True Freshmen Enjoying Transition to College Level
AMES, Iowa - True freshmen on the Iowa State wrestling team are enjoying all the new college perks, on the mat and academically.* The Cyclones brought in 14 freshmen for the 2010-2011 season.* Their wrestling potential at Iowa State is just one thing about which Cyclone fans can get excited.
"They just have to get used to the volume, the work load, and how hard we train at the college level," said Iowa State wrestling head coach Kevin Jackson. "But, all-in-all I am happy with where they are at and the direction they are going.* We expect them to continue getting better."
The transition from high school to college for all freshmen wrestlers calls for great determination and love for the sport.* College wrestling focuses on perfecting all the techniques and fundamentals learned in high school.* Not many collegiate freshmen wrestle their first year on campus.
Iowa State's 125-pound Brandon Jones is one of the exceptions.*
Jones has had the opportunity to compete on the mat multiple times.* He got his first Iowa State career win at 133 pounds against Sean Collins from Kent State on Nov. 6.
"There is a huge difference on the wrestling mat compared to high school," Jones said.* "You have to tighten all of your skills and techniques.* You can't make any mistakes."
True freshmen take advantage of practice time as much as they can.* They are practicing with nationally ranked teammates and a highly experienced and accomplished head coach.
"Coach Jackson is knowledgeable, I feel every day I go to practice I get better and learn so much more," said Ryak Finch.
Finch came to Iowa State from Safford, Ariz. where he ended his high school career at 208-2 and in 2009 was considered the top 119-pound wrestler in the nation by Amateur Wrestling News.
The young wrestler has had many accomplishments, although knows he still has much to learn about the sport.
"Jon Reader and Andrew Sorenson are two guys I'd say I look up to in the room," Finch said.* "I see what they do when they are lifting and running drills, and I make sure I'm doing the same thing."
This is an important time for the newcomers to prepare for the upcoming seasons.
"I am working hard and listening to my coaches to prepare for the next few years," said Kyven Gadson.
Gadson is the son of former Iowa State All-American, Willie Gadson.
At Waterloo East High School, Gadson Sr. coached his son to back-to-back undefeated seasons en route to a pair of state titles at 171 and 189 weight classes, respectively.
The freshman class is building for the future.
"I do see a lot of potential in the freshmen class," Jackson said.* "We have a couple holes we still need to fill, but I think the class we brought in is excellent and I'm confident a few of them will have on a Iowa State singlet as a redshirt freshman next year."
Cyclone wrestling fans have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming seasons.** The true freshman have demonstrated their championship potential.