Cole Ferguson highlighting young core of Pioneer wrestling

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville wrestling team has seen its share of struggles this season, but freshman Cole Ferguson has been a bright spot in head coach Chris Walter’s lineup.

Ferguson began wrestling at age 8 in Joliet, Ill., when his mom brought home a flyer from the Little Hill Toppers wrestling club. After the first day, he fell in love with the sport.

After not wrestling his freshman year, Ferguson made the varsity squad his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. A leg injury in his junior year only allowed him to practice two days a week, but when his senior year arrived, he was back in action and said he decided that it was something he wants to keep pursuing in college.

Ferguson looked at Loras College and UW-Platteville to continue his education and wrestling career.

“Both had great criminal justice programs,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson chose UW-Platteville because he liked the criminal justice program, the price and the wrestling program better.

The transition from high school wrestling to college is a difficult one for all athletes.

“It was even more competitive and a whole new division,” Ferguson said.

Walter said he was happy to have Ferguson on his team after talking to him at high school tournaments and explaining the great program at UW-Platteville.

“He’s a hard worker and gives 110 percent during practice and at meets,” Walter said.

Although Ferguson said he was nervous at first because he is wrestling with guys that are older and have more experience than him, these perceived disadvantages have in made Ferguson more determined.

Ferguson said he wants to be a good role model to the freshman, his teammates and his coaches.

The injury bug that has plagued the wrestling team hit Ferguson two weeks ago, and he was out of the lineup for one meet due to a shoulder injury.

Ferguson was able to compete at the Pioneers’ duals last weekend at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and won both of his matches, with a 3-2 win at UW-Stevens Point and a win by forfeit at UW-Eau Claire.