Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Club wrestling gains new coach for new season

The Alabama club wrestling team is preparing for their first year under head coach Stephen Meyer. The club team was established back when it was a Division 1A program, but because of Title IX, the club has been in and out of existence.

“Since a few guys and I have been running it, we have stayed consistent with the team,” Meyer said. “We are going on our third year with this program.”

The club team’s matches and practices are held in the Student Recreation Center in the big gym. Right now the team has no home matches scheduled, but plans to travel to different schools to compete. Their season started in November and continues through late March.

“We mostly travel to different schools in Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia,” Meyer said. “In the past we have wrestled against Middle Tennessee State University, Florida, Florida State, Florida A&M and a few smaller schools.”

Meyer wrestled while he was in school and found it hard to step away once he graduated. Transitioning from a player to the coach presents many challenges, but he said he has been enjoying the time spent preparing for this upcoming season.

“This will be my first year coaching the team and getting everything truly organized is going to be difficult,” Meyer said. “Because I was a wrestler and I am not in school anymore, I wanted to stay around and coach new wrestlers to be the best they can be.

Being a member of the team requires regular practice attendance, volunteering, attending fundraiser events and most importantly, becoming a part of the family with the rest of the men on the team.

“The attitude and atmosphere in the team is like a family,” Meyer said.  “When I was a wrestler on the team to now, I became brothers with the guys on the team who are now veterans and will be soon to be graduating either this or next year.”

Junior Michael Sapp is a part of the club team and started wrestling in high school.

“I wrestled for a couple years in high school, but I didn’t like it too much at first,” Sapp said. “It grew on me, and it’s great for fitness. It’s only you out there so every win is special.”

Meyer has many favorite memories so far from coaching and has already seen an improvement with leadership on his team from when he was a wrestler.

“So far my favorite thing about coaching is meeting the new freshmen and being able to enable structure to the team because last year, when I wrestled, we didn’t really have a coach,” Meyer said. “We all kind of coached ourselves other than having our best wrestler on the team helping us out the most. Because we were all students, it was hard to define one coach but now that I’m working and I have free time, I get most of the paper work done and let the wrestlers be the students.”

Sapp has many goals established and has really been impacted by being a part of the team.

“Wrestling here has made me more disciplined and has introduced me to a lot of good friends,” Sapp said. “I hope to be an All-American this year and I would like to be in the top 3 at the Southeastern Conference tournament.”

Meyer has high expectations for both himself and the team this season.

“Overall I want to have more wrestlers to make two full teams,” Meyer said. “I would also like us to come away with a national championship wrestler or team within the National Collegiate Wrestling Association.”

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