MMI WRESTLERS STAY IN TOP FIVE GOING INTO SEMESTER BREAK
“We think we have the right chemistry and talent this year to make another run at the national championship. With Cee-Jay Hamilton (2006-2007 National Champion) and two wrestlers who earned All-American honors back from last year's team to lead the new freshman, Marion should be able to better last year's mark.” Those words were spoken earlier this year by Jim Hazewinkel, one of MMI's wrestling coaches regarding the upcoming 2007-2008 season. Coach Jim and his brother Dave may be right on the mark this year about their chances to improve on last year's 5th place finish at the NCWA National Tournament.
Marion currently holds the #5 slot going into the Christmas break with sophomore Cee-Jay Hamilton holding the #2 spot after having held the #1 ranking until last week. The only other wrestler breaking into the top 20 is Ben Canning, a freshman from Maryland. The tiger’s last competition saw Darton College take a 30-20 decision. MMI wrestlers that finished in first place were: Cee-Jay Hamilton (125 lbs), Ben Canning (133 lbs), Derrick Lucas (149 lbs), Dante Graham (157 lbs), and Max Elvrom (165 lbs).
This year's team includes a total of thirty-two wrestlers which include twelve returning wrestlers and twenty incoming freshman. Top freshmen include Ben Canning (Maryland State Champion) and Alabama State Champions Adam Beavers (Oak Grove, AL), Ben Jones (Oak Grove, AL), and Chase Bryan (Ashville, AL). Other newcomers who should make a significant contribution to this year's team are: Dante Graham (Florida HS State Runner-up), Terry Long (HS State Runner-up from Bessemer, AL) and Derrick Lucas (Alabama HS State Runner-up), and Mark Massay (Virginia HS State Runner-up). MMI’s next competition will come at the Lone Star Duals in Dallas, Texas