Another wrestling season is off to a start for the Scarlet Knights as they downed their first opponent of the year by outlasting Hoftsra in a riveting 22-21 victory. This year's roster is laden with underclassmen, although a fifth-year senior is helping to ease those younger wrestlers through their transition.
Dan Seidenberg added a key victory at 184-pounds and the fifth-year senior is looking forward to his final run in scarlet.
"I am excited. It's my last season here so I want to make it count," Seidenberg said. "I have been wrestling since I was six years old so it's the end of the road here. I don't want to have any regrets and just make sure I do everything right."
Seidenberg was the only RU senior to wrestle against Hofstra and one of only two upperclassmen to take the mat.
"We have a lot of young guys so that kind of put us on the radar a little bit. But that win let us make a statement to let people know we are here and we're ready to go," said Seidenberg, who finished with a 10-13 record last year.
All that youth adds a bit of a different dynamic to this year's squad.
"There is a big transition going from high school to college wrestling," Seidenberg said. "The young guys are kind of relying on guys like me who have been through it to kind of show them the ropes. So I am just leading by example and showing them what this program is about."
It is a Rutgers program that has gone 104-34-1 under head coach Scott Goodale over the last six seasons.
"I think the biggest thing for us is to just make improvements each day and then set bigger goals for ourselves," Seidenberg said. "If this team can build confidence, we have the potential to do some big things this year."
With so many young grapplers, the move to the Big Ten next year may have come at a good time for a Rutgers program that is in a bit of a rebuilding year.
"It's perfect for the freshmen who will have a year of college wrestling under their belts before they go into the Big Ten. I think it works to their advantage to get the experience," Seidenberg said. "Next year they will be more prepared for the best conference in college wrestling."
The move to the Big Ten will have come a year too late for Seidenberg, whose eligibility will be all used up at the end of this season.
"It would have been cool to go into the Big Ten, but I am excited that these younger guys are going to be able to experience it. It's big for the program so I am happy about that."