Offseason lookahead for FHSU Wrestling programs


This post is from an online student in FHSU’s Department of Informatics Convergent Media Lab course.

In March, the Fort Hays State wrestling team wrapped up its 2022-2023 season at the national tournament in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. As a team, FHSU placed 14th and crowned two All-Americans. Tereus Henry (197 pounds) and Cade Lindsey (174 pounds) both finished with a third-place medal en route to their first All-American finishes. Both wrestlers will return to the Tiger lineup next season and FHSU  will only graduate two seniors this year (Drew Burgoon & Clint Herrick).

Henry explains what his second national tournament experience was like and what he looks forward to next season.

“Last year was a great experience for me even though I did not end up placing,” Henry said. “I believe coming here this year, I was used to what it was like wrestling on the national stage and was familiar with this atmosphere. We are a young team, and I am excited to start this grind for next year, now”.

The Tigers finished their season as a team with an overall 3-12 dual record, had 19 placers in open tournaments, and three open tournament champions. FHSU will return 29 wrestlers and have a strong recruiting class for the 2023-2024 season. 

During the off-season, Fort Hays is perfecting their craft in the Olympic styles (freestyle/Greco) to prepare for the U23 World Team Trials, which will be the first week of June. The tournament will be held in Geneva, Ohio and the champions in each U20 (Juniors) and U23 weight class will represent the United States at the 2023 UWW World Championships. 

Additionally, the top eight place winners in the U20 division, who are age and grade eligible, qualify for the Junior and 16U National Championships later in the summer. The Tigers brought home two champions in the Greco division (Tereus Henry & Ryan Tiers). After their competition at the UWW World Championships, they will spend a week at the Olympic training center to train and meet members of the Olympic team.

With training during the rest of the school year. Members of the wrestling team will be training in Hays but also will be training in their hometowns. Training in Hays will allow the athletes to perfect their craft with head coach Erik Wince and other team members. Some athletes will be holding camps at different locations throughout the summer. One of those camp clinicians will be All-American Cade Lindsey. Lindsey will have a camp at his alma mater Derby high school, in July (Date TBD). Lindsey talks about what it means to give back to the sport and his decision to transfer to the Tigers from the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

“NIL (Name Image Likeness) is an awesome opportunity for us NCAA athletes. It allows us to give back to the sport while earning an income from our name and image,” Lindsey said. “It was an easy choice choosing Fort Hays State when I entered the portal. My brother Cason is here, [it’s] not far from home, great education, and lots of great things going on here with Wince”.

FHSU wrestling will also continue to grow in the future, as earlier this year the Fort Hays State athletic department announced the addition of a women’s wrestling program beginning in the 2024-2025 season. Alijah Jeffery will take on head coaching responsibilities and comes to FHSU from Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska, where he served as Head Women’s Wrestling Coach for two years. 

In his second year at CSC, Jeffery brought in a big recruiting class of 21 individuals to the program and coached four national qualifiers. Jeffery’s collegiate career included four years at Northern Illinois University, where he was a four-year starter. 

FHSU’s women’s program is actively recruiting. Fort Hays State is the first Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) school to add the sport. Assistant coaches will be filled as soon as possible, and plans for a locker room and a facility are in the works.