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Tiger Style Explored: A Mizzou Wrestling Interview Series - Noah Surtin

I sat down with Noah Surtin to talk about Mizzou Wrestling, his plans to enter the medical field, and how a visit to the University of Illinois helped him commit to Mizzou.

Noah Surtin

Welcome to Tiger Style Explored, a weekly Mizzou Wrestling interview series that will take you inside the program in the coming months from the regular season to the NCAA Championships and beyond. For my first installment, I interviewed Noah Surtin, the starter at 125lbs and 3rd-ranked wrestler in his weight class who is coming off a 12-3 major decision over #7 Nico Provo of Stanford.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Let’s start by talking about your last match, beating Nico Provo in a 12-3 major decision. Coming off a really close loss to Cooper Flynn in the Virginia Tech dual, was there any extra motivation heading into the match, and how did you feel afterwards?

Noah Surtin: Yeah, definitely. That loss lingered for a little bit, definitely took me a good two or three days to get over it. But I knew at the end of the day, I’ve always grown from losses, you know. Very few people go throughout the season undefeated, and it really just made me even more motivated. I think it’s a good thing in the end. A big thing was my mindset, I think I was a little too hesitant to shoot. And I realized that my offense is really good. If I’m going out there, I’m moving my feet and I’m attacking, I don’t think anyone in the country can stop me. And so that was my mindset going into Stanford, moving my feet more, get to my offense and dictate the match, and I think I did a good job with that.

I got the takedown in the first period. Obviously there were still some things in that match that I wasn’t too happy with, gave up a reversal, should have got a takedown in the second (period) and at the end, I got a little crazy. I ended up getting the win and I got the takedown and the back points, but still a lot to improve from. But at the end of the day, a win’s a win. Sometimes it’s not always going to be the prettiest, but I’ll take it. I’ll still learn from it.

We’re gonna break down film later and yeah, it definitely gives me a lot of confidence. It’s good to get these ranked wins and beat these good guys, but I’ve known I’ve been this guy for a while. So I think, you know, a lot of people are surprised on the outside, but I’m not really surprised. I’ve been waiting for this. I’ve been expecting it, and to start finally breaking through and be recognized as one of those top guys that can make a run for it is pretty cool.

There have been a lot of really interesting results at 125 this year with plenty of upsets continuing to reshape the rankings. What are your thoughts on the weight class this year, and does knowing just how open the class is give you some more confidence when looking at the NCAA Championships?

NS: I think it makes it exciting. I think a lot of people, they look at it and some guys are like, oh, this weight class is wide open. But at the end of the day, I think it’s because all these guys at 125, everyone’s good at wrestling. You know, we’re all scrappy dudes. I mean, no disrespect to any of the weight classes, but we’re one of the only weight classes that can wrestle in any position in wrestling. You know, some of those bigger guys, they can’t get in certain positions that we can, but we can wrestle anywhere. You don’t know what’s gonna happen. Everyone’s quick. Everyone’s fast, everyone’s talented, and it makes it fun, you know, and I also think it’s interesting how much wrestling has changed in the past couple of years with the young guys coming in and just doing really good.

I think a lot of high schoolers nowadays are getting a lot more access to wrestling these high-level college kids as a sophomore in high school, which I never got. And so with these new kids coming in, they’re coming in and they’re doing really well and it’s exciting, it’s fun and makes the sport fun. And I’m just really excited for Nationals. I know at the end of the day, and everyone knows watching the weight class right now, that it’s going to be whoever shows up those few days, and I’m ready,

Coach (Brian) Smith’s gonna have us peaking at the right time. I’m confident in the people that are around us, my teammates, everyone, that we’re really going to be prepared and it’s going to be so fun to be in KC, be at home, have all our fans there. And I’m just ecstatic, I’m excited. Obviously, we’ve still got a good part of the season, this last end we’ve got a bunch of fun duals. Oklahoma State’s going to be super fun, so we don’t want to jump ahead too much. But Big 12’s (the Big 12 tournament), Nationals, I’m super excited. And I know not only myself but the team can do some real big things that people aren’t necessarily expecting.

Speaking of fun duals, I’m sure the few Mizzou fans who found the Stanford dual on the Pac-12 Network really enjoyed their time. Beating Stanford 39-0, was there a moment when you realized you could shut them out?

NS: After 157. Those first five matches, I mean, obviously and I hate the word upset. Especially nowadays, everyone in college wrestling is good. You know, people on the outside, they sit there like oh, this is the number 28 ranked kid or whatever. It’s like, everyone that’s in Division One wrestling is good. You know, anyone can lose on any given day. Someone might have a bad weight cut, someone might be injured, all these things happen.

