By Adrienne Esposito, Staff Writer
The Newman University wrestling team had a strong start to the season last weekend at the Oklahoma City Open.
In their college debut, three freshmen and one sophomore incomer placed in the tournament. Two of those freshmen took third, and one fell in the semifinals, taking fourth place. Sophomore, Tyler Lawley, secured a spot in the finals, but fell to Mikey Mascarenas of Oklahoma State University, ultimately earning runner up on the day.
Redshirt sophomore Jacob Stoneberger said he was pleased with the teams’ first outing of the season, noting that Newman took several victories from Oklahoma State University.
“It’s looking really good. All the freshmen coming in have a lot of talent. The program’s headed in a better direction,” Stoneberger said.
Stoneberger said that alum and 2018 national champion turned assistant coach Noel Torres and senior and returning All-American Tyler Mies have set the foundation for this year. He said he felt that because of them, the team has a new attitude and is working together to improve.
Stoneberger said Mies leads by example, allowing some of the underclassmen including himself and juniors Thor Balavage and Mario Rodriguez to fill some of the more vocal leadership roles.
“We’re creating this family environment where everybody’s held to the same standard, and everyone’s held accountable. Everyone on the team wants to work hard… Everybody’s on the same page, all working toward the same goal,” Stoneberger said.
The team will be back on the mat Saturday at Bethany College in Lindsborg for another open tournament.
PHOTO: THE NEWMAN WRESTLING TEAM had three freshmen and one sophomore place in the tournament. Courtesy photo, Newman Athletics.