Photo by NDSU Athletics
Trent Sprenkle knows a thing a two about winning, and was a huge part of the success the NDSU Men’s Wrestling Team enjoyed last season. Sprenkle secured a spot at the NCAA Championships, where he went 3-2. Sprenkle stays busy being a student, athlete and family man. Bison Illustrated sat down with Sprenkle to learn more about the man off the mat.
How does school treat you?
It’s off and on. I like school, I like learning and I like what I’m studying a lot. Sometimes I’m not a huge fan of it, but I think that’s everybody at some point or another.
What do you want to do with your degree?
I’d like to go into research and eventually work at a research university or facility.
How has wrestling been going, and how did last year go for you?
It has been going really well. Last year I made it to the round 12 of nationals. I lost some matches I wish I had won, but overall the year went really well. This year we’ve had a tournament already and I won there.
What did you do differently in preparation for this year?
This year I’m going to try to stay motivated with wrestling. It’s a battle; it’s a grind. You have to make sure you’re more mentally prepared for each match, so this year I’m going to put more effort into doing that.
What do you do in your off time, if you have any?
Well I’m married and I have two children, so I spend my time with my wife and kids as much as I possibly can. My oldest is a little over two, and my other little girl is turning a year old in a couple days. They keep me pretty busy.
Do you have a pre-match ritual?
Not really. I just do the usual warm-up — I probably should get a routine [laughs]. I just warm up, and I think about what I’m going to do in my match. I try to get a full wrestling match in before I go out there.
How about superstitions?
No. I’m not a superstitious person. I usually say a prayer before my matches, but otherwise I’m either prepared or I’m not.
What would the others guys on the team say about you?
Well I hope they would say I’m a nice guy. I hope they would see me as more relaxed, that I try to help them enjoy the experience. We have a lot of guys, including the coaches, who are making sure we push ourselves really hard. I try to be the guy who tries to be an example but still brings a likability to it, so that we still enjoy it.
How do you approach being one of the older guys on the team?
At this point I view myself as a teacher. I make sure I teach the young guys, and after practice I’ll grab some of them and show them some of the things I’ve learned over the years. If I ever see that one of them is down, I’ll go over and let them know that we’ve all been through it — that sort of thing.
What do you have on your iPod?
I’m a big fan of three artists: Jim Croce, Billy Joel and Jack Johnson.