Experienced group to lead wrestlers

An experienced UW-Whitewater wrestling team is coming off of a successful season and will begin the 2011 season this Friday against UW-Eau Claire.

The Warhawks finished second in the WIAC last season, and sent four wrestlers to the national tournament.

Fortunately for the ’Hawks, all four of the qualifiers are returning to the mat this year and the team plans on using that experience to their advantage. Sophomores Jake Fredricksen and Cade Sarbacker and juniors Adam Latella and Reid Dickerson are all back and ready to improve on their national championship runs.

“This year we have seven or eight guys who have been to the conference tournament already and four guys who’ve been to the national tournament; so this year when we get there we won’t be as nervous and we’ll go into it relaxed and knowing what to expect,” Fredricksen said.

Along with the experienced veterans, the ’Hawks have some talented newcomers that might have an immediate impact. Coach Tim Fader said he didn’t want to name anyone in particular, because the team has so much depth that many positions are still up in the air.

Fader is excited about both the new and returning ’Hawks and wants his team to have their eyes on winning the WIAC, a powerhouse conference for wrestling.

“The idea is to win our conference and to take that next step towards winning the conference tournament and qualifying a large group to the national tournament so we can become a national player,” Fader said.

Because the WIAC is such a strong conference, the ’Hawk wrestlers know that putting in plenty of work in the offseason will be pivotal to achieving their lofty goals this year. In addition to a steady regiment of lifting weights and running, Fader said many of the wrestlers on the team counseled wrestling camps and competed against fellow college wrestlers to continue learning and improving their skills.

“When you work at some of these camps, not only do you get to watch and teach technique, but you also are surrounded by great wrestlers who are looking for practice partners and it presents a great opportunity to learn and get better,” Fader said.