Nov. 13, 2012
The No. 16-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team (2-1) will head west this weekend, returning to action with a pair of non-conference dual meets. On Friday (Nov. 15), the Wolverines will face No. 10 Oregon State at 7 p.m. PST at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore., before closing out the weekend on Sunday (Nov. 17) with a 2 p.m. PST dual against Stanford at Ford Center in Palo Alto, Calif.
Michigan's Projected Starting Lineup
|Wgt.||Name||Year/Elig.||Hometown (High School)|
|125||Sean Boyle||Sr./Jr.||Lowell, Mass. (Blair Academy)|
|133||Rossi Bruno||Fr./Fr.||Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)|
|141||Camryn Jackson||So./Fr.||Lansing, Mich. (Eastern)|
|149||Eric Grajales||Sr./Jr.||Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)|
|157||Jake Salazar||Jr./So.||Midway, Utah (Wasatch)|
|165||Taylor Massa||Fr./Fr.||St. Johns, Mich. (St. Johns)|
|174||Dan Yates||Sr./Jr.||Hesperia, Mich. (Hesperia)|
|184||Jordan Thomas||Fr./Fr.||Gowen, Mich. (Greenville)|
|197||Max Huntley||Jr./So.||Emerald Isle, N.C. (Blair Academy)|
|Hwt||Justin Dozier||So./Fr.||Woodhaven, Mich. (Woodhaven)|
The Wolverines are 4-0 in the all-time series against Oregon State, earning a 23-13 victory in the most-recent meeting between the programs in 2008-09. Michigan is also perfect against Stanford, winning the only previous meeting, 32-10, at the 2005 Lone Star Duals.
This weekend will mark U-M's first dual meets in a western state since wrestling Oregon State in Bozeman, Mont., in 2008-09, and the first time traveling to California since facing Cal State Fullerton in 2003-04. The Wolverines won both of those dual meets.
Michigan will wrestle its third straight ranked opponent in No. 10 Oregon State. Stanford, although unranked in the 2012-13 preseason poll, took 16th at last season's NCAA Championships.
After earning the program's largest margin of victory in four years with its 46-0 season-opening win over Olivet on Nov. 1, Michigan's 16-15 decision over Pittsburgh on Sunday (Nov. 11) was its closest margin of victory since defeating Minnesota, 17-16, during the 2008-09 season.
Michigan has started five freshmen in every dual meet this season -- freshmen Rossi Bruno (133 pounds), Taylor Massa (165) and Jordan Thomas (184) and sophomore/freshmen Camryn Jackson (141) and Justin Dozier (Hwt). Additionally, junior/sophomores Jake Salazar and Michael Carpenter have both made their collegiate dual debuts at 157 pounds.
Four Wolverine starters remain undefeated on the season. Senior/junior Dan Yates (174 pounds), sophomore/freshman Camryn Jackson (141) and senior/junior Eric Grajales (149) are all 3-0, while junior/sophomore Jake Salazar (157) is 2-0.
Yates has scored bonus points in all three matches this season, boasting a pin and two major decisions.
Yates was named the Wolverines' 2012-13 team captain during practice late last week. He serves as U-M's first singular captain since three-time All-American Andy Hrovat (1999-2002) held the distinction during the 2001-02 season.
Freshman Conor Youtsey, competing unattached, headlined the Wolverines' developmental squad at the Michigan State Open last Sunday (Nov. 11), posting a 3-2 record en route to fourth place at 125 pounds. Among Youtsey's wins were two decisions against Ohio State All-American Nikko Triggas -- 4-2 and 2-0.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
| Dan Yates|
Q: You were named the 2012-13 team captain late last week in practice. What kind of captain do you want to be?
A: I want to be the type of captain that doesn't tell people what to do or how they should be doing things but leads by example and serves my teammates. I've read a lot of great quotes about how the best leaders are those who serve their people. So, I just want to be approachable, be helpful and be someone that is always there for them with what they need and has their back in wrestling and in life. I see my teammates as my family, so it's great to be in a role that I feel like I can have a positive influence.
