ADRIAN, Mich. -- Adrian College women's wrestling Coach Cliff Cushard said his team has a simple, yet lofty goal in the fourth year for the program.
"The main goal is to be better than last season both as a team and as individuals," he said. "We are hoping to be a top 15 team in the WCWA. The wrestlers each have their own individual goals. Quite a few of them are working to be all-Americans."
The Bulldogs will be led by seniors Haylee McCoy and Autumn Rux, but also will look to USA Wrestling U-23 World Team Trials All-American Maggie Elliot and 2016 WCWA All-American Sam Cushard. The squad is 20 strong this season with 12 freshmen and an additional three wrestlers planning to join the team in the second semester.
"Being a younger team, we're still developing," Cushard said. "We're on the right path. We are heading where we want to be. The team embodies the characteristics we expect out of a wrestler, which is hard work, tough minded and being a person of character."
Volunteer assistant coaches Dominic Adams and Kassidy Block will share some of the coaching duties this season, giving the women's wrestling program at Adrian multiple coaches for the first time in program history. Block graduated from the program in 2018 after being a team captain, an Academic All-American. She is currently employed by St. Joseph Hospital as a manager in food and nutrition services. Adams is in his third season as an assistant coach at Fenton High School. He became the Michigan USA Wrestling women's head coach in 2018 after being an assistant coach since 2014. He currently works as a reporter with MLive-The Flint Journal.
The Bulldogs begin the season on Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Emmanuel Open in Franklin Springs, Georgia.
"This is the best team we've ever had there is no doubt about that," Cushard said. "We expect to be a regular contender in the top 10. We're probably not there yet, but we're heading there."
THE BULLDOGS HEAD DOWN TO GEORGIA:
There will be 11 freshman competing for Adrian at the 10-team Emmanuel Open. A total of 17 Bulldogs will step on the mat on Saturday.
"I'm looking for the freshman to get their feet wet and see what competition is like at this level and get a taste of some success," Cushard said. "For the upperclassmen, I am looking for them to build on their successes from last year and have greater placement."
Adrian had three wrestlers place at the tournament in 2017, en route to a sixth-place finish as a team.
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