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Oklahoma State Wrestling

Ferrari Talks Confidence and Having a Gundy Fan Club

March 31, 2021
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STILLWATER – Oklahoma State fans last vision of A.J. Ferrari as he heads off the Fort Worth this weekend to challenge the best wrestlers in the United State for a spot on the Olympic team was Ferrari pitching a strike from the mound at O’Brate Stadium and then flexing and measuring the competitive heart in the Oklahoma baseball program before ripping his shirt off on the way to the Oklahoma State dugout to fire up the Cowboys.

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Ferrari was electric as a first pitch performer.

 

“I thought it was great,” said Cowboys junior left-handed ace Parker Scott. “He has all of us fired up.”

Ferrari will need all the fire he can muster as the sixth seed in the 97-kilogram weight class he is in the same weight as two-time World Champion and NCAA champion at Missouri in J’Den Cox and the top-ranked competitor at that class is Kyle Snyder, who is the youngest American wrestler to be a World Champion and an Olympic Champion. He is also the youngest wrestler to hold the Triple Crown of wrestling in one year being an Olympic, World, and NCAA champion in the same year. Snyder is an Ohio State Buckeye alum.

He’s convinced he can beat anybody. He has quite the local fan club and he had Oklahoma State football head coach Mike Gundy and the Gundy family convinced he was going to win the 197-pound NCAA individual title before he left for St. Louis.

“You know I just think it is the confidence people have around here in our wrestling program,” Ferrari started with a humble approach. “A lot of it too is that I have hung out with his son, Gunnar, and with his whole family, everybody to be honest. I just carry myself the way I do because I have confidence in myself, everybody, and my team. That comes from the preparation and having faith in what you do and having faith in your coaches, faith in your training, faith in the principles that you live by because it is more than just wrestling.”

Ferrari is one of those young people that talks the talk, but he also walks the walk.

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Ferrari is convincing. He only lost once as a freshman this season.

“People see and I talked to Coach Gundy and I told him that I was going to win that thing and that we would come away with a team trophy minimum this year because we had a couple of guys injured. It was tough,” Ferrari said of the promise he made before the NCAA Championship.”

Ferrari knows enough about wrestling that he is aware of what he will be up against in the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth this weekend. He believes freestyle is his better form of wrestling. His strength and flexibility certainly factor into it. His confidence will as well. You cannot win if you don’t believe that you can.

“I said in the last interview that confidence is contagious and that is what happens when you are around these confident people like my coaches, Chris Perry and John Smith,” Ferrari continued. “These confident people, they’ve done it. They know that I’ve made the sacrifice at the highest level and it pays off.”

Ferrari’s confidence and youthful innocence and confidence is something that Daton Fix wants to channel. Fix lost in the final of the NCAA Championship at 133 pounds, but he is the number two seed for the Olympic Trials at 57 kilograms.

“He is really dedicated, and I think that is where a lot of his confidence comes from,” teammate and two-time NCAA runner-up Daton Fix said of Ferrari. “He knows all the work that he has put in and he can let everything go because he knows how hard he’s worked. That is something that I want to take from him. He wrestles, wrestles like, wrestles like he’s a young kid. He goes out there to have fun and score points and it is awesome to watch as a teammate. It is something that I want to get back to.

Sometimes being more of a kid, letting the pressure go and just go have fun can be a great approach. Is it the right approach to make the Olympic team for the United States in wrestling. We will find out on Friday and Saturday in Fort Worth.

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Ferrari Talks Confidence and Having a Gundy Fan Club

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