After a very competitive season last year, the Otterbein men’s wrestling team is looking to take the next step.
“We want to do what we have done in the past but take a step up,” said assistant coach Doug Short. Short is taking over the head coaching responsibilities while head coach Brent Rastetter recovers from an open heart surgery he had in September.
Rastetter has played a crucial part in wrestling at Otterbein and the players and the coaches are counting down the days until he gets to return to the mat.
Instead of letting the absence of their coach affect the team, they are using it for motivation. "The guys are doing it for Rastetter. They want to be ready when he comes back and be at the top of their game,” said Short.
Although last season portrayed signs of success, the team still needs to improve. Wrestling is one of the most physical sports in the world, especially at the collegiate level. The team hopes to work on their toughness and ability to make every match go the distance. Short is also looking for the best players for the previous season to show up. Austin Amens, Cale Callahan, and Kyle De Moss headline the Cardinals stacked roster. Short believes these players will have successful seasons and be leaders on the team.
Although there are only five freshmen on this seasons roster, the team as a whole is still very young. With their youth, Short is looking to the upperclassmen to lead the team. “The upperclassmen are extremely important in leading the young guys. They are all great athletes and will be great teachers for the underclassmen coming up,” he said.