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Lineup Look: Central Michigan

By MI Grappler, 08/26/22, 8:30AM EDT

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Chippewas return two national qualifiers from last season


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Rehash of 2021-22 Season:

Last year the Chippewas finished with an overall 12-4 dual record and went 7-0 in the MAC. They posted wins over top 25 opponents including a 19-15 win over #25 Campbell and slated another victory over #24 South Dakota State 21-17. CMU finished the MAC conference tournament in 2nd place behind Lock Haven before finishing the year in 39th place at the NCAA tournament with 4.5 points. They qualified four national qualifiers, two of which return to the lineup this coming year.

2022-23 Projected Lineup:

125: Sean Spidle (JR) or Trey Bates (SO)

133: Vince Perez (RS JR)

141: Mason Breece (RS SR)

149: Corbyn Munson (RS SR)

157: Johnny Lovett (RS JR)

165: Tracy Hubbard (RS SR)

174: Alex Cramer (RS JR)

184: Ben Cushman (RS SR)

197: Cade Dallwitz (RS JR)

285: Bryan Caves (RS FR) or Simon Lato (RS SO)

125: Sean Spidle (JR) or Trey Bates (SO)

With Brock Bergelin graduating for the Chippewas either Sean Spidle or Trey Bates will take the starting role assuming Vince Perez doesn’t come down from 133. Spidle has just one start in duals for Central Michigan and that was a loss to American’s Max Leete 4-2. Aside from that dual meet loss, Spidle posted a 14-8 record a year ago including two wins over teammate Trey Bates (3-2 and 2-1). Bates himself competed exclusively in open tournaments last year and posted a record of 6-10. Expect Spidle to get the nod here.

133: Vince Perez (RS JR)

Perez moved up to 133 last year with senior Brock Bergelin making the move down to 125. In his first year as a starter, he ended the season with a record of 17-21 and missed out on qualifying for the NCAA tournament after going 2-3 at the MAC tournament. Perez posted solid wins over in-conference foes Alexander Blake (George Mason) and Michal Rapunao (George Mason). Going into this season, expect Perez to have grown into the 133 pound weight class, and with a slew of graduating seniors exiting the picture, he should have a shot at qualifying for NCAA’s.

141: Mason Breece (RS SR)

Breece has competed at 149 pounds over the last two years for the Chippewas, however, with NCAA qualifier Corbyn Munson at 149 pounds, I’d expect Breece to make the move down to 141. Last year at 149 pounds Breece finished with a record of 12-10 including close one point losses to highly-touted freshman Chance Lamer (Michigan), national qualifier Colin Realbuto (Northern Iowa), and former national qualifier Graham Rooks (Indiana). He’s proven he can be in the mix and compete with the best at 149. Assuming he makes the move down to 141, expect him to perform well in his last year for CMU and be in the mix to make a trip to the national tournament for the Chippewas.

149: Corbyn Munson (RS SR)

Munson has manned the 149 pound starting spot for the last two years including finishing third at the MAC tournament and earning a spot at the NCAA tournament in Detroit. Over the course of his time as a Chippewa, he has a resume of wins over the likes of three-time national qualifier Kanen Storr (Michigan), national qualifier Alec Hagan (Ohio), national qualifier Cory Crooks (Oregon State), and an impressive win over Manzona Bryant (Lehigh). With numerous sixth year seniors graduating due to the extra COVID year, it’s very possible for Munson to make a deep run at the national tournament this year.

157: Johnny Lovett (RS JR)

Johnny Lovett is a two-time national qualifier for Central Michigan and returns with two years of eligibility. Last year Lovett finished second at the MAC tournament before going 1-2 at the national tournament, including a win over Andrew Cerniglia (Navy) and a one point loss to former All-American Brady Berge (Penn State). He holds wins over All-Americans Will Lewan (Michigan) and Hunter Willits (Oregon State), along with a slew of national qualifiers including Jordan Slivka (Ohio), Doug Zapf (Penn), and Jarrett Jacques (Mizzou). Lovett is considered by many to be a contender to All-American this year, and it is very possible for him to build on what was a successful 2021-22 season, establish himself as a staple to the weight, and end his season as an All-American in Tulsa in 2022-23.

165: Tracy Hubbard (RS JR)

Hubbard finished his 2021-22 season with a 23-11 record and went 2-2 at the MAC tournament placing fourth, being one match away from qualifying for the national tournament after what was a breakout year. During the regular season Hubbard posted victories over national qualifier and in-state rival Caleb Fish (Michigan State) with a close loss to two time national qualifier Brian Meyer (Lehigh). Look for Hubbard to be in the mix with the top 25 this year, perform well at the MAC tournament, and make a trip to Tulsa for the national tournament.

174: Alex Cramer (RS JR)

Alex Cramer enters his redshirt junior year with high expectations after he transferred from Old Dominion to Central Michigan going into the 2020-21 season. During the 2020-21 season he earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament but didn’t compete due to injury. Last season he was rehabbing his injury and took what will likely be a medical redshirt year. Having competed at 174 pounds before transferring to Central Michigan, I’d expect Cramer to come back up to 174 this year. Both Hubbard and Cramer, however, are interchangable at 165/174. Cramer holds wins over NCAA qualifiers Riley Smucker (Cleveland State) and Jake Silverstein (Rider) during his collegiate career along with a slew of close losses to top 25 competitors. The Chippewas are hoping to see him become a national qualifier again.

184: Ben Cushman (RS SR)

Cushman has now served as the starter for CMU at 184 pounds in the last two seasons and enters his last season with the Chippewas. A year ago he tallied a record of 10-17 and finished 0-2 at the MAC conference tournament. Entering the 2022-23 season, the Chippewas will expect him to improve upon last season and be a strong contender in the MAC for a national qualifying spot.

197: Cade Dallwitz (RS JR)

Last season Dallwitz was a backup to now graduated senior Aaron Bolo and finished with a record of 13-14. Dallwitz finished 8th at the Cleveland State Open and 3rd at the Findlay Open before competing in a variety of extra matches during collegiate duals. Going into this season, the former state champion from Holly will look to climb the ladder in the MAC and hope to grab a qualifying spot for the NCAA tournament.

285: Bryan Caves (RS FR) or Simon Lato (RS SO)

For the last five years the Chippewa coaching staff never had to question who would be the starter at heavyweight as Matt Stencel manned the position since the 2017-18 season, qualifying for the tournament each year and earning All-American honors twice. With Stencel graduating, the big question is who is going to start this year for the Chippewas and if they can qualify for the national tournament in their first year as the starter. Bryan Caves is the favorite to start after going 15-6 during his redshirt year. Simon Lato turned in a 3-7 record last year with his best win coming over Jacob Christiansen (Northern Illinois). With Caves the assumed starter this year, it will be interesting to see how he performs after his freshman year and the impact he can make to the lineup.