Nov. 21, 2013
Blaise Butler has patiently waited his turn, but this year he has taken over the starting role for Virginia at 157 pounds. The native of Belvidere, Ill., spent two years alongside All-American Jedd Moore at 157, but after Moore graduated following the 2012-13 season, the spot is all Butler's. He has started strong this year, going 3-1 including a win over 11th-ranked Ian Miller of Kent State on Nov. 10 at the Hokie Duals. The win helped catapult Butler into one of the national rankings; he moved up to No. 13 in the WIN Magazine rankings this week.
Butler and the 15th-ranked Cavaliers start ACC play at 1 p.m. Sunday when they play host to No. 8 Virginia Tech at John Paul Jones Arena. Butler talks about the Virginia Tech match as well as many other things in the latest edition of On the Mat.
Why did you choose UVa?
Butler: The number one reason has to do with the people. I came down for my unofficial visit but didn't really fall in love with it until my official visit when everyone was here. I loved the team and loved the environment. The academics and everything else had some to do with it, but it was the people who really pulled me in.
Being from Illinois, why did you want to come south to wrestle at Virginia?
Butler: I wanted to try something new. I had been around Illinois a lot and was pretty set on going to the University of Illinois, but I really liked it when I came down here and thought `why not' and really just wanted an adventure.
You've gotten your first opportunity to start this year. What's it like finally being a starter?
Butler: It's been great. The guys above me and below me are really welcoming me into the lineup and encouraging me. I've had a couple tough matches already and have a few coming up. I'm trying to make the most of it.
How has training with All-American Jedd Moore for the last couple years helped you?
Butler: It was good and bad. It was a tough practice every time. We were both going for the spot and it made both of us better. In that sense it was great. Obviously I wanted to start last year, but I think I'm better for it and can't complain.
What were your first two years like with not wrestling as much as you'd like?
Butler: It was difficult. Coming into first year I was used to wrestling a lot of matches. Last year was just a lot of traveling (in open tournaments) and getting in here and there when Jedd was taking a break. It was really tough, especially come ACC's when I was doing nothing but drilling with the guys. It was tough but it made me hungry for success this year.
You wrestled in a few dual matches last year, including one where you took Virginia Tech's Jesse Dong down to the wire. How did the few matches you wrestled last year help you this year?
Butler: Matches like those (against Dong) made me realize that I'm right there with those guys and I don't need to take the time to ease into the season, I can just go right out there and get those wins.
Are you pleased with where you are right now?
Butler: I'm not upset with where I am, but there's always room for improvement. I'm looking to get there.
You guys have a big dual with Virginia Tech this weekend. Tell us about it.
Butler: It's huge for the team. I'm going out there looking to not only get the win, but get as many points as I can for our team.
What are some of your goals?
Butler: All-American. Top six. Nothing short of it. As a team, first things first, we need to get that ACC title. We want a ring this year."
Tell us about your major as well as your future plans outside of wrestling.
Butler: I'm majoring in Economics. I'd like to do some type of grad school, but I'm not entirely sure yet. I've been thinking sports management, so maybe law school. My mom might want me to be a lawyer, so I can see myself doing something in those fields.
Short-Handed 'Hoos Rediscover Shooting TouchMen's Basketball2/25/17No. 18 Virginia, which hosts No. 8 North Carolina at 7 p.m. Monday, ended a four-game losing streak Saturday with a victory at NC State.Weekend Notebook: Perrantes Hits HomestretchMen's Basketball2/24/17For point guard London Perrantes, the final regular-season road game of his UVA basketball career is Saturday afternoon at NC State.Casey's Return Buoys CavaliersBaseball2/22/17Derek Casey, who missed the 2016 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, pitched five strong innings in No. 14 Virginia's home opener.
Director of News Content
A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
Four Cavaliers Claim Titles At U.S. Collegiate Championships
Wrestling | 2/19/2017
Four wrestlers claimed titles for the Cavaliers in competition at the U.S. Collegiate...
Virginia Wrestlers Set To Compete At U.S. Western Open Sunday
Wrestling | 2/18/2017
Six members of the Virginia wrestling team head west to compete at the U.S. Western National Open...
No. 23 Virginia Drops Tight Dual With No. 24 Pittsburgh
Wrestling | 2/12/2017
The No. 23 Virginia wrestling team dropped a tight dual match with No. 24 Pittsburgh on Sunday to...
No. 23 Virginia Hosts No. 24 Pittsburgh Sunday
Wrestling | 2/11/2017
The No. 23 Virginia wrestling team hosts No. 24 Pittsburgh at 1 p.m. Sunday in a dual match at...
DiCamillo Named ACC Wrestler Of The Week
Wrestling | 2/7/2017
Redshirt senior George DiCamillo has been named the ACC Wrestler of the Week, the league office...
No. 24 Virginia Defeats Duke Sunday In Road Dual
Wrestling | 2/5/2017
The No. 24 Virginia Cavaliers won six weight classes to pick up a 23-14 win over Duke on the road...
No. 24 Virginia Takes Down No. 25 North Carolina
Wrestling | 02/04/2017
The No. 24 Virginia wrestling team went on the road Saturday and used bonus points to pick up a...
No. 24 Virginia Travels To No. 25 UNC, Duke
Wrestling | 02/03/2017
The No. 24 Virginia wrestling team travels to face No. 25 North Carolina on Saturday and face...
- Online Stores