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Going To The Mat With Hofstra University's Wrestling Squad

College SportsMusicColleges and UniversitiesHofstra PrideNCAA

Long ago when I was at university, a friend asked me why I, an avid theater and classical music buff, also followed collegiate wrestling.  I thought about it for a moment, and then I replied: 

No matter which team you support, wrestling is about man against the elements.  It's you facing your destiny.  It's you trying to get what you want within the course of 6 to 10 minutes.  If you win, you take all the credit.  If you lose, you have only yourself to blame.   Every actor and musical soloist faces the same terror.  We all face that terror whether we wrestle or not.  But I have always admired those who can go to the mat, wrestle destiny with dignity and determination, accept their defeats gracefully and revel in their victories graciously. 

Hofstra's Pride just completed their 11th winning season out of the past 12 years.  They have two All-Americans this season.  Recently, I took Nathan Kamp, who wrestled in college, to spend an afternoon with The Pride's Head Coach Rob Anspach and four of his top players.   He also went to the mat with heavyweight Ben Clymer. 

The story barely scratches the surface in exploring the finer points of a sport that may seem brutal but actually is about as devoid of violence as any sport can be.  It is a pursuit that builds character, that forces you to take the lead and to develop a sense of how to go about it. 

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