The Florida A&M wrestling is bringing experience and newfound dedication to the table in pursuit of a championship.
Brandon Jennings, third year wrestler from Tampa Fla., said the team is adjusting to the new ways of a new head coach.
“We are the same team under new leadership; we are working very hard for coach Snoweden,” he said.
The team is led by returning All-American Captains Roland Pitts and Saunders Hamilton
“We are hungry and it shows no matter young, new or old we all want it and we are out to prove that we belong in the same mat as anyone we match up against,” Jennings said.
Even though the season is a more than a month away, the wrestlers are training hard to prepare themselves for the journey ahead. Many of the athletes get up as early as five in the morning to run, lift weights and diet.
The players have an intimate bond with the sport, losing sleep and giving up the majority of their weeknights to get into top shape while having to go to class, practice and maintain grades.
A wrestling match is seven minutes. The matches, although brief, are extremely taxing to even the newest wrestler.
Off the mat, Camdon Jennings, another third-year wrestler from Tampa still endures a rough schedule.
“I get up about 6:30 in the morning,” he said. “I run about two miles each morning before class. The last one thousand feet or so I sprint I go all out giving it all I have left so when it’s match time my body won’t break down when fatigue sets in.”
Jennings is returning to the squad after taking a year off. He is all about business and he is letting it be known that he is out for a championship.
The wrestling team will face stiff competition this year from interstate rivals Florida State University, University of South Florida and University of Central Florida.
Head coach Reggie Snoweden said the team will improve over last year’s records.
“Its only the preseason workouts but the guys are training and working hard as if the middle of the season,” said Snowedan.
This is also the first year the team will partake in the Citadel open.
Snoweden said the team is mainly intact but is always looking for new guys to come out.
Interested prospects should attend practice. Practices are held Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from six through eight in the aerobics room in the Hansel E. Tookes Recreational center.