By: Collin Frazier
Findlay Roughneck completes perfect season with a national title and G-MAC award
During the weekend of March 12, The Findlay Wrestling team concluded their 2021 season with the NCAA Division II. With 23.5 points, the Roughnecks ended in 12th place. Along with that success, senior James Wimer concluded his year with a National Title in the 157-pound class. He also received the G-MAC Wrestler of the Year award on March 22 because of his successes during the season. He shares his thoughts via email.
“It feels awesome, it is really a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders,” Wimer expressed. “Even in high school, I’ve been close but always fell short. Two years ago I lost in the semis in overtime, so to come back this year It definitely felt like some redemption.”
Receiving this honor was no easy feat for Wimer, who had to face against some of the toughest wrestlers in the country. Yet, this was only motivation for him to excel.
“My national tournament run was pretty crazy,” Wimer explained. “I beat [the] 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th [ranked wrestlers] at the national tournament, so it’s a great feeling to know I’m undoubtedly the champion at 157 [lbs]… Nothing feels better than to separate yourself in terms of pure wrestling ability and then proving it to everyone with a national title. I think a lot of people didn’t think I was a real number 1 seed going into the national tournament just because of the shortened athletic year, or me not wrestling last year because of my redshirt, and it feels good to prove them wrong, but also to prove the rankings right.”
Of course, the credit does not go to Wimer alone, which he agrees. He feels this championship is because of both the Roughnecks and Oiler Nation.
“To become a national champion in any sport is really a group effort, and I couldn’t ask for better coaches, teammates, or Oilers to support me and my dream and believe in me,” Wimer commented. “Nobody sees the behind the scenes and that’s where national champions are made. I had to make a really tough decision to redshirt last year after my best season of my career and it ended up working out for the best, and my coaches, teammates, friends, and family were behind me the whole time and it just makes it a lot easier on me with the support system I have.”
As with all sports, COVID-19 forced all athletes to take safety measures and readjust their routines in order to stay safe. With all the changes made by the NCAA, it makes Wimer feel even more proud for this accomplishment.
“This year I really had to focus a lot on me staying healthy not going out anywhere, coming in and getting workouts by myself, and I think that is what drove me the most just how much I had to push myself those times I was alone this year,” Wimer said. “For the NCAA to give a free year of eligibility this year it means even more to me to be a national champion, because not only was there so much adversity with COVID-19 that I battled through, but also anyone could wrestle. There was no redshirting, so every team was putting out their best guy and to know that makes me feel like even more of a champion.”
Wimer then left this message for Oiler Nation: “I’ll see y’all next year, GO ROUGHNECKS!”
Featured photo courtesy of University of Findlay Athletics.