Wrestling to test each other at intersquad

The CMU wrestling team will form its starting roster as the season begins with its intersquad match at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Rose Arena.

The first battle for a starting position is at the 125-pound weight class. Senior 125-pounder Conor Beebe looks to be the favorite for the Chippewas despite never wrestling at that weight. After three seasons at 133 and three consecutive NCAA Championship appearances, Beebe has already earned a preseason ranking of 13th at 125.

Last year’s starting 125-pounder, Scotti Sentes, moved up to 133 pounds for his sophomore year.

“It is going to be a challenge for me because I have never dropped down to that weight before,” Beebe said. “I just need to break through that barrier and, hopefully, I can come out and shock the world.”

Senior 125-pounder Matt Steintrager also will attempt to earn the starting spot. Steintrager sat behind starters for nearly his entire career.

The 141-pound weight class is one of the few that Central does not have a wrestler ranked in the top 20. Sophomore Jeff Schutich came into this season as the likely starter, but a hyperextended elbow may keep him on the bench to start the season.

Junior Ryan Cubberly, at 141 pounds, will look to replace Schutich. However, Cubberly will have to earn that right with a win over true freshmen Billy Osborne or Scott Mattingly.

“We are going to have a really tough team no matter who ends up starting,” Sentes said. “The intersquad will play a lot into the final decision and we are ready to get out and wrestle.”

CMU has most of its starters returning this season, but the team will have to find a replacement at the 184-pound weight class with the graduation of Vince DiDona. Freshman 184-pounder Ben Bennett is the likely starter, as he is No. 16 in the preseason rankings. However, he also may wrestle in the 174 weight class Friday.

Bennett would face off against junior 174-pounder Mike Miller. He is ranked on the top of his weight class, but may try his hand at the 184-pound weight class should Bennett win the 174 spot Friday.

“This isn’t the end-all for our starting roster,” said coach Tom Borrelli. “We have our first dual match only two weeks away, and Friday may determine the starters for the early part of the season. But nothing is written in stone.”