A brand-new training venue provides the John Carroll University wrestling team a new home as they kick off the 2009-10 season.
The Blue Streaks now have a state of the art facility to improve and hone their skills.
The renovation occurred in the space formerly known as the gym annex. The space is now named the David R. Meuse Wrestling Room, located just above the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center.
Meuse, a graduate from the JCU class of 1967 and the room’s namesake, said in a statement that he contributed to the wrestling program because of the influence it had on his life.
“My education at John Carroll has served me so well, not only in business, but also in my community work. I have a strong belief in value-oriented leadership, focusing on family, community and business.
“I learned those values at John Carroll. I was happy to be part of the original wrestling team at John Carroll and to be coached by Tony DeCarlo,” said Meuse.
The new facility is two stories high. It features a cardiovascular platform stocked with 12 cardiovascular machines, 12 wrestling circles, climbing ropes, a sound system, film room and a temperature controlled heating and cooling system.
It is a benefit to the team that the cardio and mat work will be able to be done in the same room. The entire project cost about $425,000 dollars.
“A dream come true,” said head coach Kerry Volkmann about the new practice facility.
“There were a great many former wrestlers who have remained close to our program at John Carroll that realized what the needs were with regard to a proper training facility,” said Volkmann. “I am proud to say that the entire project was funded by alumni, friends and generous donors.”
After finishing last season with an overall record of 10-6 and 3-3 in the Ohio Athletic Conference, the team enters this season with optimism.
It is an extremely young team that could potentially have eight freshmen in the starting lineup.
“I am excited about the kids we have in the room. A big thing for the team will be depth,” said Volkmann. “Staying healthy for the entire season will be important for our success.”
This season, the team will turn to the leadership of senior Ben Adams to set the tone.
Adams is a two-time All-OAC Champion and a two-time Division III national qualifier.
“Ben Adams is one of the best in the country and we are thinking this may be his year,” said Volkmann. “Ben is coming into the season healthy for the first time and got off to a great start at the first tournament taking first place in his weight class.”
The Blue Streaks have only the National Catholic Tournament under their belt this season and Adams won his weight class while the team placed fifth.
The team has adapted to the new training facility well. The team hopes that with the favor the donors did for them, they can return the favor with an OAC Championship.
“Knowing all of the money funding the project came from alumni and donors who care about the program, it really raises the bar for the team and makes us strive and work even harder for a championship,” said Adams.