By Kylie Garrett
What many people of the LIU community do not know is that Riggs Hall is not just a dormitory. It is also the home of the LIU Post wrestling team. Practice for the Pioneers is not like any other student athletic team at LIU. The team does not gear up and go to the Pratt Recreational Center. Rather, they head to practice in the basement of Riggs Hall.
The wrestling team has not always been around. Three years ago, the program returned to Post and the team is currently working to make the program successful in its fourth year back on campus. “We are getting better and better each year so our recruiting is getting better, and because the competition is getting stronger so are we,” Head Coach Joe Patrovich said.
Midway through their season the Pioneers’ record is currently 5-8 in dual meets this season, but according to Patrovich, their overall record is not what is important to them at this point in the season. They have an NCAA tournament in Iowa in March that they are trying to qualify for.
Some of the team’s goals this year are to compete against some of the best competition; being a Division II wrestling program they try to compete against some of the top division I teams in the country, including Purdue, Air Force, and Drexel. In the next month, they have their regional tournament in Johnstown Pennsylvania, with the hope of sending four team members to the NCAA championship. “If you get 2 you’re happy, but I think we can get 3 or 4 and that would be a great year for us,” Patrovich said.
The second string team was supposed to be wrestling in a wildcat opener on Friday, Jan. 26, but due to the budget for buses, they will be taking all of the guys three hours away to Kutztown, Pennsylvania to compete.
The Kutztown University duals begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26.