PHILADELPHIA - As head coach Rob Eiter enters his sixth season as head coach at the University of Pennsylvania, he sets out on his first season with a team completely comprised of wrestlers he recruited as head coach. His chosen group of grapplers began its 2013-14 season officially on Tuesday with the first official team practice of the season.
"We have always talked about potential, and I kind of don't want to talk about that anymore," Eiter said. "It's time do it, and I think the guys feel it. This is probably the most cohesive team we've had in quite some time, and the most focused as far as understanding what it's going to take and having the confidence to do it and make the sacrifices necessary to get those wins we know we can."
Quakers, both veteran and newcomer, echoed Eiter's thoughts.
"We haven't really had a team like this since I've been here. We have depth, we have talent, it's looking like a great season." senior Harrison Cook said.
"I think we're looking really tough," freshman Caleb Richardson said. "This whole preseason, everybody's been working hard and I think we're going to have a solid lineup, top to bottom."
The Red and Blue return 21 wrestlers from 2012-13, including five EIWA placewinners and three NCAA qualifiers from last season. C.J. Cobb, EIWA runner-up at 141 pounds who went 2-2 at NCAAs leads the group of returning NCAA qualifiers, joined by 184-pounder Canaan Bethea and heavyweight Steven Graziano. Steve Robertson, a NCAA qualifier at 149 in 2012, also returns after missing most of 2012-13. The Quakers have added eight wrestlers to their room for 2013-14, with a combined seven state or national prep championships among them.
Penn opens its 2013-14 season on Nov. 22 at Maryland.