Coach mulls lineup for road tests
Joey Langel has never been to West Virginia, but that did not stop the senior 125-pounder from having fun with people he knows who attend the school.
“It should be interesting. I hear they have a great wrestling room, but being from Jersey I always make fun of the kids that go to West Virginia,” Langel said jokingly.
While the Mountaineers’ young roster and 1-6 dual meet record might also be laughable, the Rutgers wrestling team still has to deal with not suffering a letdown coming off of its historic 17-16 victory Jan. 18 against Lehigh.
“It’s important to just keep feeding off of that energy and to not let our heads get too big but to just keep progressing and to keep getting better,” Langel said. “We need to look back at the mistakes we made in those matches even though we won and just keep getting better.”
The Scarlet Knights left yesterday afternoon for a two-match swing beginning today against West Virginia. They then travel to Annapolis, Md., to take on Navy in an EIWA matchup.
The Midshipmen figure to be the tougher of the two opponents, as they enter following a 22-18 upset Jan. 19 of then-No. 23 Maryland.
If anyone wants to avoid a letdown, it is head coach Scott Goodale, who said the Knights’ remaining matches are pivotal for EIWA Tournament seeding.
Since Goodale took over the program in 2007, Rutgers is 4-1 against Navy, but the two programs’ last meeting resulted in a 19-19 tie at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. Thanks to their 37-33 advantage in total match points, the Knights prevailed.
“Obviously every time we wrestle them it is a really good match,” Goodale said. “They are one of the big ones on our schedule. They are well conditioned and well coached and have 10 really good guys, so that will be a tremendous challenge for us.”
Goodale has plenty of experience with the Midshipmen, and he said this year’s installment of the series features the Knights at full strength.
Goodale said Dan Seidenberg is the only question mark as he decides whether to rest the junior 197-pounder.
If he does so, freshman 197-pounder Hayden Hrymack will take his place in the lineup.
“Seidenberg is kind of a hit or miss right now,” Goodale said. “‘Do we rest him? Do we give him a little bit of a break after [the Lehigh match]?’ But other than that, he is our only question mark right now.”
Rutgers also has to deal with a six-hour bus drive to West Virginia and the subsequent trip to Navy.
Langel said the team’s trips can get tiring at times, but for a chance to go 7-0 in the EIWA and pick up a victory against the Mountaineers, he is all for it.
“A little bit,” Langel said. “But the coaches do a good job with it. We always make sure we get some type of workout in after we travel to get our bodies moving again so they’re not stiff, but it comes with the sport, it comes with wrestling.”
For updates on the Rutgers wrestling team, follow Bradly Derechailo on Twitter @BradlyDTargum.