Senior Tribute: NDSU Wrestling’s Cam Sykora
Sykora reflects on his four years at NDSU
FARGO, N.D. — North Dakota State Wrestling tied a program record for having six wrestlers qualify for the NCAA championships that never happened due to the cancellation of the event because of coronavirus.
One of those six qualifiers was senior Cam Sykora, who was going to making his fourth consecutive appearance in the championships.
“All the work we put in, we didn’t get to showcase,” Sykora said. “It kind of just comes down to march for what people mostly look at for a season so that kind of sucked at first but then you look at all the success we had this season and it makes you feel better.”
Sykora will go down as one of the most successful wrestlers in the program’s history. After transferring from South Dakota State his freshman year, Sykora racked up 87 wins and spent most of the last two seasons ranked in the 133 pound weight class.
Sykora’s last match on the mats came as the first Bison to win a Big 12 individual title.
“It was tough. I didn’t get to finish out my senior year but that was a good way to go out if it was to end like that,” Sykora said. “I didn’t get to go to the national tournament but I feel like I was wrestling my best at the most important time.”
Sykora spent his whole time at NDSU under head coach Roger Kish and the impact coach left on him, he’ll remember forever.
“Coach Kish has been with me every step of the way,” Sykora said. “He took me in when I transferred and he’s almost been like a second father figure to me. He’s watched me grow from a boy to a man so he’s helped me a lot along the way.”
Sykora along with the three other seniors, Andrew Fogarty, Cordell Eaton and Lorenzo De La Riva, have set the foundation for continued success in the future and the Big 12 Champ wants to make sure the underclassman know that in his departure.
“Just always trying to remind that that they have another chance,” Sykora said. “A lot of them, three of them were national qualifiers who have three or two more years of eligibility. They have a lot more time to try and stay focused. Focus on next season because there’s nothing we can do about this situation. Its a much bigger issue than just wrestling and there;s a lot more important things in life than wrestling.”
After graduating in May, sykora hopes to pursue a coaching career in wrestling to help give back to the sport that’s provided him with so much.