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Ryley Wilcox
Ryley Wilcox
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I found my passion for journalism during my sophomore year of college, writing articles here and there for the North Wind. Since joining the staff this past semester as the news writer, I have been able...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Boxers utilize former coach

Coach Dave Lubs has returned to the corner of the ring to coach the USOEC boxing team as a substitute coach while head coach Al Mitchell is coaching the Chinese national team in the Pocono Mountains of New York.

“I’ve come back here to help the team how I can, whether it be administratively, fundraising or coaching while (Mitchell) is gone,” Lubs said.

Lubs was the founder of the team in 1987 and coached the first seven years of the program until he left for the United Stated Olympic Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. where he eventually became the director of USA boxing in 1995. After a stop at a private boxing company in Kansas, Lubs is now back with the USOEC.

The team will be without Mitchell until the end of October, but the team will not see a big difference in coaching techniques.

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“(Mitchell) is a great coach and he taught me a lot,” Lubs said. “I’m an administrator, but Mitchell is a coach.”

Lubs was in the corner for the team in their recent bouts at Fifth Third Field in Dayton, Ohio. It was the first time the team had competed inside a baseball field before.

The USOEC had only one winner of the six boxers that competed, as Damon Allen defeated Arthur Porter with a 5-0 decision in the 125 pound weight class. After splitting the first two rounds, Allen stepped up to defeat the 5’8” Toledo, Ohio native to win his 90th career bout.

“The second round I was off the game plan, so it set up a big third round,” Allen said. “My corner told me to step it up, so I threw a lot of punches and won.”

Victory was snatched from another USOEC boxer, as judges made an unpopular call and gave a 4-1 decision against William McElroy. The crowd loudly booed at the announcement to give the victory to Robert Easter of Toledo, Ohio despite McElroy’s strong finishes in the second and third round.

“I knew the first round (Easter) would show his speed, so he got up slightly in the first round,” McElroy said. “The second and third round, I went straight at him and hurt him a little. I felt like that should have won the fight and a lot of people in the crowd felt the same way.”

This was the first bout as a USOEC boxer for both McElroy and Allen. The boxers had records of 22-3 and 89-6 before joining the team.

“I came up here to take my game to the next level and to see new things,” Allen said. “The USOEC facilities are second to none.”

Two USOEC boxers lost split decision as well as both Carlos Santos and Ricky Alvarez lost 4-1 in the 114 and 132 pound weight classes respectively. Fidel Cervantes and Darnell Parker also boxed for the USOEC, but lost unanimous decisions. Former USOEC boxer Chris Pearson also competed and won his bout in the 152 pound class.

“We didn’t fair well (in the matches), but (the boxers) were all in the fights,” Lubs said. “If you have a split decision, which means it was close.”

The losses did not sit well with the boxers. After the return to Marquette, they banded together to talk the coach into returning to Ohio in November to avenge their losses.

“I’m not satisfied with losing. Its something I’ll never be satisfied with,” Parker said. “I feel like if we get a chance to go back down there and avenge a loss, then that’s something we should do. I feel like we need to go back there and show that we’re a better team.”

The team will return to Ohio as they will be fighting against the United States Marine Corps in a feature bout on November 17-18.

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