By JAMES RANDALL
Home sweet home.
It’s only fitting that the last season ever for BYU wrestling will end at home … six times over.
The Cougars continue their six game home finale Jan. 28, against Wyoming, and they’ll do it without one of their best wrestlers, 157-pound Rocky Smart.
Smart is out this week after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. The injury was sustained in Smart’s loss to Larry Quisel of Boise State last Saturday.
“I hope to be wrestling next week. It’s still sore, but it depends on how it heals up,” Smart said.
Freshman Warren Harris, from West Valley, will wrestle in place of Smart.
“He’s (Warren) fine except he’s not big enough,” said coach Mark Schultz, about Harris replacing Smart. Harris usually wrestles at 149 pounds, not 157 pounds.
“Warren Harris is a tough wrestler,” teammate Matt Hamblin said. “He’s just a freshman, but he’s tough. He’s got a chance to prove himself.”
The Cougars’ line-up is thin right now, and that’s a concern for Schultz.
“I’ve got less guys in my room than I’ve ever had, and any injuries at all are just wiping us out,” Schultz said.
The Cowboys will take on the Cougars at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse on Friday.
“It should be a tough match, they went neck and neck with (No. 7) Nebraska, so they are obviously no pushover,” Schultz said. “It will be tough without Rocky, but every match has been a challenge this year, so this is nothing new for us.”
For the Smart brothers (Rocky and Rangi), wrestling at home takes on new meaning. They are both from Pleasant Grove originally.
“It’s nice because I’m from here and my family can come to the matches,” Rocky Smart said.
Rocky’s brother, Rangi, is the Cougars’ most consistent wrestler right now. He is going into Friday with a five-match winning streak and ranked No. 10 in the nation with a team-best 13-1 record.
A total of four Cougars are nationally ranked, while Wyoming has Cory Hamrick, who is ranked No. 16 at 133 pounds.