By Patrick Cooley, Sports Editor
Nearly 500 hundred people gathered Sunday for a rally at Sapp Fieldhouse to show support for the UNO Wrestling Program, which is in jeopardy of being eliminated.
Past and present players, alumni, boosters and fans as well as a number of football players, listened to UNO Head Wrestling Coach Mike Denney, who took the stage to a thunderous applause.
“This is a tough time for us,” Denney said. “One of the things we talk about is team power. We are a family. When it gets tough, we pull even tighter. This is what I love to see, we’re pulling tighter.”
Nebraska State Senator Tyler Larson, a representative of Northeast Nebraska’s District 40, also took the stage. He spoke of his support for the wrestling and football programs.
The 24-year old Larson promised to work with his colleagues to construct a resolution disapproving of the athletic department’s proposed program cuts.
The senator also encouraged the wrestling community to show their dissatisfaction by emailing and calling the NU Board of Regents. Though they are not scheduled to meet until next month, the senator said there have been talks of a special session to vote on the UNO athletic departments proposal.
Though uncertain of his program’s future, Denney showed his leadership abilities.
“Being able to demonstrate character under adversity is what we preach,” said Denney. “We’ve got to find a way, and there’s got to be a better way. When you get this kind of a group together we can find a better way. I feel the team power here. I feel it in this room. You football players know what we’re talking about. Anybody that can help us out on this – we need help. This is a great showing here and we thank you.”