The FAMU wrestling team had their 3rd annual Seminole Rattler Invitational Saturday at Gaither gymnasium. Last year, the Rattlers got 4th out of 7 teams. This year, the Rattlers came back stronger taking 1st out of 16. Head coach Abdul Sharif said consistency was the name of the game for the Rattlers.
“Most of our guys where consistent throughout the match that lead us to first place,” Sharif said.
The Rattlers took on various teams from around Florida, including Florida State University and University of Florida. Coach Sharif said he pushed his team to be aggressive and stick to the basics.
“My coach really encouraged me because of my prior injury. I have a little anxiety but he really helped me cope with it for this match,” said Amy Wong, a 19-year-old sophomore, nursing student from Fort Lauderdale. Wong was the only female to compete in Saturday’s match and she went up against much larger men.
“Anytime that I could go out and show how strong I am is good. Also to show them that I’m a pretty girl who knows how to wrestle,” Wong said.
Sharif said he was proud of Wong and her strength will get better as the team prepares for bigger challenges.
“She did very well to have been going up against all guys, she showed plenty of strength and I know she will do well in the regional,” he said.
Coach Sharif said two of his players who received first place, Brandon Jennings and Camdon Jennings did an excellent job as well.
The Rattlers said they need to incorporate more cardiovascular activity and perfect their techniques in order to do well at the regional competition.Wong said that the team’s main competition was UF, but for her it was one of her own team members.
“Personally my biggest feat was wrestling one of my teammates Matthew Lumpkins. We wrestle each other in practice, but wrestling in an actual match was fun,” Wong said.
The Rattler’s next match will be Kennesaw, Ga. “With the team coming off this first place victory, we are real eager to go and show the regional our best,” Sharif said.