SCSU Wrestling: Building Champions On and Off the Mat [VIDEO]
ST. CLOUD -- The St. Cloud State Huskies wrestling team is off to a great start this season after winning the Division II National Championship in 2015.
Last season's title is the first national championship ever won in any sport by SCSU, but head coach Steve Costanzo says the team is strictly focused on this season.
"The past is the past and the future is now," Costanzo says. "What we talk about is being a great team -- right now I think we're a good team, but we really want to be a great team by the end of this year."
Costanzo, a four-time NSIC Coach of the Year, led the team to three straight 2nd place finishes between 2011-2013 before finally breaking through last year and says expectations have never been higher.
"This group of guys has seen the highest of highs and some of the lowest of lows in collegiate wrestling," Costanzo says. "But maturity-wise, I think they're at a state right now that's to our advantage -- they understand what it takes to be the best."
"Our team is just a bunch of grinders and if we can keep moving forward, I think that we should be able to make it happen again," says redshirt sophomore Jarred Oftedahl. "I see us winning three more titles -- that's what I want and I know that's what everybody's goal is here."
Costanzo is in his 10th season as head coach at SCSU and says the current team may be the deepest and most talented, but they have a long way to go before hoisting another championship trophy.
"We're capable of being winning another National Championship, but we certainly haven't wrestled to that level yet," Costanzo says. "We have a lot of work to do between now and that national tournament."
The Huskies' are currently 8-1 as they head into this weekend's match ups with Minnesota State-Moorhead (5-4) and Northern State (5-7). The NCAA Division II National Championship tournament will be held March 11th-12th in Souix Falls.
Along with success on the mat, Costanzo says the program is just as committed to molding their wrestlers to be successful in other parts of life.
"Our motto here is 'building life champions'," Costanzo says. "That's really what we're all about, it's not just putting them on the mat to win wrestling matches but I really want them to be the very best that they can be in everything that they do."