Club & Greek

Wrestlers Want to Wrestle, and They Will!

WrestlersThe referee’s whistle blows, and the match is underway. Two men, staring with intensity, vying to take the other down to the ground. Or, that’s what would happen, but Monmouth currently doesn’t have a Wrestling Team.

That’s partially the reason for the newly formed Wrestling Club, a group of about 12 men who believe the deep history of wrestling in New Jersey should be preserved.

Kyle Wavro, a junior political science student and the second President of the club, said, “The overall goal of this club is spread the wrestling culture of New Jersey…It’s crazy that an area such as Monmouth with interest so high, that we’ve never had a team or even a club before.”

He’s not wrong. From 1928 to 2011, New Jersey had 142 All American Individuals and 42 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) titles. New Jersey universities have remained in contention nationally throughout the past 10 years. New Jersey also had the first women’s collegiate team form last year, and also had the first all-female bout in a tournament earlier this year.

The Wrestling Club was formed in May 2019 by sophomore business student Soso Chakiashvili, who started the club out of passion for the sport. Chakiashvili said, “I formed this club because I wanted to give Monmouth University students a chance to be part of this incredible sport.  A wrestling club was something that I wanted to be part of when I was a freshman.”

The Wrestling Club currently has a partnership with Triumph Wrestling Club in Ocean, where they meet every Friday at 3:15 p.m. Triumph is owned by trainer Nick Roy, a former two-time New Jersey state champion and NCAA Division All-American. Triumph has also trained eight high school state champions, and numerous place-winners.

The club aims to set up matches recreationally and intramurally, but hopes to participate in local tournaments. Wavro said, “We’ve had plenty of interest shown (in competition). We’ve had county colleges express interest in wrestling us, other notable like college clubs, but we don’t have a sure enough roster yet. As soon as we build up, we could start doing matches like that. For the imminent future, we’re looking to do open tournaments to get our experience up, but as soon as we get a solid roster up, it’s off to the races.”

One competition the club is looking towards is the Mid Atlantic Wrestling Association (MAWA) tournament. Primarily a high school tournament, there is also an open division to college athletes and coaches.

The club is open to both newcomers and experienced men and women looking to practice, learn, or spar with other Monmouth students.

Andres Camacho, a junior communications and political science student and Vice President of the club, hopes to see the club grow more than just a recreational club. He said, “Over the past five year or so, it’s become a trend for talented high school wrestlers to choose to stay in state for their collegiate campaigns. Guys have been gravitating towards Rutgers, Rider, and Princeton. That’s important when considering the goal of wrestling club which is understating that there is a high interest in college wrestling in New Jersey where it’s available and we have to keep creating opportunities to showcase that.”

Camacho said, “With that said, Monmouth Wrestling club has attracted both experienced wrestlers and first time guys seeking to take advantage of a club that can develop their skills while catering to their pace.”

Be sure to follow the Wrestling Club on Instagram @Monmouthwrestling for practice footage, match updates, and more! With your interest and support, maybe this group of passionate wrestlers will become a team.

IMAGE TAKEN from @Monmouthwrestling