ORONO – It is one of the most dominant teams club wrestling world, but its one you may not even know about.
Maine club wrestling is littered with All-Americans and is the defending D-II club champ, but the same success won’t come as easy in 2017.
“Hey now that we’re D-I we got to take it to the next level, we’re not the same old D-II team,” head coach Josh Pelletier said.
The expectations are high for the defending D-II club national champions, but now they are entering uncharted territory after moving to D-I.
“Bigger teams they have full lineups they have kids on scholarships. They have their own wrestling rooms we have to come to the rec center which is great facility but these teams that we’re going to go against have full time wrestling rooms which is phenomenal,” wrestler River Robertson said.
In collegiate sports, no matter the level, the roster is cyclical. Players come and go, but the coach is usually a mainstay.
Not for the Black Bears, in fact they’ve never had a permanent coach.
But with one major change, comes another.
“What’s exciting is to have a coach that’s going to be as dedicated as I am going to be to them to see what kind of leaps and bounds they’re going to make over the course of one season,” Pelletier said.
Pelletier, a Foxcroft Academy alum, has been brought in as the team’s first full time head coach in club history, something they say will help them reach a new level of success.
“It gives us a steady coach that comes in every day and holds us accountable has workout schedule you know drills, he’s a great coach,” Robertson said.
The new look Black Bears are still a few weeks away from their first tournament, but make no mistake, they’ll be ready to challenge some of the top programs in the country.