According to Michigangrappler.com
[FONT='Arial Black', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]2009-10 College Preview - Central Michigan[/FONT]
Coach: Tom Borelli (19th Season)
Last year: 17-3-1 Record, 14th in NCAA, 1st in MAC
Preseason rank: #13
Individuals ranked: Conor Beebe (125), Scotti Sentes (133),
Tony D'Alie (149), Steve Brown (157), Mike Miller (174), Ben
Bennett (184), Jarod Trice (285)
Top Returners: Conor Beebe (NCAA Qualifier), Scotti Sentes
(All-American), Steve Brown (NCAA Qualifier), Jarod Trice
Key Losses: Trevor Stewart (165)
Impact Newcomers: Ben Bennett (RS Freshman)
Outlook: Last year, which was expected by many to be a
"re-building year" for the Chipps, CMU won their 10th MAC Title in 11 years and finished 14th at the NCAA National Tournament.
This year, with most of their firepower coming back from last year, the Chipps should be locked, loaded, and ready to continue their run as one of the premiere programs in the country.
"We have very high expectations for this season. We want our athletes and program to continue to improve in every aspect. Our conference continues to improve and challenge us therefore, with our conference schedule and our non-conference competitions, we expect to be seasoned and do very well at the NCAA tournament both individually and as a team," said coach Tom Borelli
Mike Miller is back at 174lbs and will look to become CMU's first NCAA Champ in nearly a decade. Miller finished 2nd at last year's NCAA tournament, losing to Steve Luke of Michigan who graduated, and is a consensus #1 in all preseason polls.
"We have had a national finalist for the past two seasons and are proud to have represented Michigan college wrestling in the national spotlight. We are excited that Mike has received this pre-season recognition," said Borelli. "We also know a lot of hard work goes into the process of being prepared to win a NCAA individual championship. Mike is certainly no stranger to this work or preparation and we are confident that he will do everything in his power to accomplish this lofty goal"
The Chipps have one other All-American coming back this year in sophomore Scotti Sentes, who finished 7th at 125lbs last year as a true freshman. This year Sentes will be going up to 133 and swapping with senior Conor Beebe, who was a National Qualifier at 133 last year and has been at 133 his whole career to this point.
"Conor has always felt that he was better suited to wrestle at 125 but because of team needs he has wrestled at 133. Scotti Sentes has outgrown 125 and Conor wanted to compete at what he feels is his more natural weight during his senior season. I feel this change will benefit them both individually and consequently our team," said Borelli.
Two other returning NCAA Qualifiers come back for CMU this
year with senior Steve Brown, who will be moving from 149 to
157 this year, and sophomore heavyweight Jarod Trice, who is
emerging as one of the best big men in the country. Brown is
ranked 8th in the InterMat preseason poll while Trice is ranked
The only significant loss that CMU has to deal with is NCAA
Qualifier Trevor Stewart, who was a staple at 165lbs the last
couple years for them. The bump of Brown should in turn lead
to a bump of Tyler Grayson and Eric Cubberly who split time at
157 for CMU last year.
The addition of redshirt freshman Ben Bennett could go a long
way in off-setting the loss of Stewart. Bennett is one of the most highly touted recruits to ever land in Mt Pleasant and the Chipps will look for him to contend and contribute immediately.
"We are very excited to have Ben in our program and to watch him mature as a college athlete and student. Currently, it has not yet been decided at which weight class he will be competing, but wherever he ends up should be an entertaining weight class for native Michiganders to follow," said Borelli about Benett.
Below is a complete weight-by-weight look at this year's Chippewa squad.
Weight by weight breakdown:
Senior Conor Beebe will be dropping to 125lbs for his final season after starting his first three years at 133lbs for the Chipps. Beebe is a savvy veteran who has qualified for the NCAA Tournament three times at 133lbs. He has major big match expierence and has had a wealth of success in his tenure at CMU, placing at Midlands, the Reno TOC, and the University Nationals in the past two years. If he can cope with the drop in weight, he should be a force at 125lbs in the MAC and in the NCAA. InterMat ranks Beebe 16th at 125lbs in their preseason rankings. Senior Matt Steintrager is back for his final year here as well and he has been in and out of the lineup at 125lbs throughout his career, if something were to happen to Beebe the Chipps should still be very competetive at this weight. Touted true freshman Joe Roth of Illinois will likely redshirt, but should be the future for CMU at this weight.
