COLUMN: Wrestling and field hockey programs looking at bright season next year
What I can say with certainty from observing the Central Michigan wrestling and field hockey teams is success will be imminent for both programs next season.
The wrestling team should have many members vying for All-American status and competing for national titles, and the field hockey team should have their sights set on a conference championship.
Furthermore, wrestling coach Tom Borrelli and field hockey coach Cristy Freese’s pedigree shows they are up for guiding their respective teams to successful seasons.
Both reached milestones in the last year. In their combined 26 seasons as head coaches, Borrelli surpassed 300 wins and Freese moved past 200.
They will have a roster that is a year older and wiser at their disposal. Their teams will only lose two seniors each from their last squad.
The wrestling team will be anchored by 184-pound Ben Bennett and heavyweight Jarod Trice, and the field hockey team will be led by midfielder Erin Dye and goalie Anastasia Netto.
Trice took this year off to pursue the Olympics. He placed fourth in the nation the last time he was wearing maroon and gold at the heavyweight division.
Bennett completed another season as an All-American. He would be first four-time All-American in CMU wrestling history, if he continues his success in his final year.
Dye came out strong at the end of the field hockey season after a slow start, scoring six goals in her last eight games.
Netto’s improvement came in her second year starting.
She allowed 1.83 goals per game, an improvement from 2.68 in her sophomore season. She earned second team All-MAC for her success at guarding the net.
The wrestling and field hockey team do not lack in talented underclassmen either.
Freshman Mike Ottinger surprised many with his performances on the mat. When he declined in the postseason, freshman Zach Horan stepped up in another weight class, coming one match away from All-American status.
Freshman Cayleigh Immelman of the field hockey team won Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year for her efforts.
She was the team’s leading scorer with 12 goals and was also second in assists with nine.
Wrestling and especially field hockey will always be a backdrop to football and basketball. But next year, they will most likely outdo their cohorts, whom participate in mainstream sports.
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