Wrestling stressing offense, aggressive mindset

Junior Logan Parks takes on his opponent from Old Dominion University on Jan. 4 at McGuirk Arena.

Junior Logan Parks has become accustomed to winning clutch matches with last-second takedowns or upsetting top-ranked opponents for Central Michigan.

On Jan. 24 against North Dakota State, Parks saw a role reversal and a win slip away late. 

Parks was ahead 2-1 against Luke Weber in the 157-pound weight class and had a point all but secured for riding time. Weber was awarded a point because the official deemed Parks to be stalling. It was his defensive mindset that prevented any points from being scored. 

Weber earned the takedown with two seconds left on the clock to win the match 4-3. 

"It effected everybody," said head coach Tom Borelli. "You can't play defense in a wrestling match. As soon as you start thinking defensively, the other guy gets life, and he can feel you're worried a little bit."

The Chippewas have had an up-and-down year, with a dual record of 3-5 and 2-2 in Mid-American Conference play. Borelli wants his team to have an aggressive mindset heading toward the NCAA Tournament in March, which comes from confidence.  

"If you keep wrestling all the time, you're getting ready for March," Borelli said. "If you're holding on and trying to win, you've got a short-sighted goal and that's not helping you get eady for March."

Redshirt freshman Drew Marten won his match over Sawyer Degan in the 141-pound weight class 5-4 with a point awarded to Marten for riding time. Marten controlled the majority of the match, he jumped ahead then Degan tied it up late. 

Sophomore Dresden Simon jumped out to a 10-3 lead over Jaden Van Maanen with a near fall, which extended his lead early in the match. Van Maanen then worked his way back into the match with his strong offense. Simon was able to hold on to the match with a 13-9 victory. 

Matt Stencel showed the aggressive mindset his coach preaches in his heavyweight match against Brandon Metz. Stencel was down and almost lost via pin in the first round, but came back in the second round and defeated Metz with a pin. The poise and aggressive mindset helped Stencel win his match. 

"As long as you're expanding your lead, you're probably focusing on wrestling," Borelli said. "You're not focused on the score clock, or concentrating on how to hold on."

CMU has shown talent in each weight class, and it believes an aggressive mindset is what will get it to the top of the proverbial mountain that Borelli envisions the team in.