Bulldog wrestling team holds annual banquet


By MacKenzie Gramlich


The MFL MarMac High School Wrestling Team invited parents and family to the community center last Tuesday for the annual banquet. The night consisted of reflections from the 2013-2014 season, awards, good food and more. 


The team finished the year off well, with a dual meet record of 11-4 and, of course, a state semifinalist who placed sixth. In the words of coach Chet Bachman, “We took a step forward.


“I went into this season pretty excited. I thought that, if we put the right guys in the right spots, we’d be very competitive.” 


And that they were.


“We started the season off with beating a ranked team. Then we went into Christmas break with several kids that had a lot of opportunities and things going for them in the second half of the season. By that point, we were gaining a little momentum.” 


Although the Dogs had gotten the ball rolling, there is no such thing as a perfect season. For there are bound to be unavoidable bumps in the road. 


“Injuries definitely held us back,” said Bachman. “But we also had a group of kids who could back us up and filled the gaps in the lineup nicely. That then gave us something we could continue to build on and move forward.”


The varsity lineup held five freshman who didn’t have a great deal of wrestling experience before this year. 


“We kind of fed them to the wolves, but they did a good job holding their own. They dealt well with what they were put up against. But they kept coming to practice and they kept showing up at tournaments.


“Freshman year is usually a little bit trying. But now they’ve been through the battle and hopefully, as they get older, that’ll carry over so they can really start to flex their muscles, so to speak.”


Though the middle of the season was thought of as a sort of juggle, the supportive coaching staff at MFL MarMac did their best to keep heads high. 


“Everyone has a bright future if they do what they’re supposed to do with us. I think we have a unique situation of coaches and a program. If they put some time in and work in the offseason and maybe catch a camp, they should do well...wrestling through the season with the right mindset. Everybody has a bright future. That’s how I feel and that’s what I really believe.” 


Working in the offseason is a dominating factor for improvement. The coaches would like to see the kids in the weight room more often. 


“If you combine lifting, technique camps, and just getting some extra wrestling in, then I think we have a really good shot at making some noise. But you’d have to do all three of those...It all depends on what you want. Some kids want to become a conference champ, some want to be a state placewinner, while some kids just want to place at conference.”


Meeting your goals means making a sacrifice. On Saturdays, a wrestler may not be able to go snowmobiling or fourwheeling, but Bachman says sometimes that’s the price of being a champ. 


“Nathan Howe is the perfect example of that. He worked hard every day and gave no excuses. And the outcome was that he ended his career on the highest level he could probably reach. We couldn’t be any happier.” 


On that note, Howe went on to take home the Most Valuable Wrestler award at the banquet. 


Howe also led the team with the most wins, pins, match points and team points, and he won his hundredth match at state. 


Chase Strub took the title for most takedowns, with 63, and Bryce Decker had a total of 60 escapes. For near falls, Hunter Fletcher led with 12 N-2s and N-3s. 


For Junior Varsity, Cody Waterman had the most wins, Chase Stubbs had the most pins and John Paul Murphy led the team with 21 takedowns and 73 match points.


Chase Strub also took home one of the more comical awards, Porker of the Year. 


As for next season, Bachman’s only hope is to see new and familiar faces in the wrestling room on the first day of practice. 


“That’s always what I hope for—just to see everybody from the year before back in that room again.”

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