Brent Fleetwood and Lorenzo de la Riva
Wrestling

The Transfer And The Californian

Brent Fleetwood and Lorenzo de la Riva are both redshirt athletes who value the leadership that NDSU and the wrestling team bestow upon them.

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Brent Fleetwood

Blent Fleetwood

  • Redshirt Senior
  • Smyrna, Delaware
  • 125 pounds
  • Spent his first three seasons of eligibility at Central Michigan University before transferring to NDSU and redshirting last season.

Why NDSU wrestling?

There’s a certain checklist when you transfer, like who needs a 125 and where I can be successful. You don’t want to leave one program for an identical one. Once I got my permission to contact other schools, I sent out a message to maybe five schools that I thought were a decent fit. I narrowed it down to here, Arizona and Campbell. At a surface level, it was probably Jarrod (Garnett) being from Delaware and being a little guy that first made NDSU pop in my head.

How do you define the word tradition and how does it relate to NDSU wrestling?

An expectation. For football, if we win championship after championship, we have this community, roll herd, Bison, fingers up, there’s a lot to it, but I think a lot of it has to do with the community and expectations. So the more you win, the more that becomes a norm and then it’s an expectation.

I’m still learning the tradition here, I sort of feel like a sophomore. But on game day, whether wrestling or football, there’s definitely a good athletic backing here. You can tell the community expects results, they expect to see a good show and they expect to see us win.

What is the difference between wrestling at NDSU and other places?

Anytime you leave someplace, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Even though there was no falling out and that’s why I left, I just wasn’t reaching my potential. A lot of blame is on me for that too. With NDSU, I feel that this place lets everyone be an individual and they’re going to find a way to make you successful. We all have to train, lift and wrestle, but at the same time, you can’t treat 40 kids the exact same. I think they find out about who you are as a person and then they figure out how to best bring out your attributes.

Are you okay with people overlooking your talent this season?

I don’t really look at it as a positive or a negative. If you pay attention to wrestling, I haven’t had the success the top three guys have had. I think anyone that knows wrestling knows that on any given day, I can beat anybody. So in a way, I don’t care if I’m ranked because I know I’m in the back of every 125-pounder’s mind. When they step on the mat and wrestle Brent Fleetwood, they know who I am and I know who they are. I could care less what anyone else thinks.

My first match is against (Sebastian) Rivera and I’ve beaten him twice. That’s just one example because he had a lot of success last year, but I’ve had a lot of success in my own right. I’m not going to say I deserve to be ranked, but I’m fine with them saying that I have a whole year to do stuff. If I do what I did in the summer and I show out, then they’ll put me in the ranking. If I flop, well, I’m not going to flop, but if I were to flop, then whatever.

Rivera did not wrestle against Fleetwood. Instead, Fleetwood earned a fall against Dylan Utterback in his first match of the season. 

Lorenzo de la Riva

Lorenzo de la Riva

  • Redshirt Junior
  • Folsom, California
  • 174 pounds
  • Spent his last three seasons wrestling for Cal State Bakersfield.

Why NDSU wrestling?

The main thing I wanted when I left was I wanted people to push me in the room with a coach my size that can work with me. I got Andrew (Fogarty) and guys around my weight that obviously kind of work me over sometimes, so it’s nice to have people in the room that can push you. It makes you bring it every day or else you’re going to get beat up.

How do you define the word tradition and how does it relate to NDSU wrestling?

It’s a mindset. Places that have a tradition of winning, usually have a mindset of winning. Doing everything that a captain would do, but everyone’s doing it. The captain doesn’t have to bring it out of you to do it, you’re just building off each other and if you have a winning mindset, you’re going to go out there like a killer and do the things to get it done and not have doubts about yourself.

What is the difference between wrestling at NDSU and other places?

For me, being an upperclassman more is expected of me here. I need to step into more of a leadership role. I’m just a lot happier here, I can’t really pinpoint why, but I’m just excited about our team this year because we’re going to do really good things.

What are you looking forward to the most this season?

Everyone on our team has something to prove. Me and Fleetwood are both transfers, he’s been off the scene for the last year, but he had a really good offseason and took top-five at the World Trials. I think a lot of people on our team, Cam too, he beat a lot of big names, but he didn’t have the NCAA Tournament he wanted. And me, I had a pretty bad season last year, so I think we all have something to prove and I think it’ll be exciting to watch us this year.

The Transfer And The Californian
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