By Ray Hamill — College has been an adjustment in more ways than one for Fortuna’s Adam Medeiros, but the former Fortuna Husky wrestler is enjoying a breakout season on the mats this year.
Medeiros, who is a junior at Heidelberg University in Ohio, is 9-5 on the season and has been ranked as high as No. 18 in the nation in NCAA Division-III at 184 pounds.
But getting there and adjusting to college life some 2,500 miles from home, as well as a whole new level of competition, has been a challenge.
After dominating in the H-DNL at Fortuna High, making the jump to the college level wasn’t easy and Medeiros admitted he struggled mentally to adapt.
It didn’t help matters when his sophomore season ended after one match because of an LCL injury.
This season, however, Medeiros has been mostly healthy and is enjoying a big year.
“It was just a big step and my first two years here weren’t that good,” he said of the adjustment. “But I’m handling it well now. This year I’ve got a better mindset. I know I’ve put the work in, and I know that all the hard work I put in makes me confident.”
The criminology and psychology major has also had to adapt to the Ohio weather.
“It’s cold,” he said with a chuckle. “But I do like the hospitality here.”
He’s also enjoying life as a Heidelberg wrestler.
“I love the program,” he said. “I’ve made a lot of really good friends. Everybody (on the team) wants to be here to wrestle.”
Last weekend, Medeiros continued his impressive season despite battling an injury and placed sixth in his weight class at the 40th annual Ohio Northern University Invitational, a 16-team tournament featuring some top NCAA Division-III wrestlers.
Medeiros says his time at Fortuna High helped prepare him for the jump to college and all the challenges he has faced, especially the influence of his coaches.
“Steve Schmalzel had a big impact on my technique,” he said. “And Steve Stockdale really helped my mental game.”
And there was one other coach that played a big role for the former Husky.
“My dad (Al) coached me in high school and he always pushed me a little more than I wanted to go,” Medeiros said, before adding with a chuckle, “It was a pain in the butt, but he definitely made me a better wrestler.”