FAU Competes in Central Jersey &Sunshine Opens
Florida Atlantic University began it's second season of wrestling in the fall of 2005, despite setbacks of two major hurricanes, Katrina and Wilma.
The fall began with the addition of Rick Addante to the coaching staff, who will take over for Dave Sentner. Dave remains with the team; however he will be focusing primarily on traveling for his career in healthcare sales.
Addante takes the reins of the program as a first year Ph.D. student in FAU's Center for Complex Systems and Brain Science, after establishing an inaugural varsity high school wrestling program at Robbinsville High School (NJ), and graduating as a 4-year letterman for the NCAA Div. III College of New Jersey.
The pre-season began strong, as co-captains Jason Lindsey and J.C. Lingelbach fielded an eclectic team of veterans and new freshmen with experience ranging from Colorado, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and of course, the homegrown Florida boys.
Workouts were intense, but were abruptly ended by the wrath of hurricanes Katrina and Wilma. Katrina hit Boca Raton as a category 1, but closed all university functions for the week.
Just as official practices were developing later in October though, Wilma arrived with a force that Boca had not seen in some say fifty years.
FAU woke to find that the roof had been torn off its gym and practice room, and the wrestling mats reportedly ruined from the disaster. The university remained closed for almost two weeks, as South Florida struggled to recover electrical power, gas, food, and water.
The wrestling team was resilient though, and once basic essentials were restored, took right back to training for the Central Jersey Open. In preparation for such tough NCAA Div. I, II, and III competition, but still without facilities like a practice room or equipment like wrestling mats, the team still persevered.
Addante led the team through "Ancient" workouts reminiscent of the Greek and roman games of antiquity, practicing every night on the grass and dirt of the open air track. Though unconventional, the team responded extremely well, and emerged as a tougher and closer unit.
Those who made the trip to New Jersey for the season opener included freshman Zach Marion, sophomore Keishaun Mark, and the two captains Lindsey and Lingelbach. The Central Jersey Open is widely regarded as a very tough tournament against such teams as UPenn, Lehigh, Navy, Army, George Mason, Princeton, and TCNJ, among others.
In competing in their first tournament and with no mat time of practice behind them, the men still wrestled impressively. Marion opened his collegiate career with a loss to a Lehigh wrestler, which was followed by tough losses by Mark and Lingelbach.
FAU's sole victory came at the hands of Jason Lindsey in a last second ride-out against a Delaware Valley opponent. While all four wrestlers eventually saw defeat in later wrestleback rounds, they also saw fierce competition, close matches, and a tremendous learning experience upon which to base the season and their careers.
The Winter break saw Lingelbach and Keishaun Mark compete in the Sunshine Open as well. J.C. went0-2, and Mark 1-2. Others were recovering from injuries or away for the holiday break.
While losing senior Mike Roland, the spring semester will find returning national qualifier Matt Kent back at hwt. and freshman Jeff Dusek return from Ohio. The team is re-vitalized by the arrival of new mats after Wilma destroyed the old mats, and the re-opening of the wrestling room and FAU gym.
Together, FAU's wrestling team is focused on rebounding from a tough, but resilient beginning, to overcoming now with a strong finish at the peak of the season in the spring.