New Sooners See Fellow Freshmen As Good Friends, Tough Opponents

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
OCTOBER 16, 2003

For the eleven freshmen on the Oklahoma wrestling team, college life is an adjustment, but having a large support group makes the change easier.

The freshman wrestlers say that their coaches, teammates and some former Sooner wrestlers are helping them make the transition from high school to college both on and off the mat.

For Brandon Hardy, a 125-pound freshman from Virginia, the Sooner coaches have been an asset for helping deal with all the paperwork that comes with starting college.

"If it wasn't for our coaches I would not know how to get everything done as far as school and financial aid. They know a lot about it so they help a lot," Hardy said.

Brandon Palmer, a 133-pound freshman from North Carolina, says the coaches also tell the new Sooners what they need to look out for.

"They show us the mentality you have to have to be a representative of something so big," Palmer said.

Balancing school and wrestling can be difficult and sometimes it can be difficult to find time for sleep between study hall, class and practice.

"You have to have your priorities straight," said O'Sung Kim, a 165-pound freshman from Shawnee.

Joe Comparin, a 125-pound freshman from Bedford, Texas said former Sooner wrestlers Witt Durden and Bo Maynes have been mentors.

"Witt and Bo both give good advice," Comparin said. "They have been very helpful as far as letting me know what to expect and what to do. They help me out with school and how to handle it all."

Having 10 other freshman teammates who are dealing with the same things also helps.

"The wrestling team is like a little haven where you don't really have to make a choice. When you're in class you can make a choice not to talk to anyone but when you're in here you're interacting so much and you get close to these guys. I'm making friends here that are going to be lasting," Palmer said.

Off the mat, the freshman wrestlers all live in the athletic dorms where they say they do everything together from just hanging out to playing the latest video games.

"We get in these video game battles a lot. Everybody is a competitor. Nobody likes to lose, so it ends up being pretty exciting," Palmer said.

However, the battles that really matter occur every day at wrestling practice. And the freshmen say the most noticeable difference between wrestling in high school and college is the level of competition.

"There's no one easy in the mat room to wrestle with. Every person you wrestle with every day is going to be a good workout," said Comparin. "In high school you would wrestle several matches and maybe you could get one or two good matches, but by the third match the competition level would be down and you would be wrestling someone easier. They're all great wrestlers in college."

The Sooners are confident this year's freshmen are great wrestlers who will be leading the team in the near future.



Sooner Sports Properties, LLC, is the multimedia rights holder for athletics at the University of Oklahoma.
Sooner Sports Properties is a joint venture of Learfield Communications and Tyler Media, LLC.


Sooner Sports Powered by FOX Sports is a multi-platform network that provides distribution of 1,000+ hours of Sooner sports programming annually on a variety of FOX Sports outlets, including FOX Sports Oklahoma, FOX Sports Southwest, and FOX College Sports.