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.
Margin of Error Gone for CavaliersMen's Lacrosse4/29/16To become eligible for an NCAA men's lacrosse tournament bid, Virginia (7-7) must upset second-ranked Brown (13-1) on Saturday night.UVA Spring Football NotebookFootball4/27/16With spring practice over, Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall and his assistants have turned their focus to recruiting.Cavaliers Push On With Heavy HeartsBaseball4/25/16No. 21 Virginia, coming off an emotionally draining weekend in Coral Gables, Fla., meets ODU at noon Tuesday in Norfolk at Harbor Park.
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.
Five Wrestlers Named All-ACC Academic Team Selections
Wrestling | 4/26/2016
Five members of the Virginia wrestling team were named All-ACC Academic Team selections the...
Virginia Announces Addition Of Edwin Rubio For 2016-17
Wrestling | 4/13/2016
Virginia head coach announced Wednesday that heavyweight Edwin Rubio has signed a financial aid...
Jay Aiello To Join Virginia Wrestling Program
Wrestling | 4/4/2016
Virginia head coach Steve Garland announced Monday that Jay Aiello has signed a financial aid...
DiCamillo's Run Ends At NCAA Championships
Wrestling | 3/18/2016
George DiCamillo's run at the NCAA Championships ended on a late near fall Friday night in the...
DiCamillo Through To NCAA Round of 12
Wrestling | 3/18/2016
Virginia redshirt junior George DiCamillo advanced to the NCAA Round of 12 where he will face...
DiCamillo Advances To NCAA Quarterfinals
Wrestling | 3/17/2016
George DiCamillo picked up a pair of wins to advance to the NCAA quarterfinals, while Zach Nye...
Virginia Begins NCAA Championships Thursday
Wrestling | 03/16/2016
Virginia opens competition at the NCAA Championships on Thursday, marking the 10th consecutive...
Brackets, Seeds Announced For NCAA Championships
Wrestling | 03/09/2016
George DiCamillo is seeded sixth and Zach Nye is seeded 14th in the upcoming NCAA Championships...
- Online Stores