Theo Dow is ready to take over the reigns as Huskies wrestling team captain.
The fourth-year arts-and-science-student from Smithers, British Columbia is taking the lead after the departure of Ryan Myrfield. Dow is looking forward to leading the squad this year and knows he can turn to Myrfield if he ever needs advice.
“It feels great [to be captain]. Ryan’s a good friend of mine. I’m sure I’ll be asking him for some mentorship later on in the season,” Dow said.
Wrestling is an individual sport where each athlete takes to the mat alone, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t look to each other for support and encouragement. Dow sees cultivating this atmosphere as one of his most important tasks.
“Being captain of an individual sport means you have to bring people together,” he said. “You have to make sure everybody participates. Even though it’s an individual sport it’s still important to get the team bonding aspect.”
Dow also thinks it’s important for teammates to push one another to reach their highest potential.
“If you’re going to the gym by yourself everyday it’s boring; there’s nothing around you pushing you to do it. If there’s just two of you, you might not work as hard. But if everybody’s there you’re going to work as hard as you can,” he said.
A positive team atmosphere is one of Dow’s favourite things about the sport and about being a Huskie. The camaraderie amongst the team can be seen in their after-match ritual.
“Win or lose you have to give a high five to everybody on your team,” he said.
Dow’s most memorable Huskie moment came after a big win when he was still new to the squad, but what really made it special was the support he felt.
“In my first year Canada West was held here in Saskatoon. I was still new to the program and I wrestled really well and I came [in] second place,” he said. “That was a huge moment for me. I had my grandparents in the stands as well as aunts and uncles, all my teammates, family and friends. It was awesome. Everyone was cheering really loud and it was a really happy moment.”
One thing Dow wants people to know about wrestling is just how inclusive and accessible it is. There is almost no cost for equipment and there’s only a small registration fee to pay. Wrestling is also one of the few sports where disabled athletes compete with able-bodied athletes. One of the most successful NCAA wrestlers, Anthony Robles, was born with only one leg.
“Wrestling [puts] a big importance on letting anybody wrestle,” Dow said.
Dow started wrestling at a young age and credits his first coach with helping him become successful and to stay involved in the sport.
“I had a very good wrestling coach in my hometown, [Mike] Richey,” Dow said. “He got me out when I was quite young [and] I did a couple months of a kids’ wrestling program. Once I came to high school [Mike] came and said you have to come back on the team. I came back and I wrestled for him and I really liked it. When I was looking at universities I knew I wanted to wrestle.”
There are many reasons why Dow loves to wrestle but there’s one trait in particular that helps him succeed on the mat.
“I’m a gritty guy,” Dow said.
Students can watch the wrestling team grapple for mat supremacy at the Huskie Open on Nov. 24 and at the Canada West Wrestling Championship on February 7-8.
Photo: Jordan Dumba/Photo Editor