Q: How has the weight jump been from 165 to 174 pounds this season?
A: It's been great. I've been battling a little congestion lately, and I feel like a year ago that would have completely sapped me. This year, I've been able to push through it and still feel good at the end of my matches where I could push even harder. I have energy at the end and feel like I could punish my opponent for another seven minutes. I'm looking forward to being at 174 this season.
Q: You got a taste of wrestling up at 174 pounds at the University National Championships over the summer. Was that a good gauge for you at the heavier weight?
A: I wrestled a lot of matches out at University Nationals and beat a couple of All-Americans, so getting some of those wins was nice proof that I could do well at the weight. It not only got me confident in my wrestling, it also focused me on what I need to do. I'm already on my way to where I need to be. I only took fifth at Universities, so I think it made me focus that much harder on closing that gap to where I'm at the top. My goal isn't to just be an All-American; I should have been an All-American the last two years. My goal is to be at the top of that podium. That's what I've been working on every day, pushing myself as hard as I can in practice and trying to squeeze every ounce out of the time that I have here.
Q: What are some of the biggest things that you have worked on from last season to this season that are starting to pay dividends for you?
A: Just overall commitment and believing in what the coaches are saying. In the past, I kind of had my own ways of wanting to do things. That's just being stubborn. Over the summer, I felt like I really connected with the coaches. Coach [Joe] McFarland has always been like a father figure, and now I see the entire coaching staff as family. It really just clicked that I should be doing everything the way they design them. There is purpose behind everything they do. So, instead of questioning everything and being stubborn, I just do what they tell me to do and do it as hard as I possibly can. I developed that mental preparation of always pushing through everything. In the past, I always backed out once I hit that wall. Now I'm eating right, my social life is right, and I'm doing everything the right way -- on the mat and off the mat. I have this extra boost of energy and I feel good.
Q: Michigan has had a couple of close dual meets lately, and despite those close scores, the coaching staff has been quite pleased with the overall effort from the team. Do you feel like the team is still building to where it can be this season? Have we seen some really positive signs for the future?
A: We're still pushing really hard, and we're trying to work through some of these earlier few matches. We haven't eased back at all. The coaches are focused on getting us to be where we need to be at the end. This stuff in the beginning; it's great to get early wins over ranked teams and it's great to get our names out there, but where we want to be is at the top of the podium in March. They said we just finished one of our hardest weeks in practice, but it didn't seem much different than the previous few weeks. We're pushing through as a team, and we're accepting and embracing that challenge. A lot of our guys are young and inexperienced at the college level. They may be a little outgunned out there, but you're still seeing them outwork their opponents. They're wrestling veterans, who are savvy and know their positions inside and out, but we're going out onto the mat and outworking them, outhustling them in positions and trying to wear them down to where it's not about skills anymore, it's a matter of who has the bigger heart and bigger gas tank. Eventually that will be what wins out every time. We've got some of the best technical coaches in the country, so there's no doubt that our skills will develop. As long as we can keep outworking our opponents the whole year, we will get to where we want to be.
LAST TIME OUT
Bonus points provided the difference in both of the Wolverines' dual meets last week as U-M dropped a road contest against in-state rival Central Michigan, 21-16, last Tuesday (Nov. 6) before bouncing back with a 16-15 win against Pittsburgh at home on Sunday (Nov. 11). The Chippewas earned two pins, including an upset late in the 125-pound match, to take the former contest, while senior/junior captain Dan Yates' 16-5 major decision propelled the Wolverines to their one-point victory against Pitt. Yates, sophomore/freshman Camryn Jackson (141 pounds) and senior/junior Eric Grajales (149) won in both duals to improve to 3-0 on the season. [ Recaps: Central Michigan | Pittsburgh ]
Fri-Sat., Nov. 30-Dec. 1 -- at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Las Vegas, Nev.)