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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

USOEC wrestlers duel U.S. Marines

The USOEC wrestling team has been hosting a training camp since March 2, comprised of U.S. Marine Corps wrestlers and wrestlers from Japan. To get the athletes in the right mindset for their next competition, head coach Rob Hermann said he thought it would be a good idea to host a set of exhibition matches for the public.

The training camps have been preparing the wrestlers for the upcoming 2011 ASICS U.S. Open & FILA Junior National Championships (Seniors).

Junior Ryan Hope grapples an opposing wrestler during the March 2 exhibition between the USOEC, U.S. Marine Corps, and Japanese wrestlers attending a training camp in Marquette. The Marines traveled in a car for nearly 23-hours from their base in Camp Lejeune, N.C. to train with the USOEC. // Justin Key/NW

After more than 10 matches, the USOEC tied with the Marine/Japanese team 7-7.

One victory for the USOEC was junior Chad Hemerson at 74 kg against Jordyn Dewald of the Marines.

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“I won the first period by not getting turned in the last 30 seconds. In the second period, he came out kind of hard,” Hemerson said. “I know I couldn’t turn him on top so I head locked him and held him on his back the rest of the period.”

Cpl. Don Simmons at 84 kg, who beat Alex Fleming at 66 kg, said he was glad to have a competition experience with enough time to bounce back if he had to.

“We wrestled tough, hard matches in practice and the duel,” Simmons said. “It was a good idea to have the duel, because if you do get beat up or hurt, you have time to recover and heal before Seniors.”

Hemerson was excited about finally getting a chance to wrestle where his friends from school could see him.

“This is the slow part in our training, because we have two months without a tournament and a duel gets us out of our wrestling room for a practice,” Hemerson said. “We get to wrestle for our friends here from school and Marquette. They never get to see us wrestle.”

To keep costs down, one of the benched USOEC wrestlers, junior Corey Hope, was asked to be guest referee for the exhibition.

“It was easy because I practice Greco but harder in the sense that it was against my team,” Hope said. “Any call I made that was a close call, my teammates were on me from the stands; though I feel like I stayed pretty consistent with my calls.”

Maj. Dan Hicks, Marine head coach, said he was pleased with the refereeing.

“The refereeing was great, no problem at all. It was a friendly duel so we shouldn’t be worried about it,” Hicks said. “You shouldn’t mind getting bad calls so you can get back in there and wrestle. If it happens in an actual match, you can get over it and get back in the match mentally.”

USOEC head coach Rob Hermann said he was glad with the experience gained and the motivation some of his wrestlers had when they walked off the mat.

“With a duel meet like this, it puts them in the situations we’ve been working on in practice in a live match setting and we get to see how they react to them,” Hermann said. “This was a good wake-up call for the guys; they all need to pick it up and utilize the bodies we have in the room with nationals right around the corner.”

Marine and Japanese wrestlers will stay another week to train. For some, the USOEC is their favorite training center to travel to.

Sgt. Moises Hernandez has been wrestling for the Marine Corps for over five years. Of those five years, he has traveled up to Marquette to train a dozen times, even spending an entire summer up here training with the team.

“Usually, at training camps, coaches will only coach their own guys, and if we ask a question we don’t get detailed explanation like their athletes would get,” Hernandez said. “Every coach favors their own wrestler, though out here you get a lot of one on one attention and fair coaching in general. It’s a very good environment to train in.”

In addition to that, Hernandez is always excited to see some of his friends up here that he has good wrestling relationships with.

“There are never any hard feelings when I compete against my boys up here; in competition we bash each other’s faces into the mat as hard as we can,” Hernandez admitted. “But after the matches, we chill and talk on the bleachers.”

Even one of the high school recruits, junior Sam Jones from Louisiana, looks forward to coming back to the USOEC to train.

“Training facilities here are awesome; I love the guys here. They are great training partners,” Jones said. “I’ve been to coach Hermann’s camps at home, and coach [Willie] Madison was my old coach. I could see myself really improving if I came to train up here full time.”

Both the USOEC men’s Greco and women’s Freestyle wrestling teams will compete at the Senior Nationals held in Cleveland, Ohio, April 7-9.

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