With an Olympian in the room who is known for his leg sweep, you’d think that Lehigh heavyweight Zack Rey would be concentrating on that aspect of his attack.
Not so, Rey says of his workouts with Steve Mocco, who has joined the Lehigh team as a coach with the Lehigh Valley Athletic Club, Lehigh’s freestyle arm.
Rey, who finished third in last March’s NCAA Championships and is ranked No. 1 in the early season, said he’s been mainly working with Mocco to develop his hand-fighting skills. And the conditioning has been stepped up a bit.
The Lehigh junior, who didn’t wrestle until the ninth grade and then took two New Jersey state championships, said he wasn’t all that surprised that the experts tabbed him for the No. 1 spot. “I was the highest finishing All-American coming back from last year.”
Rey was 3-0 early in the season but he’s not happy with the way he’s been wrestling. “I’ve got to get myself shooting (for take-downs). It’s so boring. I have pretty good athleticism and am able to take people down. I’m pretty good on the bottom, not many people hold me down.
“My shots in the room have been awesome. I have to figure out how to get them on the mat.”
That success hasn’t been translated into taking Mocco, a four-time NCAA finalist from Oklahoma State, down in practice.
“You have to be real quick with him. If not, he’s going to front headlock you,” Rey said.
Given Rey’s skill for picking up the sport quickly, it probably won’t be long before it’s Mocco on the bottom.