According to the Wolves, they only have one speed.
“Full throttle.” said freshman Kaleb Haven. “We’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll.”
At the NWCA National Duals in Louisville, Ky. on Jan. 6, the Wolves took down the #3 McKendree University Bearcats (24-16) in the first round and #14 Upper Iowa University Peacocks (25-18) in the quarterfinals. The Wolves went on to face the top-ranked University Central Oklahoma Broncos in the Jan. 7 semi-finals and fell 47-4. Newberry went on to finish fourth in the National Duals following a third place match loss to the #5 University of Nebraska-Kearney Lopers.
Newberry is still riding the high after upsetting two nationally-ranked teams in the National Duals.
“Being able to put a closer product out on the mat in National Duals really gave us confidence and shows us that we should be the defending regional champs and conference champs,” said first year head coach Deral Brown.
Brown said the team stayed focused to achieve fourth place, which was their highest finish since 2013.
“It was just a matter of not worrying about the rankings and trusting in our training,” Brown added.
A big part of that success came from the South Atlantic Conference Carolinas (SACC) player of the week, senior Caleb Spears, who went 4-0.
“I made it about fighting through every situation that I could with maximum effort and I know if I do that, there’s nobody in the country that’s going to be able to beat me,” said Spears.
Spears said the Wolves are hitting their peak. Although that is a position that comes with pressure.
However, the reigning six-time conference champions who went undefeated for the first time in program history last year are no stranger to the expectations.
“Pressure’s a privilege,” said Spears. “I mean we got there because we’re good and we’ll continue to be good or great.”
“Everybody has a target on their back and that’s 100 percent okay,” said Haven. “But I believe that we’re going to get after it no matter who we face or who we wrestle.”
The players said they want to step it up this season.
“Conference champ, that’s great, but we’re looking to be top five nationally if not national champs,” said Spears.
“We’re all national champ-worthy it just matters how hard we work in the practice room,” said Haven. “I believe we all have the heart to do it.”
The Wolves will take this momentum into their next matchup against Allen University Jan. 20. They were supposed to host Coker Thursday, January 13, but due to COVID-19 issues within the Coker program the game has been postponed.