After earning All-American honors at 125lbs as a true freshman last year, sophomore Scotti Sentes is moving up to 133lbs this year for CMU. The move makes sense as Sentes is tall and big for the 125lb weight class. He made a statement last year with the amount of sucess he enjoyed in his first year at the college level and it is likely that he will build on that this year. He is a beast on top and provides the Chipps with some big point capabilities as well. He is ranked 9th in InterMat's preseason rankings. Former Michigan state champion Steve Light should provide depth here as well after redshirting last year.
With returning NCAA Qualifier Tony D'Alie bumping up to 149lbs this year, the 141lb slot becomes a battle between a couple Chippewa veterans as Junior Ryan Cubberly and Sophomore Jeff Shutich will both be vying for time at this weight. Both these guys should be capable of providing major contributions in the Chippewa lineup. Cubberly was 17-5 last year competing in limited varsity action and was also a University Freestyle All-American last spring. Shutich meanwhile, who is a former Division 1 state champion from Rockford, was 14-3 last year including 2-1 in MAC duals and was also a University All-American last spring.
Senior Tony D'Alie is back for his senior season after making a trip to the NCAA tournament behind a Runner-Up finish at the MAC Tournament last year. D'Alie missed alot of time due to injury last year, however, he placed 4th at Midlands, which shows his capablity to compete with the nation's best. He is ranked 19th in InterMat's Preseason poll.
Steve Brown will be moving up to 157 this year after winning the MAC Titles at 149lbs the past two seasons. Brown, who is currently ranked 8th in the country by InterMat, won three bouts at last year's NCAA tournament and is one of those guys that CMU will be looking to for some major points at this year's NCAA Tournament. He was 5th at last year's Midland and was named Outstanding Wrestler at the Brockport Open after winning the 149lb title. Senior Tyler Grayson is back at this weight as well after going 12-9 last year as CMU's main man at 157lbs. He was a University National All-American last spring and gives the Chipps amazing depth at this weight.
This weight should be a battle between the two guys who traded time at 157 last year. Tyler Grayson was 12-9 at 157 for CMU last year and has been in and out of the starting lineup his whole career. He was a University National All-American last year who brings a lot expierence to the table. Eric Cubberly could contend for this spot as well after seeing some time at 157 as a true freshman last year. Cubberly was a big part of CMU's touted recruiting class last year and this year he will look to step in as a contender on the national level, however, he could take a redshirt as well if Borelli opts to go with Grayson.
Returning NCAA Finalist Mike Miller is back for his final season in Mt. Pleasant and is a favorite to bring home CMU's first National Title since Casey Cunnigham in 2000. Miller fell in the finals to graduated Michigan Wolverine Steve Luke last year, and was also a Midlands Runner-Up. He is a 2x MAC Champion and 2x NCAA All-American who will be looking to finish his stellar career with a National Title. Redshirt Freshman Ben Bennett is a an undersized 184lber who could look to drop to 174 as well if anything happens with Miller or to possiby challenge Miller at 174.
The Ben Bennett era will officially begin this year. The former 3x Michigan State Champ, Senior National Champ, Fargo National Champ, and 2008 Michigan Grappler Wrestler of the Year comes in as one of the most highly touted freshman in CMU history. He redshirted last year, winning the EMU Open, Kent State Open, and Laker Open. He is ranked 15th by InterMat in their pre-season poll. 2008 Division 1 State Champ Raylen Davis of Royal Oak is at this weight as well and should give CMU some depth and options at 184 if Bennett does go down a weight or gets hurt.
Allegan native Eric Simaz looks like the main man here for the Chipps in his senior season. Simaz earned his first varsity letter last year carrying most of the load at 197lbs. He finished last year 13-15 overall and 4-1 in MAC Duals including a win over eventual MAC Champion John McClure of EMU.
Sophomore Jarod Trice is one of the best young heavyweights in the country after finishing 2nd in the MAC last year and earning his first NCAA Tournament bid. Trice came in as one of the best prep big men and has continued that so far in the collegiate ranks. "Doughboy" will look to step up this year and should be a prime contender for All-American honors after a busy summer that included a trip to the World Team Trials. There are few heavyweights in the country that Trice cannot beat.