So going into that match, when we showed up and we were going out there and we were scoring points after we got to those first five matches, and we all looked real good, we’re like, damn, I think there’s a high possibility that we can shut these guys out. And with that being said too, Stanford’s no joke. They just won the (Southern) Scuffle, so it’s not like they’re a bad team by any means. They have a lot of good wrestlers. And again, and Smith says this after every duel, we all could have wrestled better, we all could have scored more points. We all could have done better things. But we did a great job.

We had 10 wins. That’s the goal every time. And to go out there at Stanford, it was funny. I mean, that crowd was quiet after the first four or five matches. I think they realized too what could happen. And you know, obviously, eight, nine wins, and everyone’s like, yeah, I think this is going to happen. It was pretty cool to go out there and dominate and just show that we’re here to get a team trophy, and we can do some big things at Nationals. And we’re just doing good and we’re getting better and better each dual.

Going back to the Wyoming dual, how big was the match versus Jore Volk for you after losing by major decision to him last year, and how did you feel when you got the win?

NS: Last year was really tough. That was a tough loss for me and again, a major on paper, but I knew it wasn’t really a major. I was going for big things at the end, trying to win. But regardless, the match got out of hand and I was definitely upset at the performance. And so I knew going in I wanted this one bad. I wanted to go in there and I wanted to get that revenge win. He had just had a good CKLV (Cliff Keen Las Vegas) Tournament and so I just wanted to go out there and show that I’m up there with the best of the best at my weight class, and I’m coming for it all.

I went out there and again, I didn’t have my best match, gave up a sloppy take down in the first period. But I knew even after that, how I was moving, how was I making him feel, winning the hand fight and doing all those things that I was still in the match. I think it was cool to go down like that, 3-0 or 3-1, because I got away and then came back and won in OT. I think it was a big statement, too. No matter what the score is, what’s happening, I’m always in a match. If I wrestled for seven minutes, I can win, I can beat anyone.

And just for Big 12’s and everything, just seeding and all that stuff, I think it was a big match. It was important. And just personally for me I wanted that win back, so to get that win and be so offensive, I was in on two or three leg attacks, moving well, I was pretty happy with my performance overall. Getting that turn on top. I think I’m consistently showing that I’m one of the best on top in the country. So just it’s cool to see the hard work paying off, and I’m constantly getting better, constantly trying to improve mentally, physically, all that stuff. So it was fun. It was a good feeling, good win, and I got back to the room and keep getting better.

Was that your favorite match of the year so far? If not, which one was?

NS: I’d probably say that one. Provo was a pretty good one too, obviously. He went in there and dominated CKLV, he’s beaten a lot of good kids this year. So that was definitely a good one. I wanted that fall at the end. was close to getting it but I would say one of those. I would probably say Volk just because it was at home, a good atmosphere, it’s fun to be in front of the team and get that win in overtime. But both of those pretty big matches were fun, and it just gives me more confidence beating these guys.

And I would say probably Volk just because it was the first big one in the year. It kind of started that confidence going. I already had the confidence but it just builds it. And I mean, I know it’s weird to say but even the Flynn match, obviously that day and the next couple days, it sucked. But looking back now, I’d much rather that happened to me, do some dumb crap in overtime in the middle of the season rather than Big 12’s or Nationals. So I learned a lot from that match, too, mentality-wise and everything. So I think all three of those matches were big, growing and gaining that confidence and just getting better overall.

You’ve emphasized continuing to learn and improve so far. What has been your biggest improvement as a wrestler this year compared to last season?

NS: Well, I would say a big thing is honestly, I was pretty hurt last year. I’ve gone through a lot of knee injuries, and I think not only physically but mentally it was really hard for me. I haven’t really gone through a big injury like that, having surgery, and I think I tore it right after I had surgery and came back too. My knee was blown up all season, so I think that messed with me mentally. And also it was really hard for me to get my offense off and continue to shoot.

So now this year, a lot of people all over social media and stuff are talking about oh, he’s shooting and he’s doing this. Yeah, I’m doing it. I mean, a big reason is because I’m healthy. But I think another thing too is everyone’s banged up, and once you get older and you start to mature and get to the wrestling season, you realize that it’s just about adapting and figuring things out. And if I can’t shoot to the left side, I’m gonna shoot to the right. So I’ve gotten so much better through that injury and through learning how to deal with these things, and my confidence has gone up. It’s a multitude of factors, but I think a big thing is health.

