Scott Goodale believes in his Rutgers wrestling program and that the program could be poised for their best season yet. And given the success of the Scarlet Knights in recent years on the mat, that’s saying something.
Rutgers comes into the season ranked as the No. 14 dual team in the nation by InterMat (and the No. 15 tournament team) with FloWrestling pegging Rutgers as No. 14 in the nation. Five wrestlers come into the season ranked with Sebastian Rivera (133/141) and John Poznanski (184) each earning consensus top-five rankings.
So of course, it was understandable that the first question during Goodale’s media availability this week was if this was the best team he’s had since taking over Rutgers in 2007.
“I mean, on paper, right? On paper, we’ve always had some really good teams with some incredible credentials. And we actually started I think my second year we had the No. 3 recruiting class in the country, right? So, on paper, there’s always been some really good teams and I just think the reason why I think this could be our best team, is because there’s a lot of belief of what can happen at the National Tournament,” Goodale told reporters this week.
“It’s no longer ‘I want to make the National Tournament.’ It’s no longer ‘I hope to make the starting lineup….I want to have a really good season, I can’t wait to wrestle in front of the RAC crowd’… it’s not about that. It is about winning matches at the National Tournament and getting on the podium and placing as high as possible. That’s what it’s about from an individual standpoint with our guys, and then there’s a lot more focus on the team. What can we do for this program? So that’s maybe my reason for the optimism. And I’ve seen them train all summer long, so it’s kind of why I feel that way.”
Rutgers opens the season with a home quad that features Binghamton, Cleveland State and New Jersey City University. The quad will be held at the Rutgers Athletic Center on Nov. 7.