With the start of the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Tournament less than 24 hours away, the nations top coaches and wrestlers came together in St. Louis for the annual pre-tournament press conference.
Among the topics of discussion were the health of PSU freshman Nick Suriano, the state of the NWCA Dual Championship Series, and the length of the season.
Notable Penn State quotes can be found below:
Sanderson on Suriano: “Yeah, well, we were trying to give him as much time as possible. And it was going to be a day-before type of decision. And we were trying to get him to a point where he would be competitive enough to compete and to protect himself. And I don't feel like he's in that position. So he's not going to wrestle.”
Sanderson on NWCA Duals: “I don't want to talk about National Duals. I think this is -- numbers speak for themselves and this was by far, Iowa kind of messed that up by having a 40-something-thousand dual meet, but overall, I think, dual meet-wise, big duals, this has to be the best year in the history of college wrestling.
The sport's growing, dual meets are important to our fans. They're important to us as coaches. They're important to the student-athletes that participate in them. And I think we agree on a lot of things.
I think it's important for the future of the sport to keep those dual meets, but getting bigger and bigger and getting them on TV. And that's what's happening right now. Just keep rolling.”
Sanderson on youthfulness of team: “It's been a great year. We've had a lot of fun, had some great dual meets. And we have just an awesome group of guys. And most of them are back.
We lose, I think, our 41-pounder. Yeah, we have some exciting years ahead of us. But this year's not over. We have as good a chance as anybody to win right now. And to win the national tournament, you've got to wrestle great. If we wrestle great, we're going to win. If Ohio State wrestles great, they'll win. Oklahoma State. Iowa. So that's fun. That's what we want. So we're not looking forward to next year yet.”
Retherford on Suriano: “We're here for Nick. It sucks. It's not where he wants to be right now for sure. He wants to be competing. That's his competitive drive. But we're all here for him, and we still have stuff to do without him, but we're here for him, and we're excited to compete.”
Retherford on his progression: “Yeah, I think I've learned a lot this past, since last year, just about my style and just adding things, always adding things to your wrestling.
You have to. You have to keep growing and learning. So I guess everywhere I've been trying to add new things, trying new things and matches if I can. And I guess that's the way I've grown and mentally as well, being a little more patient. Being patient but still scoring at the same time.”