I feel a lot better; my knees feel a lot better. So, in turn, I’m more confident to shoot and get my offense off, which has been a big factor in these matches. I just think I’ve been at this level. You know, I think last year if I was healthy, I would have been right up there with all those other guys too. But again, mentally too, I’ve been working on a lot of mental training and gaining that confidence and truly believing in myself. And I think that’s a big thing as well, just envisioning myself in that national finals match and having that interview after I win, all these visualization things. It’s big and I think I’m doing a lot better at it.

Before you get to the NCAA Championships, is there one area that you’re really looking to work on and clean up heading towards the biggest matches of the year?

NS: We’ve been working a lot on my head positioning in my head-hands defense. I’ve definitely gotten significantly better at it, even in the past couple of months, continuing to improve on that. At the end of that Provo match, I should have been getting my under hooks, tying him up a little more, and I shouldn’t have even given him that shot to give him the chance to win at the end. So those little things, adjusting some defensive things with sprawls, my scrambling has gotten a lot better. Just overall, I think the biggest thing is mentality and going out there and continuing to just put on my offense, and get out there and shoot and score, and if I do that, it’s gonna be hard for anyone to stop me. That combination with that offense and just staying in good position to keep my head in there, making sure I’m not giving guys easy shots, I think that’s the biggest thing.

You’ve talked about visualizing how you want your season to end, seeing yourself being interviewed after winning a national championship. Is your mindset national title or bust, and if not what is your goal for the rest of this year?

NS: My goal is to dominate and score points. My goal is to go out there and show everyone that I’m the best wrestler in the country, and I genuinely 100% believe I can go out there and win a national title. With that being said, does it mean that it’s win or bust? Not necessarily. I haven’t All-American’d yet, but that’s not the goal. I don’t want to get fifth or seventh or eighth, I want to win a national title. And if I know that’s my capability, and what I can actually accomplish is winning a national title, that’s what I want to do. And if I can show up to the national tournament and wrestle to the best of my ability, I don’t think anyone can stop me.

You’ve been really close to being an All-American a couple of times, falling just short two years ago and then being hampered by injuries last season. Does that provide extra motivation for you, knowing you’ve been so close but haven’t reached All-American status yet?

NS: Yeah, for sure. I think a lot of that is going back to that mental training and just staying focused. And at the end of the day, I really do think I shine more when the lights are on. So it has been frustrating to not get that stuff done at nationals. That first year I went when I was put in when Connor (Brown) was hurt, I was beating both the guys I lost to by a good amount going into the third period and both of them All-American’d. One got third, one got seventh. So even three years ago, I was with all those All-Americans. I was up there with the top eight in the country, you know, so it’s definitely been frustrating knowing that even a few years ago I was with them and I’ve gotten significantly better. I know my capabilities. I know I’ve been up there with the best of the best, and I’m ready to prove that. I’m ready to make a statement at nationals and not just win, but dominate, and go out there and show everyone how many points I can score and make it fun and make it exciting.

The team as a whole seems very motivated to prove themselves this year. How do you think the team has done so far, and what are the main goals for the rest of the season?

NS: I think our team looks great. I’m super happy with everyone. Literally from 125 all the way up to 285 we’ve got hammers, and it’s exciting. Everyone that we have can score points. (Logan) Gioffre has gotten some big wins and is new to the lineup, and he’s learning a lot. You could kind of see at the beginning of the year that he was right there with those guys and he lost a couple close ones, and now he’s actually getting some of those big wins. He beat a top-10 kid at Stanford (Jaden Abas). Brock (Mauller)’s obviously always been a hammer. Josh (Edmond) is doing really good, and (Zeke) Seltzer when he bumped up is doing good. The cool thing is everyone can score a lot of points.

We don’t really have any guys on our team that are complacent with 1-0 matches and struggle to score, everyone can score on the best of the best guys. And if you can score on all these guys, we can win. We can beat anyone you know, and I just I’m super excited. We got some young guys, we got some old guys. We’re a mixed team with age, but everyone’s exciting and everyone has the capability to All-American, and I genuinely believe that if we have a great tournament we can get 10 All-Americans. I think it’s only happened once. So, I mean, obviously would that be very difficult? Yes. But our team has the capability to do it. If we have a great national tournament, we can do it. And that’s what I’m expecting. I’m expecting to go out there and get a team trophy. Obviously it’d be really difficult to beat Penn State but with 10 All-Americans, it can happen, so that’s our mentality is national champs and we’re going for it all. I’m excited for what we can do especially at home, in front of the home crowd.

