By Brian Kuppelweiser for MSNsportsNET.com
February 04, 2012
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – On Saturday evening, the West Virginia University wrestling program will see four individuals take to the Coliseum mat for the final times in their Mountaineer careers.
Redshirt seniors Kyle Eason, Matt Ryan and Brandon Williamson along with redshirt junior Zachary Cerrone will see a chapter of their lives close, as they will be honored as part of Senior Night against No.
West Virginia's four seniors will be making their final Coliseum appearance tonight.
WVU Sports Communications
“Each of the guys that are graduating has contributed something unique to this program,” said coach Craig Turnbull. “They have all placed their name amongst the guys that have built this program into what it is today, and we are nothing but appreciative and thankful for the time they have put in.”
Each has experienced the many ups and downs that come with the career of student-athlete, but all can agree that it went by a little too fast.
Ryan may have summed it up best with this quote.
“It is kind of funny,” said Ryan, who transferred to West Virginia from Virginia Tech. “Everyone tells you that college goes by so fast, and you just sit and deny it at first because five years is such a long time. It is crazy that it is almost over.”
Over those years, however, each one says that they have taken away something special by working with Turnbull, associate head coach Greg Jones and assistant coach Danny Felix.
“I’ve grown up in this program,” said Cerrone. “I’ve spent the last four years of my life growing up here with the program, the guys and the coaches. It’s been phenomenal. The coaches are great, and they get to know you beyond what you are in that wrestling room.”
For Eason, things have come full circle for him, as he looks back on the experiences that have helped build him such as his freshman year at Towers and the road trips with teammates.
“It is something that I will be able to look back on and take with me,” said Eason. “It will be great to look back and say that I put in a lot of hard work during my five years here. It will definitely help me later in life too.”
Eason’s tone really struck a note when he talked about his sister Kaitlyn, who is a freshman on the rowing team.
“I was thinking the other day about how fast the whole thing has gone by,” Eason said. “It seems like just yesterday that I was a freshman living at Towers. Now, my sister is here, and I am five years older than her. It is weird to think that this will be my last time wrestling at the Coliseum.”
For Williamson, who made the move to WVU after two seasons at Nassau Community College, he will best remember that chance to work with his idol, three-time national champion Jones.
“It’s been great working with a guy like Greg,” said Williamson. “Growing up, I always watched him wrestle on television, and I never could have imagined that he was going to be one of my coaches and one of my mentors. He has taught me so much about what it takes to be great wrestler.”
For each one of the graduating Mountaineers, wrestling has been there for as long as they can remember, and just because their collegiate career is coming to a close does not mean that they will be done forever.
“Obviously, I cant speak for all the guys, but I have been around wrestling forever,” Ryan said. “I am passionate about it, and I don’t think you can just flip a switch and be done with it. You are always going to want to be a part of wrestling and the tradition here at WVU.”
The Mountaineers final home match of the season will begin on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.