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.
Paulsons Eager to Help Elevate UVA WrestlingWrestling7/25/17UVA head coach Steve Garland's new assistants are twins Travis and Trent Paulson, former standouts at Iowa State.Sky's the Limit for UVA Pole VaulterTrack & Field, Cross Country7/20/17Jeff Jernigan, who over the course of his UVA career became one of the ACC's top pole vaulters, was commissioned in the U.S. Navy in May.Graduate Transfers Bolster Offensive LineFootball7/18/17Graduate transfers John Montelus and Brandon Pertile will compete for starting jobs on the offensive line when UVA opens training camp late this month.
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.
Jeff White: Paulsons Eager to Help Elevate UVA Wrestling
Wrestling | 7/25/2017
UVA head coach Steve Garland's new assistants are twins Travis and Trent Paulson, former All-Amer...
Trent Paulson Joins Virginia Wrestling Coaching Staff
Wrestling | 5/31/2017
NCAA Champion and three-time All-American Trent Paulson has joined the Virginia wrestling...
Virginia Wrestling Announces 2017 Recruiting Class
Wrestling | 5/12/2017
Virginia head wrestling coach Steve Garland announced the 2017 recruiting class on Friday, a...
Travis Paulson Joins UVA Wrestling As Assistant Coach
Wrestling | 5/2/2017
Virginia head coach Steve Garland announced the addition of three-time All-American Travis...
Five Wrestlers Named ACC All-Academic Team Selections
Wrestling | 4/17/2017
Five Virginia wrestlers were named to the ACC All-Academic Team on Monday for excellence in the...
DiCamillo, Mueller Take Pair Of ACC Awards
Wrestling | 3/28/2017
George DiCamillo was named ACC Wrestler of the Year and Jack Mueller was named ACC Freshman of...
DiCamillo Finishes Runner-Up At NCAA Championships
Wrestling | 03/18/2017
Virginia senior George DiCamillo matched the best individual finish in program history, finishing...
DiCamillo Advances To Finals Of NCAA Championships
Wrestling | 03/17/2017
Redshirt senior George DiCamillo advanced to the NCAA Championships finals and earned All-America...
- Online Stores