Speaking of the potential to beat anybody, one of the big discussions in the past few years has been about potentially creating a national duals championship. Would you like to see that become part of the regular wrestling schedule, and how could it work?

NS: Oh, man, it’s tough. I don’t know. I think it’d be really fun, especially for fans, I think fans would eat it up. I think it’s fun for wrestlers too. I think we have a super fun dual team. And I know they used to do it; I don’t really know why they necessarily got rid of it. You can see it even in the last decade, a lot of wrestlers are wrestling a lot less matches. I mean, guys used to wrestle 40 to 50 matches. Now we’re wrestling 20 to 30, so I don’t know when they would have it is the only thing.

You know, maybe mid-season about December, January, and then give us a few months before nationals. I saw some guys mentioning possibly having it after nationals. No wrestler would ever want to do that. If we wrestled the national tournament, we’re done. It’s hard on our bodies. And I’ve said this to a million different people, that COVID year, now it was obviously really weird because we couldn’t wrestle too many matches and everything was sporadic. But if we were to change the season from January to March or April, it would be so much better for everyone. It’d be so much shorter, so much easier on our bodies, and no one would be skipping matches and trying to dodge certain people because you don’t have that much time.

So that would be an awesome thing that I think as the wrestling community we should strive to achieve, because six months is tough. It’s so tough on the body. And obviously it’s tough for everyone, so I’m not complaining for myself. But I’m just saying as a whole I think the community would enjoy having that season a little shorter, keeping bodies healthier, and that way everyone’s ready to go and at their peak for nationals. But for the national duals, I think it would be fun to possibly do it early January or December sometime.

Talking about the toll of the season, I’m sure part of that must be travel, being part of such a large conference. But is there any place in the Big 12 that you really look forward to traveling to?

NS: A lot of the guys like going to Arizona State (they will be in the Big 12 next year) because usually we’ll go in January and it’s like 75 degrees out there and it’s beautiful. That’s the big thing. I don’t think a lot of our guys are the biggest fans of traveling. I honestly thought that Stanford was gonna be a little nicer than it was. Obviously the campus is beautiful and everything, but it was rainy and chilly while we were there. Not as bad as it is here right now, but yeah, I don’t know. Air Force, I love going to Colorado even though it’s cold out there. I love the mountains and everything, so I would say maybe out of all the places I’ve been I really did like Air Force probably the most.

A lot of your duals this season have been at home so far, but you’re entering a large stretch of duals on the road. How do you think having such a long streak of road contests could affect the team, and how can those effects be minimized?

NS: I don’t think it’ll affect us at all. I think we’re ready for everything. I mean, even Stanford travel was nowhere near perfect. We got delayed dang near every flight. There was a point when we were leaving KC that we didn’t know if we were gonna be able to leave because of the snow and the cold and all that stuff. Flights were getting delayed, people were leaving. Some of us had our drinks ready to go, start drinking and eating again.

But we’ll be fine. We’re prepared no matter what. Every time we fly or we go somewhere, we work out before we leave and then we get a workout when we land. We’re always keeping our bodies moving, we’re focused, we’re getting the necessary rest that we need. Smith has us locked in. I think it’s fun to travel. It won’t really be a big factor, to be honest. I mean, obviously you saw what we did at Stanford. No matter where we go, we’re going to show up and we’re going to compete and we’re gonna wrestle our hearts out.

Looking back to your recruitment now, you grew up on the Illinois side of the river in Edwardsville. Did you grow up as a Mizzou fan, and how did your recruitment draw you to Columbia?

NS: I did grow up as a Mizzou fan, but it wasn’t a die-hard thing. Some of the time you’ve got guys that are like, oh yeah, I wanted to go to this school since they were like eight years old. I never really had that. I was open to going anywhere. I knew Mizzou would be pretty cool; my mom went to Mizzou and so we had some history there, and my dad took me to some Mizzou football games as a kid. So there was definitely some fandom there, but it wasn’t anything crazy, to be honest.

