Wrestling preparing to hit the mat

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Joey Lamparelli '24 competing in his sophomore season. Courtesy of Muhlenberg Athletic Department

In recent weeks, the wrestling team has been strategizing to prepare for a successful season. The team has been training in order to progress as a whole, and to build up excitement for the start of the season. The drive, motivation and passion within the team as a whole is represented throughout preseason and will hopefully pour into the season.

Fletcher Goodman ‘25, having already tasted victory with a first place finish at the 2021 Alvernia Invitational, has his goals set on a Centennial Conference championship and seems to be striving for a trip to the NCAA Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Goodman said, “[The] wrestling season is a long grind, and we want to be doing our best wrestling at the end of the season when it counts the most. For a young team, we gained a lot of experience last season and we’re continuing to build on that. I think this year our mental preparation and just the feeling of being here before is having a big impact on the guys, you can see it in practice and the way everyone is mentally approaching this season. There’s high energy and excitement among the guys and I think that is going to be displayed this weekend and set a precedent for the whole season going forwards.”

Continuing, Goodman gave his insight into preseason training, as well as the team’s overall preparation for the upcoming season saying, “We’ve been focusing on sharpening the little details in our drilling. We had a great preseason lifting and agility program and a lot of the guys developed really well. These past few weeks we’ve been focusing on getting back into ‘wrestling shape’ and getting into good habits with our technique, making sure we establish good habits as we head into our first week of competition.” 

Goodman discusses the team’s excitement for competing in the new season, as well as the devotion that the team radiates—which will hopefully be seen within the new season. “Last season we had a lot of young talent and saw a lot of potential for what we can have this season. It’s been a long off-season of training and the boys are eager to get back on the mat and showcase the hard work that was put in during the off-season.” 

It is evident that the team’s effort to do better is prominent, as Goodman describes, “We have a lot of grit on our team and a lot of guys with great work ethic. Staying healthy and continuing to train smart throughout the season will be crucial for us.” Alongside the entire team, head coach Jason McLean has been working to push his team to be the best they can. “Coach has been pushing us hard and making sure we’re getting the maximum effort out of our workouts. Last season we may have overtrained, and injuries may have held us back. This season our workouts are a little shorter with higher intensity which has been very beneficial, and the guys

are feeling good heading into this weekend’s tournament at Alvernia,” says Goodman. The team hopes to take their season slow and stay healthy, as many strong teammates last year became sick. 

For the Mules, the overall goal of a Centennial Conference championship isn’t a pipe dream.  Recently the National Wrestling Coaches Association Preseason Division III rankings were released, and the Muhlenberg wrestlers swarmed the rankings. Joey Lamparelli ‘24 ranked eighth in Division III and second in the Mideast Region at the 125-weight class, Brandon Bowles ‘25 ranked tenth in Division III and second in the Mideast Region at the 149-weight class, Frank DiEsso ‘25 ranked second in the Mideast Region at the 133-weight class, and Anson Dewar ‘25 ranked fifth in the Mideast Region at the 174-weight class.

The wrestling team will begin their season on Saturday, Nov. 5, at Alvernia Invitational.

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