UWEC wrestling defeats Johnson and Wales at teams home opener

Wrestling team lands two pins, secures a Blugold win
Zach Sato celebrating his win against Jordan Suarez. (Photo by Zach Jacobson, used with permission from Blugold Athletics)
Zach Sato celebrating his win against Jordan Suarez. (Photo by Zach Jacobson, used with permission from Blugold Athletics)

On Nov. 11, UW-Eau Claire’s wrestling team defeated Johnson and Wales in the team’s home opener for the season at McPhee Physical Education Center.

The match ended with a final score of 27-18.

Both Tyler Fleetwood, a fourth-year student, and Sloan Welch, a first-year student, pinned their opponents in their matches.

Head coach Tim Fader said he thought the match was an exciting one, thrilling for the wrestlers and the people in the stands.

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“When you have a team coming from far away and they are one of the better teams in the country,” Fader said. “You hope it’s gonna be exciting, have lots of points scored and that it’s gonna be entertaining, and I think that’s what it was.”

Fleetwood said that one thing that went well for him was when he did a move he didn’t often do.

“Just doing a move I never really do and catching him on his back,” Fleetwood said. “I’m not a big pinner, so that’s pretty cool to do. I knew I had to stay on the attack with this guy, so that’s what I did.”

Tristan Massie, a fourth-year student, said the team had done a good job of not focusing on the outcome, but doing what they know how to do.

Naill Schoenfelder in his match against Christian Murphy. (Photo by Zach Jacobson, used with permission from Blugold Athletics)

“Being aggressive, wrestling our style, not worrying about losing,” Massie said. “Just going out there and doing what we know how to do.”

Fader said he thought one thing the team needs to work on is keeping their ground and how to get out of certain situations they may find themselves in on the mat.

“Then we got in those positions and we did the wrong thing. It illustrates that we have a lot of work to do,” Fader said. 

Massie said something the team could work on is continuing to keep the team’s aggression up.

“I think just continuing to attack more,” Massie said. “Just keep on increasing our attack and working on the little things as far as positionally.”

Fleetwood said the team could improve on being more aggressive on the floor.

“I think the team just to keep those attacks coming and being the aggressor even more,” Fleetwood said. “We got to keep moving our hands and our feet, just dictating the match.”

While the meet was the home opener, it was also military appreciation night.

Fader said that it was important to him because it was Veterans Day, making it a good night to show appreciation to those in the services, previously and currently.

“It’s Veterans Day and it’s a great day to honor those who have ever been in the military,” Fader said. “We thought it was a good day to honor them on their day, and I think it added to our match— there were a lot of veterans in the crowd.”

Fleetwood said he holds great respect for those who serve the country.

“For our veterans it’s awesome. For what they do and paying the ultimate sacrifice so we can do these things,” Fleetwood said. “I have the utmost respect for the great men and women who protect this country.”

Next, the Blugolds travel to UW-Oshkosh for a conference matchup against the Titans on Thursday, Nov. 15. More information on the team’s schedule can be found on Blugold Athletics


Boggess can be reached at [email protected].

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