn’t out there to help them. Obviously it just hurt inside. Everyone says they want to get back out there, but wrestling’s a lifestyle. You feel like you’re not doing your part when you’re not in there.”

Scott did manage to take advantage of his extended time off the mats. Head coach Ryan Ludwig believes Scott’s physical and mental strength has improved.

“I thought I saw a good start in Shawn, and [I] believed in his abilities enough to start him as a true freshman,” Ludwig said. “That being said, I see a world of difference thus far this year. I see a lot of maturity and improvement with in-mat experience and in-mat strategy. He’s a coachable kid and he listens to the small things he needs to work on.”

Despite putting together a solid record in his redshirt season, Scott’s potential is just beginning to be reached in what could be a breakout year.

Scott has already done well this season, finishing second in the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open and fourth in last weekend’s Michigan State Open. Scott said he always wants to win the first match of a season and made no exception for this year’s opener, when he took a 14-0 major decision. He won four straight matches on opening day before losing in the finals to Missouri’s J’Den Cox.

“I felt great,” Scott said. “I didn’t have a really great match in the finals, but other than that, it was definitely a good first tournament to come back and be competitive again after the injury last year. I mean, it wasn’t the best, but it showed where I left off last year and how much better I got this summer. I felt confident.”

Cox, a freshman, was a four-time state champion in high school and was last season’s junior freestyle national champion at 220 in the Fargo Asics Nationals. He was also ranked the seventh-best recruit of 2013 by D1CW.

He is just one of many tough conference foes Scott will likely see this season. The MAC, known for its competitive wrestling, added even tougher competition over the past few seasons, including Missouri, Northern Iowa and Old Dominion, all of which annually garner top 25 rankings.

While Scott did not have the chance to hit the mats with most of them last season, he looks forward to showcasing his abilities. He knows the biggest obstacle that separates him from achieving his goals of winning the MAC and qualifying for the NCAA Championships is conference


“This season is way tougher than last season, and the intensity in the room is picking up,” Scott said. “It’s going to be a battle every night. You have to be relentless. You have to really go and get your points, and your intensity has to be double of what it was last year.”