Third Ranked CSN Wrestlers Denied Trip to Nationals
As the NCWA wrestling championships came to a close this weekend, the College of Southern Nevada wrestling team could only watch and think about what might have been. The Coyotes, ranked third nationally among NCWA Division 2 teams, were denied a chance to compete when their club advisor decided at the last minute not to accompany them on their trip the West Coast Conference Tournament in Riverside, California. CSN requires club advisors to attend all events, and the administration was not willing to consider any alternatives to allow the team to compete.
Head Coach Steve Hart, who also teaches Biology at Silverado High School, was disgusted with the situation. “The whole thing stinks. Some of these kids have been training since last July for the opportunity to be an All-American, and then the rug gets pulled out from under them like this. We were notified less than 48 hours before the entry deadline, so there was no way to make other plans.” It has been an ongoing struggle to keep the wrestling program alive at CSN as the team was denied any funding from the school senate and had to find its own practice facility. Nevertheless, the wrestlers kept their hopes alive that all the hard work would pay off.
The Coyotes were hoping to build on their momentum after winning the West Coast Conference Dual Meet Championships in February, and make a serious run at California Baptist in the West Coast Conference individual tournament. With CSN sitting at home, Cal Baptist won the NCWA Division 1 National Championships, held this weekend in Allen, Texas.
Team president Kory Koryakos echoed Coach Hart’s sentiments. “We worked hard all year, paid the school thousands of dollars in tuition, and then they pull this stuff on us.” Now we lose a year of college eligibility with nothing to show for it.”
The future of the program is now on hold. “I was told that the student senate would review the situation over the summer, but the feeling is that it is too much trouble to have club sports teams,” added Coach Hart. “It’s a shame because there are no other collegiate wrestling teams in Nevada and there is a lot of interest. Hopefully one of the other schools in the area will be open to sponsoring a team next year so these kids can continue their athletic careers right here in Las Vegas.”
CSN Wrestlers Take Title
The College of Southern Nevada wrestling team withstood a furious comeback attempt By Dixie State College in the last dual meet of the day to win the team title in the West Coast Duals, held at Syndicate MMA in Las Vegas. The Red Storm defeated CSN 39-21, but it was not enough to catch the Coyotes, who built up an early lead with lopsided wins over the University of Southern California and the University of Utah. The Coyotes hope to keep their momentum rolling heading into next week's NCWA West Coast Regional Championships at Cal Baptist University in Riverside, California.
Dual Meet Scores
CSN 54, Utah 12
Dixie State 41, USC 10
CSN 50, USC 12
Dixie State 42, Utah 6
USC 30, Utah 6
Dixie State 39, CSN 21
Dixie State 122
CSN Wrestlers Prepare For Nationals
Starting a collegiate wrestling program from scratch can be a daunting task. When several students at the College of Southern Nevada decided to form a wrestling club, there were many obstacles to overcome. The local youth wrestling organization tried to stop them from organizing, the school’s athletic department put the team on hold while waiting for NJCAA approval, and the Student Senate disbanded the team for not filing copies of the minutes from team meetings.
With no funding and no wrestling mat, head coach Steve Hart kept the team working out so they would be prepared for competition when the opportunity came. “We just took things one step at a time.” Hart explained. "We got a huge break finding a top level workout facility. The school district wanted a ridiculous amount of money to rent a high school room. We probably wouldn’t have a team if it wasn’t for Syndicate MMA.”
Hart approached John Wood and Jason Hallikainen, the owners of Syndicate MMA, formerly Throwdown Training Center, to ask about sponsoring the team. “John and Jason and all of the Syndicate MMA staff have been amazing. We have full use of the workout facility and a nice mat room to practice in. Syndicate’s level of instruction in all of the martial arts is so high that it’s very motivating just to be in the gym.”
The team is now poised to finish the season strong heading into this weekend’s West Coast Dual Meet Championships and the NCWA West Coast Conference Individual Championships, March 2nd at Cal Baptist University. That event is a qualifier for the NCWA National Championships in Allen, Texas, March 14-16, where the CSN wrestlers will have an opportunity to reach their goal of being a collegiate All-American.
“The team is working hard every day.” says Hart. “We still don’t have any money for uniforms or travel to nationals, but we don’t let that bother us. We feel if we prepare for success it will all work out somehow.”