Central Michigan hasn't always had a good wrestling program, but they do now.
Part of the reason the CMU program is remaining strong is former Eastwood wrestler Eric Cubberly. Eric is a Chippewa now.
Coach Tom Borrelli has always had good success as a coach, because he surrounds himself with great wrestlers, one of which is a four-year high school varsity letterman.
This particular wrestler is a four-time state placer and two-time state champion. He placed in the top four three times at Fargo Nationals, and this past year he placed third at senior nationals. He is Eric Cubberly, of course, and a freshman, Eric is already a starting wrestler at 157 for Central Michigan.
Eric is the son of Ralph and Brenda Cubberly. He was under the instruction of Eastwood coaches Shawn Contos and his father, head coach Ralph Cubberly, as a youth and high school wrestler.
After five dual meets at Central, Eric is 2-3. His wins include a 3-1 decision over Matt Ballweg of Iowa and a 10-3 decision over Scott Sechler.
Eric's most recent match was at No. 10 Michigan in Ann Arbor. The Michigan-Central Michigan rivalry dates back to the 1981-1982 season, but Michigan holds a commanding lead on the series at 19-4.
At Cliff Keen Arena in Ann Arbor they are 10-2 over the Chippewas. Michigan coach Joe McFarland has a personal 7-3 record against the Chippewas.
Looking to keep a two-year winning streak against Michigan, Central Michigan went into the dual with a 3-1 record with their only team loss being to No. 1 Iowa. The Chippewas are ranked 16th in the NWCA Poll.
Eric wrestled Aaron Hynes, a junior. Hynes came out early and took a 2-0 lead at the end of the first, but Eric soon quickly tied it up at 4-4 at the end of the second period. They looked pretty evenly matched up, but in the end it was Hynes scoring a last second takedown in the third to seal a 6-4 victory.
Even though Eric lost the match, the Chippewas ended up winning the dual meet 19-12 to keep the streak alive at three wins. Central Michigan is picked to win their 11th Mid-American Conference championship, and with talent like Cubberly, any wrestling expert would wonder why someone would pick against them.
Coach Borrelli has definitely turned the Central program around. For 10 straight years, he has led them to MAC titles, dating back to 1999. In his 17 years as CMU head coach he has seen 95 of his wrestlers make it to the national tournament. Of those 95, 27 of them were All-Americans and one was a national champion.