Throughout the off-season, we’re going to be getting to know returning NCAA Division I wrestlers from around the country. We sent questionnaires to every program in the country and will be sharing the results throughout the long trek to next fall. You can find them all whenever you like under the Getting to Know tag.
Name: Matthew Schmitt
School: West Virginia
Class (for 2017-18): Redshirt Freshman
Every year freshmen coming off of a redshirt introduce themselves to wrestling fans across the country by showing what they can do. Schmitt hopes to be one of those wrestlers. After winning three state titles in Missouri and piling up strong finishes in the international styles, Schmitt lost just once a year ago, falling to David Terao (American) at the Wolfpack Open. While Schmitt appears ready to step in and contribute, finding a spot in the lineup may be an issue with Zeke Moisey returning at 125 after a redshirt year of his own. When he does find the mat, expect good things.
How would you rate your 2016-17 season on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best possible?
I would rate my season about an eight because I feel like I wrestled pretty well in the opens that I did compete in. I lost one match that I was kind of disappointed about.
What are you working on this off-season?
Everything. I’m trying to improve and looking for new ways to have fun with the sport.
Do you plan to wrestle freestyle or Greco in the off-season?
I plan on wrestling at University Nationals.
What was the most interesting class you took this year?
Probably statistics, just because I like numbers. I’ve always been pretty good at math.
What was your favorite match this season?
My favorite match this season was probably my first open tournament semifinal. Whatever he did, I ended up just putting him on his back so it was pretty cool. (Editor’s Note: Schmitt defeated Kent State’s Drew Dickson, 13-1, to advance to the finals at the Ohio Open.)
If you could wrestle one person, living or dead, who would it be?
I’d like to wrestle my dad because he used to wrestle and he always says he could whoop me, so I’d like to find out. Or coach Danny Felix when he was my age.
If you could change one rule in college wrestling what would it be?
I would change riding time. I feel like if you accumulate two or three minutes, you should get points on top of the point. So if you get two minutes, you should get two points.
If you weren’t a wrestler, is there another sport or competitive activity you’d have pursued?
Maybe baseball. I played baseball until I was in high school, and then I just kind of stopped because I found a love for wrestling.
When the season ended, what is the one food you had to eat?
Steak – and a lot of it.