Florida A and M University wrestlers Rickey Carter and Clif Decius were qualifiers for the National Collegiate Wrestling Association’s National Championships in Allen, Texas.
Ocala Forest’s 2011 State Champion wrestler Rickey Carter, earned All-American honors and finished in seventh place in the 2015 NCWA National Championships 285-pound weight class.
Carter, a junior wrestler defeated Middle Tennessee State University’s Rashied Rayford who was last year’s National Runner-Up in a grueling 4-2 match in sudden death overtime for seventh place.
Carter spoke about how he won the match shot and, he also touched on getting FAMU’s wrestling program notoriety.
“I saw an opportunity and I took it,” Carter said. “The students fight for the school to get FAMU’s wrestling program recognized at a national level and the coaches fight for us to have a program and to get us to tournaments and trips so we can be prepared to for nationals.”
Since 2002, the FAMU Wrestling Team has had at least one wrestler qualify for the NCWA’s National Championship Tournament every year. Despite only having two competing wrestlers this season, the FAMU Wrestling Team placed 43rd out of 86 teams in the in NCWA’s National Rankings.
Head FAMU Wrestling Coach Thomas White is proud of all the hard work and dedication that all of his wrestlers invested in their education and sport this semester.
“The entire FAMU wrestling team and dedicated volunteers worked very hard to make the national championship possible through their fundraising efforts and wrestling intramural events,” White said.
FAMU Wrestling Assistant Coach Frederick Simmons says that he is also proud of Rickey, not only for his wrestling accomplishment, but also for his growth transferring from TCC to FAMU.
“I am proud of Rickey’s maturity not only in the classroom but also on the mat with his commitment to cardio and conditioning,” Simmons said.
Clif Steven Decius is a North Miami High School alumnus and a NCWA’s National Championship qualifier this season as a FAMU freshman. Decius ended this season with 3 winning matches and 2 losing matches and was a match shy of All-American honors in the 197-pound weight class.
In the fall of 2014, Decius was a FAMU Football team walk-on and plans to join the team this upcoming season. Although disappointed about this seasons wrestling turn out, Decius hopes to press forward.
“I will use my experiences on the wrestling mat as an anchor, to catapult me in my football career,” Decius said.
The FAMU Wrestling Team is hosting a NCWA Championship Banquet on April 8, 2015, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Hansel E. Tookes Sr. FAMU Student Recreational Center and the event is open to the public. Banquet Guests include; FAMU President Elmira Mangum, Bob Carroll, NCWA National Championship competing teams, the FAMU Wrestling team, the Florida State Wrestling team, the Tallahassee Wrestling Club, volunteers and others. All proceeds go to the FAMU Wrestling Program. For Ticket information contact: (305) 781-0414.