To cap off their team’s stunning season, two wrestlers represented the scots at the national level. Brendan Ladd (’20) and Zach Cooper (’20) both achieved status as All-Americans while at the competition in Roanoke, Virginia.
While this was a fantastic way for the two athletes to end their season, it was a long road in order to get there.
“After another great season of lifting, wrestling and grinding with my teammates; I knew my coaches, the best in DIII, had me prepared,” said Ladd.
“I finished 38-3 tying the Alma college record for most wins in a season after finishing 5th at the division three nationals,” said Cooper.
“I think besides hard work and dedication, having fun was the most important ingredient to my success,” said Cooper.
While Ladd and Cooper were two individuals who excelled at the end of their season, the whole team had a lot of work to put in all year as well.
“There isn’t a secret formula for one team or one individual. I assess the student-athletes on a priority needs basis,” said Fletcher Roberts, Assistant wrestling coach and head athletic trainer, who helped the wrestling team get into peak performance shape in order to best succeed on the mat.
As for Ladd and Cooper, being All-Americans is nothing new.
“It felt great to finish as an All-American for a second time. I didn’t finish with the result I wanted, but there were returning All-Americans who did not place this year so I’m happy to still be one of the few,” said Ladd.
“This was actually the fourth time I have earned AllAmerican honors in college,” said Cooper, who previously competed for Muskegon Community College and Grand Valley State University.
“I am happy but not satisfied with my finish, my dream, my goal and my expectation was to be a national champion for Alma College,” said Cooper.
Now that their season is over, Ladd and Cooper have the whole off-season to get ready for next year.
“With less than 365 days left in my career, I look to make very little changes in my preparation for next year’s championships,” said Ladd.
“All I can do is stay the course, continue working hard day in and day out to achieve my goals,” said Ladd.
“Next season starts today, I will be weight lifting, running, wrestling and dreaming, not necessarily in that order,” said Cooper.
“I of course could not have been as successful without the meaningful efforts taken by my teachers, coaches, teammates, and TKE brothers who helped me accomplish my goals along the way,” said Cooper.
“We must continue to work hard on and off the mat as team. As a staff, we must continue to challenge our student-athletes so that they do not become satisfied,” said Roberts.