Small College, Big Dreams

Skie Roulo competes for the women’s wrestling team


Photo courtesy of the Athletic Department

Skie Roulo, freshman, takes down her opponent in a match earlier this year.

Cody Gibson, Sports Editor

She competes for a small college, but Skie Roulo has big dreams.

My goals for this year are set pretty high. I want to place in the top three at nationals and become an All-American,” Roulo, freshman and member of the Women’s Wrestling Team, said.

The wrestling team is in the same division as King College, and Roulo mentions that it makes it even harder for her to achieve her goals.

“Having King in our region makes it a bit more tough. You have to place top three at the regional tournament to even qualify for the nationals, and I want to be top three at the nationals,” Roulo said.

Roulo started in high school with a different sport in mind but ended up sticking with the one she is on now.

“I started wrestling sophomore year of high school, and I was part of an all-boys team. I started because I was pretty aggressive in no-contact sports and wanted to be in a contact sport. I’ve always wanted to be an MMA fighter, but I took the wrestler path and just stuck with it,” she said.

Most athletes have a pregame routine they go through, and Roulo is no different; she has her own pregame warm-up.

“I always listen to Juice WRLD before matches while bouncing in a corner. I like to imagine being in a match before stepping on the mat, like what’s my first shot and reshot, what tie-ups am I going to aim for, that sort of thing,” Roulo said.

Students on campus all have different reasons for why they come here, but Roulo’s is a little different from the others.

“I chose Ferrum because it was close to the RTC (Regional Training Center in Danville) I’ve been training with for the past two years and close to my husband (who is head wrestling coach at Averett University). I’m a homebody,” Roulo said.   

She loves the sport but acknowledges its difficulties.

“The hardest part of wrestling is losing a match and having to stay mentally focused to win the next match. It’s hard losing a match and coming back, especially at tournaments where you lose two matches and you’re out. I also think cutting weight is difficult, but it’s just part of it,” she said.

Connor Lapresi, Women’s Wrestling Head Coach, applauds her aspirations.

“Skie shows no fear in her goal setting. She doesn’t just want to be good, she wants to be great. As her coach, it’s nice to have someone wholeheartedly chasing a dream of theirs. I think it takes a lot of courage to be as outspoken about your goals as Skie is. You can tell she really means it,” Lapresi said.

Lapresi has also taken note of Roulo’s leadership qualities.

“Skie has a great foundation of wrestling knowledge. Being the oldest girl on the team, she brings a lot of maturity and wisdom to the room. With her husband being the head coach of Averett’s wrestling team, Skie has seen first-hand the difficulties of college wrestling and brings a good perspective to the team. She is definitely someone who leads by example and lets her actions speak for themself,” Lapresi said.

She commented that one difficult aspect of wrestling is that the season carries over the fall and spring semesters. Her coach agreed.

“It is a two-semester sport. While most students spend December and January relaxing, we spend it doing two-a-days and competing. It’s very common to experience FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)during the holiday season and eventually wears on your competitive mindset. It can also be disheartening when students return for the Spring semester re-energized while you seemingly never left. However, in my experience, this downtime between semesters is exactly when teams can create strong bonds,” Lapresi said.

Ryann Tyree, senior, has taken notice of Roulo’s leadership and what it has done for the team’s drive/ their own goals.

Skie is the type to hold her teammates accountable. She wants to see everyone succeed individually and as a team. She is a vocal person and speaks up when she feels is necessary, but she does not do so in a way that she’s trying to put herself above everyone. Everyone should have those goals. It is definitely inspiring to hear about her goals, and it’s very motivating,” Tyree said.

Roulo wanted to leave a message for any woman who is scared/afraid to give wrestling a shot.

“I just want people to know, especially women, it’s never too late to step on a mat and try it out,””Roulo said.