By Trey Wright
After a much-needed rest period after the Keystone Classic, the wrestling team made the long haul up to Central Michigan on Dec. 3 for their second Mid-American Conference (MAC) match of 2021, ultimately coming up short, losing to the Chippewas 24-12.
The match began with great momentum for the Broncs, with junior Bryan Miragila defeating his opponent in his first bout of the season at 149 pounds.
“It felt great to be able to go out there and get a win for the team; the crowd was into it, and I’m always grateful to compete,” Miragila said afterwards.
“It definitely gave our guys a momentum builder,” said Rider Head Coach John Hangey.
However, Central Michigan swung the momentum its way by winning three straight bouts until George Walton struck back for Rider in a 7-6 decision at 184.
The Broncs continued to struggle against the Chippewas, with Matt Correnti going down at 197, and David Szuba being pinned at 285 by Central Michigan’s Matt Stencel.
“The difference between [this match] and the NIU [Northern Illinois University] match was that we didn’t win the [bouts] we expected to win,” said Hangey.
Rider, down but not out, battled back briefly, with Tyler Klinsky defeating No. 32 Brock Bergelin at 125, and Richie Kohler, continuing the momentum from his third place finish in the Keystone Classic, with a 13-6 decision at 133.
“Richie got back to being himself tonight. Tyler also beat a good kid and George found a way to win,” said Hangey, “We knew we needed a full team effort tonight and just didn’t get it at a few weights.”
However, it was Central Michigan with the final word of the matter, with Quinn Kinner losing the final bout, finishing the win for the Chippewas.
“We need more discipline and patience in positional wrestling moving forward,” said Hangey.
“Believing in our preparation and ability was key,” said Miragila.
The Broncs, with a record of 1-2 to close out the semester, return to action on Jan.1 and Jan. 2 when they travel to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to compete in the Southern Scuffle.