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: DJ Fehlman
School: Lock Haven University
Class (for 2017-18): Redshirt Sophomore
Fehlman came to Lock Haven after a good career at Warren High School (PA) during which he placed twice at the state tournament. His redshirt year was uneven sending him into last season under the radar. With Ronnie Perry entrenched at 141, Fehlman began the year as the expected backup, but after losing to his teammate at the Mat-Town Open, DJ made the cut to 133. At the lower weight, Fehlman found a home. He won the Lock Haven Classic in his first action at 133 pounds, battled his way to a second place finish at the EWL Championships, and qualified for the NCAA tournament. Along the way, he ran up a 29-11 record and was third on the team with 10 falls. This fall he will enter a season at 133 pounds for the first time in college. Considering his arc once he made the weight last year, Fehlman could be a top 20 wrestler and he’ll certainly have designs on even more than that.
Rate your 2016-17 season on a scale of 1-10?
I would rate my season as an eight with all the improvements and gains I’ve made in the sport. I grew a lot throughout this season and I feel like I took my wrestling to the next level.
What are you working on this off-season?
This offseason I will be trying to maintain my weight and really focus on my hand fighting and footwork.
Do you plan to wrestle freestyle or Greco in the off-season?
Yes, we will go right into freestyle technique throughout the spring and I will probably wrestle in a few early summer freestyle tournaments.
What was the most interesting class you took this year?
World Music, we learned a lot about the cultures of people all across the globe.
What was your favorite match this season?
My favorite match was the EWL semifinals when I pinned Anthony Cefolo from Rider in the third period after being down 3-2.
If you could wrestle one person, living or dead, who would it be?
I would love to wrestle my heavyweight coach Eric Thompson and show him what it’s like to scrap with the quick little guys.
If you could change one rule in college wrestling what would it be?
I think the first takedown should be worth three points. That would force the action more in the first periods of matches.
If you weren’t a wrestler, is there another sport or competitive activity you’d have pursued?
I played football in high school. I would have liked to have been able to eat and get big in college and hit some kids.
When the season ended, what is the one food you had to eat?
A pulled pork sandwich, coleslaw, and fries, with barbeque sauce on everything!
What is your major and what would you like to do with it when you graduate?
My major is geology and I would like to attend grad school and eventually make it into the petroleum and gas industry.