Roland Pitts leads FAMU wrestling team in points with a total of 66.95 this season

The first time Roland Pitts decided to engage in wrestling was at his home in Lemoore, Calif. What started out as just an at-home competition of brotherly love became more intense, inspiring Pitts to try out for the Liberty Middle School wrestling team. “The first year I wrestled, I was very surprised at the amount of success I had,” Pitts said. “I performed really well.”During his tenure at First Coast High School in Jacksonville, Pitts went on to become two-time district champion and state qualifier, earning all-state honors and placing sixth as a senior.He received an army scholarship from The Citadel, a military college in South Carolina, and was a preferred walk-on with the wrestling team. However, Pitts was soon faced with personal issues.Pitts was informed that his father was ill during his freshman year. Pitts then enrolled at Florida A&M University on a Training Corps scholarship and joining the varsity wrestling team. “That was a great move for me and I don’t regret it,” Pitts said. “I needed to be closer to home.” Pitts has become one of the team’s greatest threats. He is currently ranked eighth in the nation in the 197-pound weight class according, to the National Collegiate Wrestling Association poll. “Pitts is a winner,” head coach Abdul Sharif said. “His leadership and determination is very consistent.”Pitts went undefeated with a 3-0 tournament record during this year’s first annual Florida State Duals. He also leads FAMU in points with a total of 66.95 this season. Pitts credits the coaching staff for his outstanding record. “Coach Sharif and coach Snowden have really taught me better technique and how to be a great leader,” Pitts said. “They really know how to teach the sport.” Many of his teammates said that his leadership has really carried the team this season. “Pitts makes everybody step their game up,” senior Saunders Hamilton said. “He really motivates us.” Freshmen Tavarius Hicks also appreciates Pitts’ guidance and work ethic on the team. “He’s leads by example,” Hicks said. “He’s a man of encouraging words that will make you work.”Pitts has all the qualities that go into the makeup of a model student-athlete. Currently, he holds a 3.8 grade point average and is also a sergeant of Florida A&M’s ROTC program. He credits Florida A&M, as much as his own determination, for his success.“Florida A&M has definitely made me a better person,” Pitts said.