The FAMU Wrestling team finished third at the Mercer Duals tournament Saturday, in Macon, Ga.
Led by Head Coach Thomas White and assistant coach Hubert Poulard, the FAMU wrestling program is in its third year of competition.
The team faced schools from across the Southeast including Auburn, Georgia and Middle Tennessee State.
White said he was proud of the performance of his wrestlers and expects to win future tournaments.
The coaching staff was very impressed by their team’s efforts.
“We were picked to not place at all. Our guys came in with a different attitude. I was thoroughly impressed,” White said.
Abdul Sharif, Chaka Hardemon and Hubert Poulard were recognized for their wrestling performances.
Both Sharif and Hardemon are freshman wrestlers who performed exceptionally well at the Mercer Duals tournament.
According to Poulard, Hardemon showed his immense progress that contributed to his team finishing third in the tournament.
Poulard, a junior from Miami, showed an impressive display of his abilities as a wrestler and a leader.
In order to help his team finish third, Poulard bumped up to the 235 pound weight class while only weighing in at 195.
Although placing in this tournament was an accomplishment, the program will be competing in other events and tournaments to prepare for the Feb. 26 regional tournament in Macon.
Up to this point, money has been raised for the program, but the funding is not comparable to that of other Florida schools. University of Central Florida Head Coach Johnny Rouse told White his school receives approximately $30,000 a year in funding from its student government and the National Collegiate Wrestling Association.
Recently, FAMU and Florida State University temporarily joined forces to excel both schools’ wrestling programs.
Working together will make the transaction of becoming an established program easier for both schools.
Using resources from both universities has had a tremendous effect on how well both wrestling programs are doing. In time, however, both programs plan to go their separate ways.
Poulard, said that in order to maintain membership in the NWCA the wrestling program will need financial help from the University. The program is also looking for new sponsors to assist the team with equipment.
Students who are interested in participating in the program can contact White at (850) 322-8771 or Poulard at (850) 980-4000.