The following is an open letter to SCSU wrestling fans and followers from head coach Steve Costanzo.
As we start the 2020-21 school year and complete the first week of classes, I thought it would be appropriate to recap and pass along what we currently know about our upcoming season!
It’s hard to believe that almost six months ago to the day, we shut down our training rooms on campus ending the 2019-20 season. Not only did we miss our NCAA championship tournament, but we also missed recognizing this team’s amazing run and last year’s senior class. Unfortunately, we won’t get the championship back nor will those athletes get relief from the NCAA to get that season back. However, we were able to provide a virtual season recap, recognize top performances, and hear from our seniors regarding their careers as Huskies. It was very important for us to recognize these young men and this team. They were much more deserving of their accomplishments than a virtual presentation, but we tried to make the best of it.
Going forward, we have not been back in the Huskies Strength and Conditioning Center and wrestling facility since March 11, and as a staff, we have yet to conduct a team workout. Currently, our team is under strict COVID-19 guidelines and university policies. If everything goes well, we are expecting to get back into some-what of a training mode on Tuesday, September 8. It will be nice to be together again and train as a team!
Fortunately, due the circumstances, many of our guys continued their training at off-campus sites during the shut-down. They were all on their own and had the opportunity to follow a strength & conditioning program or training of their choice. A special thanks to all who made accommodations for our student-athletes over these uncertain times.
Moving forward, we have a lot to do from a wrestling standpoint and we will get to work on that starting in September. At this point, we will not start our 2020-21 competition season until Jan. 1. That is the plan for now and we will adjust if need be. So, this year will be a much shorter season, as the NCAA championships will still take place in Birmingham, AL during the second weekend of March as usual.
We will be working to put together a schedule for January and February that will include mostly conference dual meets. It is very likely that we will not be attending any opens competitions. We do not know what crowd capacity will be at our home matches, but will keep all of you posted. The next months of the pandemic will determine a lot of university decisions. My continued hope is for all of our student-athletes be to granted a competitive opportunity this year.
Since our squad is over forty-plus, we will scheduling a few intra-squad events on campus when permissible. I have always liked a big roster and a competitive atmosphere. Depth has always been one of our key advantages and this year is no different. Our young men will be prepared come January, as we will make sure we simulate a challenging environment and overcome all obstacles.
Recruiting efforts on- and off-campus has been anything but easy. We have not been allowed to recruit off-campus and no official visits have been permitted due to an NCAA dead period – tentatively until Sept 30, 2020. Although, we are doing our best to accommodate un-official visits for prospective student-athletes. Despite that, we got one great verbal commitment from the 2021 senior class. We will sign new Huskies in November, and continue pounding the trail to make this program the best it can be.
In closing, I will be sure to keep you all update this semester. My guess is, things will continue to change weekly and often. Stay safe and we hope to see you on the mats very soon!
– Head Coach Steve Costanzo