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Wrestling to Host First OAC Match in Exactly One Year

Wrestling to Host First OAC Match in Exactly One Year

In exactly one year, the Otterbein University wrestling program will host its first Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) match since the sport was eliminated after the 1974 season.

Due to a lack of money, Otterbein was unfortunately forced to cut wrestling before the 1975 campaign as the Physical Education Department was unable to purchase a wrestling mat necessary for safety reasons. At the time, a disappointed Director of Athletics, Moe Agler, expressed hope that the wrestling program would "return in a couple of years" and could compete in Otterbein's brand new facility, the Rike Center.

Forty years later, wrestling at Otterbein University finally made its reappearance as fourth-year Director of Athletics, Dawn Stewart, announced this past summer that it would be added as the school's 21st varsity sport. Not long after, Brent Rastetter was hired to begin building the program after a 12-year stretch in which he turned Lexington High School into a powerhouse, compiling a dual-meet record of 208-34 en route to eight conference and sectional championships.

Rastetter admitted he started feeling chills when thinking about what the atmosphere in the Rike Center might look like this time next January.

"A wrestling match is a wrestling match, but I want to really sell this to the area because it will be new and exciting," Rastetter said while sitting in his office, where he recently covered his entire back wall with a 4x8 foot 'Otterbein Wrestling' banner that he designed himself. "My hope is that alumni, high school teams, campus employees, students, parents, media and everyone else show up next January 10th. We could possibly have a match or two at home before that day comes, but the first OAC meet will certainly be the highlight that officially brings this all together."

Read the entire article on the progress of Otterbein's wrestling program on the OtterbeinCardinals.com website.