Rocket wrestlers working hard to prepare for Des Moines
By SCOTT JACKSON CNHI
Temperatures being what they’ve been this past December, it’s hard to find anyone being able to break a sweat.
Unless you’re coming out of the EddyvilleBlakesburg-Fremont wrestling room. It might be the only place in southern Iowa where kids can be dripping in sweat on a 4-degree day.
It’s not the Rocket wrestlers that will come out of the sauna-like workout room soaked after a daily workout. Head coach Brett Little is right there with his student-athletes getting to work on the mat competing like so many young men will this February at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
“I tell the guys every day I wouldn’t expect yourselves to a level I’m not willing to push myself to,” Little said. “I’m going to right there running with them, training with them. If I’m going to ask them to put out that sort of effort, I should be willing to put in as much effort myself.
“That’s what we try to show these kids as a staff. If I can still do this at 32, you (the Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont wrestlers) should be able to do it with me. Let’s do this together.”
Little is certainly a coach that exudes intensity. His team definitely follows that example. It’s not uncommon to see several Rocket wrestlers follow up a hard couple of hours in the wrestling room continuing to push each other in the workout room asking each other to do one more push up, one more curl, or one more rep with the weights.
“We’re in her working hard every day,” said Jeren Glosser, the top-ranked wrestler at 138 pounds in Class 1A. “We all want to make it to Wells Fargo Arena, but we have a lot of work to do between now and then.”
The Rockets started the year ranked second in Class 1A according to The Predicament.com’s statewide rankings, a position Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont still holds heading into the holidays right behind Alburnett. Coming off a runner-up finish in the state duals, Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont also begins the year third in the state dual rankings.
After starting the year with eight preseason top-10 wrestlers, six of which remain in the top-10 at the break, the pressure was put on Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont right from the start to be one of the best prep wrestling teams in the state this year. Those expectations are exactly what Little wants for his team as they push themselves each day to be better than the opposition.
“We started seventh or eighth last year and you can kind of sneak up on people from there. When you start the season ranked second, you’re not sneaking up on anyone,” Little said. “Everyone knows who we are, the target on our backs just got bigger, but the ibe thing our guys have to realize is they have to be prepared to take everyone’s best shot or they might not be wrestling st state.”
“Every time you go out on that mat, you have to prepare to be better than your opponent,” Glosser added. “There probably is more of a target on our backs, but it’s nothing we can’t handle.”
Besides Glosser, second-ranked Blake Marolf is back in the miix for a state title at 145 pounds after suffering a tough championship loss last year. Seniors Tucker Black (ranked third at 152) and Dillon Piglsey (ranked fourth at 182) join a new Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont teammate Tyler Foubert, a state qualifier from Tri-County/Montezuma who has joined the Rockets as the second-ranked wrestler at 160 pounds.
“It definitely been a different experience being surrounded by so many talented kids every day when I come into the practice room,” Foubert said. “It just makes you to another level. You got so many guys here that are going to encourage you and going to push you to give a little extra. It can’t help but make you better.”
Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont figures to be among several schools that will be well represented at the 2014 State Wrerstling Meet. Still, there are plenty of hours of labor and plenty of sweat to be spilled before the third full week of February rolls around.
“What other people think about us doesn’t matter. What somebody says about us in a newspaper doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is what happens within those four walls of our wrestling room every day,” Little said. “If all of our kids believe that, we’re going to be very successful again this season. If only 50 percent believe it, we won’t be back where we were last year.”