Wrestling Winter Sports Preview: Q&A with Coach Levi Iman

Wrestling Winter Sports Preview: Q&A with Coach Levi Iman

The Missouri Military Academy Fighting Colonels wrestling focuses on developing well-rounded, disciplined and exemplary athletes. For a wrestler, every match is a one-on-one contest of wits, strength, and fortitude. Our cadets bring honor to themselves, their team, and their Academy every time they step onto the mat. 

Head coach Levi Iman, assistant coaches Mike Pfiefer and Thomas Allen, and the MMA wrestling team look forward to ringing in another successful winter season at MMA. 

Enjoy this wrestling preview Q&A with Coach Levi Iman. 

What are your expectations for the season? 
With many returners this year, as well as more depth in most weight classes, we feel more prepared coming out of the gate, and we believe that we should perform favorably with our schedule this year.

What are your goals as a coach? Goals for the cadets? 
This year, we have set a goal to develop a full 14-man varsity lineup, eight varsity wrestlers with 20+ wins, and at least two varsity wrestlers with 30+ wins. 

What does daily practice look like for cadets? 
We break up our practice room to allow the cadets to be grouped together by experience, while our more seasoned wrestlers are able to perform at a higher intensity level while learning more advanced moves earlier in the season. We have a large group of cadets who are new to wrestling, so we give them a slower, more learning-based approach to get them up to speed. 

Who are the team captains?
The team captains for this year are Cadets Ryan Miles, Michael Pfeifer, and Adam Swenson. They are all juniors who have been on the team for at least three seasons and have seized the opportunity this year to step up and be leaders. 

Who are the top players and why? 
Cadets Sam Stevens and Trae Griffiths both had great freshman seasons last year, and they came away with the most conference and district wins, so we expect to see big things from both of them this year. Cadets Ryan Miles and Adam Swenson are another two contenders to have a great season. They have come in to practice much stronger and more mentally focused this year, and they are both looking to add some big wins to their records. 

What do you hope each cadet gets out of the season, outside of improved athletic skill?
Wrestling can help increase confidence, self-discipline, and mental toughness. These are traits the cadets will carry with them well after their days of wrestling are over. They are building blocks that can help lead them into the next stage of their lives. 

What would you like families to know about this season? 
Wrestling is the toughest sport, both physically and mentally. There will be days when quitting seems favorable compared to another hard practice or facing a tough opponent, but those on the team who endure hardships and struggles will become physically and mentally stronger because of it. Both loss and victory will help build both the team and the individuals, which will help us reach success.

About Head Coach Levi Iman

Coach Levi Iman has coached football and wrestling — focused on developing young men through sport — for over a decade. With four years of experience coaching at MMA, he has assumed the role of head wrestling coach for the first time in 2023. 

Coach Iman's own journey in the world of wrestling began when he wrestled and played football throughout high school. His passion for the sport continued into college, where he wrestled competitively.

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