The days of using talent and athletic ability alone to win national titles and competing at a national level are over and have been over for quite some time. To achieve greatness in any sport, you need work ethic, resilience, dedication, confidence, passion, willingness to learn and get better on a daily basis, positive attitude, belief and a healthy lifestyle to name a few. Greg Sanders has all the intangibles. Greg has always been a physical specimen, but what brought him to the top was his will to win on a daily basis. It was about all the small victories he accumulated over a long period of time that made him a champion.
Greg wins in practice, wins in the classroom, wins by having a healthy relationship with his coaches, family, and friends and wins by having a healthy relationship with God. On March 16 he won a national title and was the NWCA Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament, but this was just another small win for him. Winning is a habit for him. What made him go from good to great were the other things outside of wrestling.
Greg and I give credit to the team. We all bought into the program, not just one person. Training partners are a big part of it. The support from teammates is a big part. I remember walking out on the carpet to the mat in the finals and hearing CUW wrestlers chanting "Sanders, Sanders, Sanders." I give the team credit for pushing themselves to get better each and every day. I am very proud of this particular team. They truly did believe the words that I said, and would try to run through a wall if I asked them to. The atmosphere our team created made it possible for Greg to achieve what he did. Great Job CUW wrestlers and I look forward to the trophy hunt with you next season.
Finally, to the students, staff, and faculty, I have been at schools where we achieved similar honors. However, very few cared, noticed or even followed the wrestling program like everyone does at CUW. Greg told me he had to camp out in his room lately because he was getting bombarded with congratulations. I thought it was awesome when I heard the men's lacrosse team was watching on the bus to their game. Thanks to everyone who watched the tournament. It is an honor to get acknowledged by the President and Director of Athletics. Winning a national title was fun, but what makes it so fun is the support from family, friends, teammates, classmates, faculty and staff.
I often say in practice, "When it gets hard, think of someone else who is counting on you to win. Score one more point or practice with more intensity. Thanks for all the great support. Go Falcons!