Warrior Athletics is taking the country by storm. At #10 in the nation, the women’s volleyball team will compete in their first national championship tournament in Florida this month. Earlier this year, men’s basketball finished #7 nationally after a regional championship in Indiana. Additionally, all indications are promising for well positioned pre-season rankings in 2018-19.
But wait, that’s not all.
Men’s wrestling will be the next big sport to find a home on Mehl Court in the Hicks Center. Yes, wrestling!
“Second only to football, wrestling is fast becoming one of college athletic’s most prestigious sports,” LPC Athletic Director Tim Cook says. He believes wrestling requires personal disciplines that parallel the spiritual disciplines of the Christian life. “This spring we will recruit between 30-40 high caliber student athletes with the kind of discipline to represent Life Pacific well.”
In all, Warrior Athletics will field 10 sports teams in 2018-19 with the addition of men’s wrestling, women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s golf. The new teams round out our existing men’s and women’s programs of outdoor track and field, cross-country, and the nationally-ranked women’s volleyball and men’s basketball teams.
“We work constantly behind the scenes to help transform the lives of our student athletes for the kingdom of God,” Tim says. He regularly reminds students of his personal testimony and how he met Jesus Christ as a college athlete. “Our coaches and trainers share life with our students in hopes of producing quality people who will serve the Lord as they compete and also in their lives after college.”
College wrestling adds value to our student’s educational experience by exposing them to places in the world where other Christian workers and students cannot go. Tim expects our Life Pacific wrestling team to travel globally as they hone their competitive skills and build relationships with wrestlers in different nations. When possible, they will share their testimonies for Christ, sometimes among people with no other access to the gospel.
“Wrestling provides us with unique opportunities to represent our institution and our faith with people of different cultures both in the U.S. and abroad,” Tim says. He is excited about the prospects of cross-cultural experiences for our student athletes.
In addition to the many benefits of competitive wrestling for Life Pacific, big name sponsors have already signed on to support the new program. Adidas will be the official gear sponsor for our first year wrestling team and USA Wrestling will provide mats for the program. In its first year, Warrior Wrestling will participate in seven meets hosting two of those meets on our San Dimas campus competing with some 15 college programs representing multiple weight classes and divisions.
In California alone, 26,000 wrestlers are searching for a college or university where they can compete and gain a quality education. Many are attracted to our Southern California location, our beautiful campus, and plans for our bold future as a regionally-accredited biblical university.
These wrestlers are students who live a disciplined life often rising before dawn for training and drills. By the time other students are having breakfast, wrestlers have finished their practice and are scrubbing their mats, rolling and storing them away. Then, they attend classes all day before going to study hall after dinner. This is their life and this level of commitment is just part of why they are desirable student athletes for our campus.
“We plan to recruit hard this spring and with the Lord’s help, we will bring new student athletes to our campus, boosting our enrollment, adding quality character to our community, and representing Life Pacific University as a wrestling team that honors Christ,” Tim says.