Men’s wrestling reflects on season

By Ed Rietveld

The wrestling season for most of the NIU as a team is over, as only redshirt junior Matt Mougin will compete in the NCAA tournament this weekend.

As a team, the Huskies finish with a record of (10-8, 1-4 MAC) during the regular season and finished in a tie for fifth out of eight teams at the conference tournament.

Consistency seemed to be a problem for the Huskies throughout the 2012-2013 season. They started the year 5-0, lost three dual meets in a row and then won two in a row, followed by a five-meet losing streak. However, NIU closed the regular season on a three-dual meet winning streak.

“We had some ups and downs, kind of like I expected,” said wrestling head coach Ryan Ludwig. “We had a pretty young squad in there, starting some true freshman and what-not, but I’m pretty doggone proud of the performances overall throughout the year, especially the way we finished at the MAC championships. So I think our attitudes and our beliefs in what we’re doing are fantastic and I think we’re pointed nowhere but up.”

The future looks bright for the wrestling program. Heading into 2013-14 the Huskies will only lose two members of the team. Twenty-one of this year’s wrestlers were underclassmen along with five returning juniors who will be seniors next year.

Ludwig said having that much young ability will help the team in the seasons to come.

“Absolutely, again everyone that we wrestled at the MAC tournament this year is returning,” Ludwig said. “So, I think there’s quite a bit of momentum in this program right now and that is exactly what we want to do. We want to build it with good people and sustain success over a long period of time and that’s exactly where it’s going right now.”

Mougin believes the team needs to continue to be a unit in the offseason.

“In the off-season we need to just have everyone [here]… a lot of people need to like stay around campus and like lift more and workout with each other more and just like get more intense practice [in] and work harder,” Mougin said. “To get to where we need to be at as a team and just everyone needs to come together and do it as one.”