I was looking at other schools, but not heavily. I think right after my junior year, they changed the NCAA rule where you could get unofficial visits paid for. A lot of the schools that I was looking at visiting, like I was looking at going to Stanford and just taking a visit there because I thought it’d be pretty cool. But my parents were like, you’ve got to have a pretty good reason, because it’d be like three grand to go out there. And I was like, yeah, I don’t really have a great reason, I just think it’d be cool to visit and kind of look at the school. So after I won Fargo and state my junior year, I was getting pretty heavily recruited and I remember (assistant) coach (Joe) Johnston was talking to me and he was at Mizzou. He was talking to me at folkstyle nationals after I won it and then right after Fargo, I was talking to Smith on the phone and I went up and took my unofficial, and I absolutely loved it. And honestly I feel like I knew kind of right after that visit that it was gonna be really hard for a school to beat what they provided for me, and just with the culture with the team. Everything about Mizzou I loved. I loved that it was two hours from home, so not too close to where my parents could just pop up at any time but close enough to where I could go and see them or they could come and see me whenever I’m there.

My parents made me take a visit to Illinois, even though I knew I wouldn’t go there. And I didn’t really enjoy it. I knew Missouri was the place for me after that, so I committed pretty early, and I have absolutely zero regrets about it. I love the University of Missouri. I love the athletic department, the staff, the people around us, the coaches, the teammates. I mean, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else, and I’m just so blessed and lucky to be given the opportunity to come here. With NIL and everything, you could see a lot of guys are transferring all over and it’s chaotic, and I haven’t had one thought about that. I would never want to leave, I love it here. And yeah, no regrets at all.

The culture is a hallmark of the program Brian Smith has created at Mizzou. What does it mean to you when you hear the phrase, Tiger Style?

NS: I think ultimately it just means living right, doing everything right. We’re all about continuing to learn and grow in all areas of life, not just wrestling. That’s what makes our wrestling team so good is we’re always learning from each other. We’re always growing and and improving each other. We’re going to call people out, we’re going to keep you accountable. If I think you’re dogging it I’m going to call you out, and you should do the same with me. And I think it’s the same way with life and school.

We’re always trying to get A’s, we’re always trying to perform to the best of our ability in everything we do, and that carries over to life. And I think at the end of the day, Smith isn’t trying to just make us great wrestlers, but he’s trying to turn us into great young men. And I think that a lot of college coaches fail to do that, they’re so hyper-focused on the sport and performance. He really stresses doing everything right in your life and giving everything your all, and I think that’s going to prepare us all for life later down the road. When we’ve got kids and a wife and we’ve got jobs and we’re doing these things, we’re gonna prioritize the right things. And everything we do, we’re gonna do it to the best of our ability.

After graduating with your health sciences degree last year and now going for your master’s degree, what are your career plans after wrestling?

NS: I’m getting my Masters of Science in Business right now, and then I actually plan on applying to anesthesiologist assistant school. There’s one at UMKC that would probably be most ideal, closer to home, a little cheaper in terms of living and everything. But I mean, obviously it’s where I end up getting into and approved. I’m looking at eventually moving out to Colorado. Like I said, I love the mountains so much, and I love it out west, so there’s a school in Denver that would be a possibility.

But wherever I get into, I’m gonna end up doing that. I’m looking at shadowing our team doctor. He works at Columbia Orthopedic Group, and they got some CRNA’s and some anesthesiologist assistants over there. So in the springtime after the season ends, I want to get in there and get some experience and shadow. Get some hours in, make sure I really enjoy it. I haven’t been able to do that with COVID, and obviously the busy schedule during the season. So I’m planning for that, taking my prerequisites for that while I’m in my master’s program, and just kind of getting myself suited up to apply and get ready for that.

What was the inspiration behind your decision?

NS: To be honest, I feel like I just kind of found it one day. I’ve been all over the place with with career paths. When I came in, I was thinking I might go to medical school, and then I kind of went away from that. And then I was thinking law school. And then I took a big turn from that, just talking to a bunch of people, and then I was looking at becoming a PA (physician’s assistant) for a little bit. Then I think I started researching some things, and I found anesthesiologist assistants. And what I liked about it is, I can’t do nursing school while I’m here, you know? So I like that all you need is a four-year undergrad that’s science-based to apply for that school, and it’s two-and-a-half years so it’s not insanely long. It’s not like med school where I’d need another four years after this. Obviously the pay is pretty good.

And I looked up some some things on YouTube like what their job entails, what they do, the requirements for the schooling and all this stuff. And I just think that I would benefit from it, that I would really enjoy it, helping people. And to be honest with you, I’m not the most patient person, so I don’t think nursing school would necessarily suit me. My brother’s in nursing school, so I know a decent amount about what they do and what they go through. And I’m a personable person, but what I do like about the anesthesiology realm is it’s kind of brief with the personal aspect.

