Jimmies women's wrestling hoping change in tune leads to more successful season
The Jimmies have had 34 All-Americans since 2016.
JAMESTOWN — For the first time since the 2017-18 season, the University of Jamestown will be entering a season with a new head coach. The program hired Amy Golding to be the fourth head coach in program history on July 12.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we went to the KCACs (Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference) and came home with 10 champions,” Golding said. “There’s a lot of girls that are hidden in our lineup that maybe didn’t get the amount of technique that they needed or didn’t get the right kind of confidence talking in their ear. Something’s changed where it’s a different room than in previous years. So, the girls are becoming dangerous in all positions.”
Golding takes over for former head coach Shauna Kemp, who spent five seasons with the program. The coaching staff is returning graduate assistant Alyssa Schrull, who Golding said has been helpful as she gets to know the team.
“Alyssa is a great source as far as knowing what the team needs as individuals from previous years,” Golding said. “Different things have happened and we’re just trying to build a stronger unit than previous years. No drama, no anything negative, all positivity and growth upwards.”
As the team has been practicing, Golding said the best part has been the working in practice with her team. One of the things that Golding has been preaching to her team is the fact that they don't know who will be the next Olympic gold medalist.
“That’s probably the easiest part of coaching for me because I can pick up on technique very easily,” Golding said. “I can see what needs to be done and what needs to be changed from drilling and from life so I’m able to make those corrections pretty easily.”
One of the Jimmies' best returning wrestlers is junior Rayana Sahagun, who missed all of last season but is back this season to wrestle at 116-pounds. Sahagun said she is looking forward to getting back out there after the absence. During her freshman year, Sahagun finished in seventh in the National Invitationals.
“I am beyond excited to get this season started,” Sahagun said. “I think our coach is amazing and my teammates are hard workers. I think this season we’re going to have a lot of fun and put it all on the mat and win some matches.”
The Jimmies open the season at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, when they take part in the Waldorf Open. Ahead of the season, Golding said she wants the team to show a tremendous amount of growth this season.
After hosting the NAIA National Women’s Wrestling Invitational since 2019, the Jimmies and Harold Newman Arena have been granted hosting rights of the national championships for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons. Golding said she was overjoyed for the Jimmies to host the event.
The trip to Waldorf is not the first time that Golding has gotten to see her team in action as the team hosted the annual intrasquad dual — the Orange and Black Dual — on Oct. 28.
“It was amazing to see the girls on the mats in front of everybody for the first time,” Golding said. “We had a lot of standouts, all the girls that wrestled really did well. But, some of our freshmen really stepped it up, Jenny Gerhardt came in and beat one of our older girls and she’s a returning KCAC champion already. So, to just come in and put the other girl on her back was good to see.”