Jan. 16, 2013
Coach McFarland Interview
Friday, Jan. 18 -- vs. No. 4 Iowa (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m.
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The No. 18-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team (6-3, 0-2 Big Ten) will return home to continue its Big Ten Conference slate against No. 4 Iowa (12-1, 2-0 Big Ten) on Friday (Jan. 18). The meet is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start at Cliff Keen Arena.
Prior to the Wolverines' contest, they will host a high school dual meet featuring a pair of nationally ranked Michigan programs as No. 8-ranked St. Johns will face No. 14 Detroit Catholic Central at 4 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena.
Michigan's Projected Starting Lineup
||Hometown (High School)
||Lowell, Mass. (Blair Academy)
||Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)
||Lansing, Mich. (Eastern)
||Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)
||Fremont, Mich. (Hesperia)
||Bozeman, Mont. (Bozeman)
||St. Johns, Mich. (St. Johns)
||Hesperia, Mich. (Hesperia)
||West Bloomfield, Mich. (West Bloomfield)
||Gowen, Mich. (Greenville)
||Emerald Isle, N.C. (Blair Academy)
||Woodridge, Ill. (Downers Grove South)
Michigan narrowly trails in the all-time series against Iowa, 28-25-1, dating back to 1924. The Hawkeyes have claimed the last five meetings between the programs, including a 30-7 victory in the most-recent matchup on Feb. 13, 2011.
Three Wolverines -- senior/junior Sean Boyle (125 pounds), senior/junior Eric Grajales (149) and freshman Taylor Massa (165) -- kicked off the Big Ten dual season with perfect 2-0 records in U-M's meets against Nebraska and Wisconsin. Boyle and Massa earned bonus points in both their wins.
Massa leads the Wolverine team with a 17-5 record. Massa also leads in two bonus categories with five pins and three technical falls. The U-M rookie has earned bonus points in 11 of 17 wins this season (64.7 percent) and, excluding pins, has outscored his opposition, 188-95. Three of his season losses have come by just two points.
Among his weekend wins, Grajales earned a 3-2 upset decision over Nebraska's No. 8-ranked Jake Sueflohn on a late third-period takedown. The win was Grajales' first over a ranked opponent this season.
Five Wolverines own near-perfect dual-meet records this season. Boyle is 8-1, while Grajales, Massa, sophomore/freshman Camryn Jackson (141) and senior/junior Dan Yates (174) are all 7-1.
Senior/juniors Mike Hillock and Collin Zeerip made their season debuts at 141 and 157 pounds, respectively, over the weekend. Both missed first-semester action with injury.
Michigan has had 10 different wrestlers make their varsity debuts this season, including five freshmen who have started nearly every dual competition. Among the first-time starters, freshmen Rossi Bruno (133 pounds), Taylor Massa (165) and Jordan Thomas (184), sophomore/freshmen Camryn Jackson (141) and Justin Dozier (Hwt), junior/sophomores Jake Salazar (157) Michael Carpenter (157) and Chris Heald (184) all claimed their first varsity win in first-semester action.
Q: We're coming off a disappointing weekend and a disappointing start to the Big Ten season. What are some of the things the team can take away from it?
A: It's a weekend we don't want to look back on too much other than to learn from it. We had three guys who wrestled pretty well; Sean Boyle, Eric Grajales and Taylor Massa were all 2-0 and were doing a lot of the things that we want to see our guys do. They're out there going for back points, taking calculated risks to put guys on their backs. They're winning tight matches too. They're all getting better every week. They're working hard on specific positions, and you can see the improvement that they're making in those areas. They're wrestling tough, and we need to see a lot more of that.
Q: You went through that Big Ten grind, as recently as last season. How do you stay focused and upbeat, especially as a young wrestler, while you're going through it?
A: It is a grind; that's the best way to put it. It's one of the toughest experiences these guys will run into in college -- maybe in their lives. I hear our coaches still talk about it. You just have to wrestle your match, put everything you have into it, be tough, don't give anyone any respect and then whatever happens, you have to move on from it.
Q: How much better are these young guys getting from wrestling the best in the country week after week?
A: So much better. Iron sharpens iron. You hear that around wrestling a lot. When you're wrestling the best guys, you're going to get better. You're going to adapt as long as you believe in yourself and put 100 percent effort into it. Now if you just go out there and quit, which I don't think any of our guys are doing, it's not going to make you any better. You need to be tough out there and give everything you got. That is what's going to make you happen, and that's the best thing for the team.
Q: What has been your role with the team this year?
A: I'm in a coaching role, but I think the guys still see me as a teammate. So, I feel like I'm halfway between an athlete and a coach. The guys, especially the guys that I work with at the lightweights, have been really respectful towards me. They seem to pay attention to what I say and show me respect as a coach. It's a great position.
Q: How much would you say you're learning from our coaching staff?
A: What an environment to be in. With Joe, Donny, Sean and Josh, I get to be in with them to hear what they're thinking on the coaching side of things. I get to sit in on meetings and give my input. They've been very welcoming. They've given me a lot of respect. They understand that I'm just out of the grind, so they'll take what I say and apply it to the team. There is so much to learn from them.
U-M Individual Rankings
LAST TIME OUT
The Wolverines dropped their first two Big Ten duals of the season, narrowly falling to No. 17 Nebraska (20-19, Jan. 11) and No. 22 Wisconsin (19-16, Jan. 13). Michigan split matches evenly against the Cornhuskers, earning a pin from freshman Taylor Massa at 165 pounds and a major decision from senior/junior Sean Boyle at 125 but lost on a single bonus point. Nebraska took two of the final three matches, stealing away the advantage with a fall at 133 pounds. Michigan also lost its advantage late against the Badgers, who swept the final three bouts to surge ahead late. U-M earned bonus in all four individual wins with major decisions from Boyle, senior/junior Eric Grajales (149), Massa and senior/junior Dan Yates (174). [ Recaps: Nebraska | Wisconsin ]
Sunday, Jan. 27 -- vs. Northwestern (Cliff Keen Arena), 2 p.m.