OSU Wrestling heads to the east coach hoping to turn the corner

Mitchell Monge, Multimedia Contributor

As the Oregon State University wrestling team gets set to face off against No. 11 Rutgers, one man, in particular, has confidence his team can turn it around in the latter half of the season.

Redshirt senior Joey Palmer, one of three nationally ranked individuals on the team, is ready to help his team get back on the winning track.

“I think we’re going to pick it up,” said the 133-pounder. “I think we’re starting to turn the corner, and I’m getting excited. We’re making some changes; it’s gonna be fun.”

The Beavers (2-4) left for the East Coast Wednesday morning for meets with nationally ranked Rutgers (7-2) on Friday and previously ranked Drexel (7-4) on Saturday. Both provide solid tests for a young team that has not performed well recently.

“I mean it’s just one of those things where we gotta wrestle better in the middle weights, you know we didn’t wrestle well the last meet. We got way behind,” said coach Jim Zalesky. “(We) gave up 19 points until we got on the board, so you know we gotta be more ready to wrestle and pick it up at certain weight classes.”

That has to be the plan for the Beavers going forward. Redshirt junior Cody Crawford, who is also nationally ranked, has been performing well recently. However, Crawford wants to focus on wrestling rather than rankings.

“Rankings don’t really mean anything when it comes down to it,” said Crawford. “You gotta wrestle everybody the same and be ready to go.”

This true grit seems to be a mantra for a team looking to turn their season around.

“A lot of times you just gotta find ways to win,” Zalesky said. “It’s tough matches you gotta compete and win those tough matches.”

Zalesky also stressed the importance of winning on the road, and the East Coast and time change shouldn’t be any different.

“Hey, we’re used to it. You know we train for it, so it doesn’t matter,” said Zalesky. “Doesn’t matter where it’s at, it’s a wrestling mat. You gotta compete the same way whether you’re here or there.”

According to Palmer, if the Beavers want to turn the tide, they must go back to the fundamentals.

“I think we just gotta stick to our basics,” said Palmer. “Make sure that we’re doing all the little things right, and we’ll do pretty good in dual (meets).”

Palmer continued to say that he hoped other guys could get in the winning groove and help boost the team. He wants them to wrestle the rest of the season by practicing “good habits” and getting the “little things right.”

The matches at Rutgers and Drexel both start at 4 p.m. PT on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

After the road trip, the Beavers face Pac-12 foe Stanford in a dual meet at Gill Coliseum. Stanford (5-2) is currently ranked 21st nationally. The match will start at 7 p.m. and will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network.

Was this article helpful?