WALNUT RIDGE — The Williams Baptist University wrestling team was named the 2019-20 American Midwest Conference Champions of Character Team Award winner on Wednesday.
The AMC Champions of Character Team Award honors one men’s and one women’s team for their exemplary character and sportsmanship on the field, on campus and in the community. This team demonstrates the core values of Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Sportsmanship and Servant Leadership.
The WBU wrestling team is well known for its prowess on the mat, collecting two national championships, as well as several All-American and national qualifiers since its inaugural season in 2014-15. This award, however, exemplifies the dedication of the program to work off the mat.
“It is such a pleasure for our team to be recognized for this award. It is never our intention to be praised for the servant leadership our men display, it is just inherent to the culture of our program. These guys selflessly give their time and effort throughout the community and campus and I am thankful these men do so with smiles on their faces,” said head coach Todd Allen.
The wrestling team served the community with various community service projects and outings last year. In total, they spent 1,488 man-hours on volunteer work.
These hours included free wrestling clinics, community clean up projects and game administration projects. They volunteered at Arkansas State University football games operating the concessions, helped clean up the Lawrence County Rail-Trail, ran the table at Arkansas State Duals, served as ball boys at WBU soccer games and offered seven clinics or speaking engagements in an effort to grow the sport of wrestling across the state of Arkansas.
The team automatically gets nominated for the NAIA’s National Champions of Character Team Award which is to be announced sometime in September. The NAIA has not given the exact date of release at this time.
“My hope is that this sense of community service transcends beyond their time here at WBU,” said Allen. “Producing men that serve their community is a focal point of our team and I am humbled that they are being recognized for it.”