When I’m talking to you, I’m telling you that I’m going to help you out, everything’s gonna go smoothly, but then you’re knocked out. I don’t really have to deal with all the crap that nurses have to deal with. I can just do my own thing and kind of just observe and monitor you while you’re asleep and during surgery. I just find the medical field interesting, I find anatomy and the body interesting. I think it’d be really cool to learn about the pharmaceutical side of everything, like the types of drugs, their effects on the body, all those certain things. So I think that’s intriguing for me, and I think that’s ultimately why I wanted to pursue it when I found it.

Lauren Forbes (on the volleyball team) talked about going to anesthesiologist assistant school, you could always discuss that with her.

NS: I’ve talked to her a lot about it, actually. When I was doing my internship last year with strength and conditioning, I did a lot with volleyball because their time just worked well for me. We ended up talking about it one day, and I don’t know how we got on the topic, but we’re both like, oh, yeah, we want to do this. And then we both wanted to go to Denver for school and do all these things, so we were talking about that. I’ve actually talked to her about the admissions process, because she’s only going here for four years. Next year will be my sixth, so I’m gonna be a little later to it.

She’s already gone through the application process, and I think she did get admitted somewhere. I was definitely picking her brain about taking the GRE, the necessary prerequisites and all that stuff, getting shadowing hours. So yeah, I’ve definitely talked to her. It’s cool because it’s an up-and-coming profession. It’s really new, but it’s growing a lot. There’s only like 22 states that currently practice it, but each year there’s more and more that are being added. And I don’t think that job will be replaced by AI, so hopefully we won’t have to worry about that in the near future.

There’s been a lot of talk about the Mizzou athletics facilities master plan, and fans seem pretty intrigued to see what it looks like. If the athletics department was going to renovate the Hearnes Center, what is one major improvement you’d like to see, or would you prefer that they built an entirely new facility?

NS: I was actually on the SAAC, or student athletic advisory committee, so I was in that talk with Desiree (Reed-Francois) when all the athletes were giving their advice. I honestly think that the wrestling team here has got it real good. You know, we’ve got our own weight room, we’ve got our own wrestling facility. We’re in the corner away from everyone else. Obviously the Hearnes is really old, but Smith always talks about this is the best we’re gonna have. If we tear the Hearnes down, we ain’t gonna have anything as nice as we have it right now, because he’s put a lot of work, a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of fundraising into what we have, and I think we’re super lucky.

Honestly, I’m pretty content with everything we have. I think the biggest thing would probably be a lounge area or somewhere to hang out with athletes and do our homework at the Hearnes. That would be the only thing that I feel like would be pretty cool. Other than that, I mean, I’ve got no complaints. You know, we figure it out. We get things done. We don’t need five-star stuff for everything.

I know it’s funny, but Desiree and some of the staff went around to every single head coach at the university asking them what do you need? And Smith was the only one that looked at them and said we don’t need anything, we’re good. So that just gives you a little insight on the type of guy he is, but we do have it good. And Smith always tells us and reminds us. We’ve been all over, all these different facilities and all these things, and I really do think we have it good and nothing’s really hindering us. So yeah, I don’t really complain too much about the Hearnes. A lot of other teams do, but the wrestling the team does not really.

That seems pretty on-brand for Coach Smith from what I’ve seen. As we wrap up, is there anything you want to say to Mizzou fans?

NS: I think the biggest thing would be show out, I want to pack the Hearnes. Oklahoma State is going to be a super, super fun dual. They are a really good team this year, just about every weight is going to be a ranked matchup. Pretty much every guy on each team is ranked, it’ll be super high-level, super fun. And I want to break the attendance record. You know, we’ve got a two-time national champ wrestling for us, we’ve got five returning All-Americans. Some of these guys are leaving next year, so I think it’ll be super fun if we can get six, seven, eight thousand people in that place.

Pack it, make it loud, make it fun. That dual’s fun every single year. I know Oklahoma State had a big crowd last year. I think we need to beat them. I think we need to show up and I mean, heck, we’ve got a top-three team in the country right now. It shouldn’t be that hard to get six, seven, eight thousand people there. So I think anyone that can make it, try and make it, it’ll be super fun. If you’ve never been to a wrestling meet before, I promise it won’t disappoint. I promise you’re gonna have some fun. And yeah, I’d say that’s the biggest thing, just come out and show support. We’ve got a great team and it’ll be fun.

Is there anything else you want to say or talk about?

NS: I would just say I’m super lucky to be here. The coaching staff is amazing, the teammates are amazing. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I’m blessed by God to be here, and Go Mizzou.