HARTSVILLE, S.C. (WMBF) - The wrestling mats in Coker College's gymnasium have seen a great deal of work over the last few months, as the Cobra wrestling team is in the home stretch of its first season ever.
"It has its unique opportunities," said Coker coach Cy Wainwright. "But I will say, the chance to be a bricklayer of the initial foundation of a program is a tremendous opportunity."
Though results have been impressive. This group that is together for the first time ever is sporting a 5-3 mark so far this season, thanks to some natural leadership from experienced wrestlers that have stepped up.
"Being an older guy, and knowing freshmen that haven't wrestled in college, I kind of want to show them the ropes a little bit," said junior Charlie Huff, a transfer from Washington Community College in New Jersey. "But it's new for me too. It's a new program and (I'm) seeing how it is run."
But regardless of experience on the mat, the Cobras know what it takes to succeed.
"It's a lot different from high school," said Mikel Nelson, a freshman wrestler and former Socastee Brave. "(We) train a lot harder, lift weights a lot more. That's how it goes. Keep training hard like we always do. Progressively getting better."
"It's wrestling," said Huff. "You're training just like anyone else that you see week in and week out."
And this team's expectations are as high as possible
"I think the next thing we need to do is get some guys to the national tournament," Wainwright explained. "I think we need some guys on the national level to have some exposure, and get them up there and help them realize we can compete at any level."