During the Millersville wrestling team’s dual meet Sunday, Shane Smith’s second match had to be stopped. A bloodied Smith took a shot to the forehead and had to receive medical attention.
True to form, Smith not only finished the match, but also won decisively, showing once again that the Marauders are here to compete this season and have matched their team win total from last season.
Following a long break, the Marauders got back to business at the “Shorty” Hitchcock Memorial Classic. It was a successful tournament as three members of Millersville’s squad placed.
Junior Jeremy Brooks (165 lb) finished just short of winning it all, falling in the final bout against Maryland’s Josh Asper. Brooks has been competing for Millersville after coming out of a stacked 165-lb class. His finish was the third-straight place for Millersville at this tournament.
Senior Jarrett Hostetter (157 lb) battled to a third-place finish for the third consecutive year. He won four out of his five matches along the way, eventually defeating Virginia Tech’s A.J. Johnson in the third-place match.
Sophomore Raymond Bennett (197 lb) placed fourth after scoring four decisions. He narrowly missed a third-place finish after losing to Army’s Orion Ross, 6-5.
Because of the large field of 258 wrestlers, coach Todd Roberts was impressed at how hard they worked to get to the semi-finals.
“They wrestled well,” Roberts said. “It was nice to see guys place at our own event.”
Hosted by Millersville University, the “Shorty” Hitchcock Memorial Classic was an open event with wrestlers at many levels. From Pennsylvania to South Carolina, high school wrestlers to college graduates, the event featured a wide range of competition.
The tournament came at a good time for the Marauders. It was an opportunity for the team to get back into competing in an individual event before they got back into a difficult part of their schedule. They were also able to sit some wrestlers who were either injured or needed the rest. This seemed to pay off in their dual meet last Sunday.
The Marauders won convincingly against American International and Springfield Technical Community College. Millersville defeated AIC, 37-12 and Springfield, 45-9. The Marauders lost only one match that was not a forfeit.
Smith (174 lb) scored two pins on the day, which has been his specialty this season.
“Very rarely does he get someone on their back and not get the pin,” Roberts said.
Millersville is now 5-1 on the season and have improved vastly over last season. While a lot of the focus was previously on Hostetter and his success, this year the Millersville wrestling team is no longer focused on just one individual. However, Roberts said many of the people on the team have stepped up their training after seeing the amount of work that Hostetter put in to get to where he is now.
“Jarrett’s work ethic inspired people to work harder,” Roberts said. “He makes guys around him better.”
The Marauders next dual match is against Clarion University of Pa. and Duquesne University. Their schedule for the remainder of January and February includes two matches weekly, which means the Marauders will have to work hard to maintain their weight and stay in shape.
Smith is going to have to keep his forehead bandaged in the upcoming weeks. The rest of the Marauders also seemed to have patched things up.