SPRING GARDEN TOWNSHIP, York County -- Take a walk inside the Spartans wrestling room and the first thing you will notice, 2019 National Champions.
“We put a lot of time into this sport. So, our ultimate goal, we might as well have it up on the wall,” said Greg Warner, York College Sr./149 wrestler.
But you won't just see that signage in one spot.
“Yeah we’re good and yeah we’re tough. We want to get better. We want to get tougher,” Hasan Alıç, York College Gr./197 wrestler.
The Spartans sent 6 wrestlers to last years national tournament.
Warner placing second in the 149 weight class.
He was the first wrestler to do so since 2006.
This year, the Spartans are returning all 6 qualifiers.
“Our coaches are always stressing to go out and have fun. Score points and the wins will come from that,” said Warner.
“Their a big reason why the culture is the way it is. Those guys, freshman year were goof balls and like to test the waters but since then have bought into the process and trust what we’re doing here,” said Duane Bastress, Spartans wrestling head coach.
Buying into a process.
Led by a former 2-time National Champion.
“If they do what I ask them. I’m going to be right there with them, workout with them to help them get there," said Bastress.
Competing for the love of the sport.
For most of these athletes, competing without an athletic scholarship.
“If you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best and that’s what factored into my decision,” said Alıç.
Their practices, on the other hand, don't start like a typical practice.
They start with a little fun.
Before sparring with a teammate, they patiently wait to be named the goose.
Meaning, a quick round of Duck, Duck, Goose or running the diamond for a little baseball.
“We just have fun. I think that’s the biggest thing. Wrestling a tough sport. Obviously cutting weight isn’t fun. So, You have to have some fun in order to succeed,” said Warner.
All of this leads to that one goal.
The Spartans have never won a national team title, but they know what it will take to make history.
“I think we all know, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. We have to pace ourselves. More important things come in February and March,” said Alıç.