By RYAN PETRAS, Staff Reporter
The University of Michigan-Dearborn wrestling team is looking for new members this season.
For former wrestlers, joining the team will give them another chance to compete in the sport at a collegiate level. Newcomers on the other hand, will be provided an opportunity to participate in something new and competitive.
“The biggest reason to join the club is to have fun. It is competitive, but the camaraderie of being on a team again is rewarding. It’s like being given a second chance,” said wresting coach Grant MacKenzie.
MacKenzie was hired as the first wrestling head coach at the UM-Dearborn. Previously, he was an assistant wrestling coach at Allen Park High School where he led twenty state qualifiers, six state finalists, and one state champion. Last year, the club boasted a national qualifier in its first season.
The club practices at Detroit Jiu Jitsu, which is located on 13939 Michigan Avenue. They meet Monday through Thursday from 3-5 p.m.
“We offer 4 days of practice per week and hope people attend at least twice,” said MacKenzie. “Most guys have part time jobs on top of school work.”
MacKenzie feels like the biggest excuse for people not joining is because they don’t think they have the time to commit.
“The biggest excuse I hear for not joining is, ‘I don’t have time,’” MacKenzie said. There needs to be a paradigm shift. There’s plenty of time because it’s a laid back club. We don’t do sprints or hundreds of push ups.”
The practices consist of getting together and wrestling live for an hour.
“We have a good time and we have success at the tournaments,” MacKenzie said.
The wrestling club team competes in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA). The club competes against other club teams in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
There are eleven weight classes in the NCWA: 125, 133, 141, 149, 157, 165, 174, 184, 197, 235, and 285.
The team practices and travels with the wrestling club team at Henry Ford Community College. There is a small fee of 35 dollars for secondary insurance to compete and practice, which covers the entire season.
If you’re interested in joining, contact MacKenzie by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.