Dinner and Pride: Many Stories at Sunday’s Chippewa Challenge

Dinner and Pride: Many Stories at Sunday’s Chippewa Challenge

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – The way things have been going, the Central Michigan wrestling coach tom borelli he’s happy his team is back on the canvas.

But it’s no ordinary competition for Borrelli and the Chippewas when they host the Chippewa Challenge on Sunday, January 16 (11 am) at McGuirk Arena.

It is the first time the Chippewas will compete since Dec. 21 against Binghamton in Niceville, Florida. Two events, the Midlands Championship and a matchup at Northern Illinois, have been canceled or postponed.

The challenge is a quad that pits CMU, American, Cal State Bakersfield and Campbell against each other. Different teams from different parts of the country with little in common except for the fact that the leadership of all four programs is full of maroon and gold.

American is coached by Borrelli’s son Jason; Campbell is coached by Scott Sentes and CSU Bakersfield is coached by Luke Smith. All three wrestled to great success at CMU under the direction of Borrelli, who is in his fourth decade in charge of the show.

The trio are among Borrelli’s myriad of protégé coaches both in college and high school. Wynn Michalak, one of those Borrelli products, is Sentes’ associate head coach at Campbell.

“I know we work in the athletic department, but I’ve always considered my job as a teacher,” Borrelli said. “(I’m) teaching wrestling to young athletes, but also teaching them life skills.

“Someone follows in your footsteps and goes out and takes that career, whether it’s in high school or college, you’re kind of proud of that and you feel like you’ve led them the right way. I’ve come to like the sport as much as I do. you.

The names of Jason Borrelli, Scotti Sentes and Luke Smith litter the show’s record book. Three amassed a series of Mid-American Conference championships, academic accolades, and their respective names can also be found among the program’s career leaders.

Jason Borrelli and Smith completed their eligibility in the mid-2000s, while Sentes ended up at CMU in 2013.

It was the idea of ​​Jason, who is in his first season at American after 14 at Stanford, to bring home the former Chippewas for a quad and a homecoming for the entire program.

“I see this weekend as an opportunity to have a homecoming for wrestling.” tom borelli saying. “Guys are stuck in their own lives, and I get that. But this could be an opportunity for them to go back and see some of their friends and see some of the other students that are coming back.”

Borrelli said that he saw in the three disciples common denominators and strengths that have helped them rise to the top of the profession.

“They weren’t the caboose, they were the engine of the train,” he said. “Everyone was trying to emulate them. That’s what you have to be as a coach; you have to be the guy who drives the train, and you have to be the guy who demands things. goals, and enjoy what you’re doing.

Naturally, Borrelli takes great pride in the success of his former positions. But on Sunday, sentimentality is cast aside as the Borrellis, Smith and Sente send their charges to the mat.

And, of course, there is more at stake than just one win from two games.

“I’m looking forward to buying everyone dinner because the winning coach has to buy dinner for the other three coaches after the event.” tom borelli saying.

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