'Gold and Nothing Else': Cornell's Mark Grey Ready to Battle for a Junior World Championship

After taking fifth place at the FILA Junior World Championships in 2011 at 55 kg/121 pounds, Mark Grey wasn’t able to vie for a spot on the United States squad a year ago. His graduation from Blair Academy fell on the same weekend as the World Team Trials.

However, at the end of June, the Cornell freshman had another opportunity to make his way back to the World Championships — and he took full advantage. A month after placing fourth in a loaded 60 kg/132 pound field at the FILA Juniors, Grey navigated a similarly brutal bracket to earn his second appearance on the World Team. Along the way, he topped a former World Team member, defeated a wrestler he considers to be family and avenged a loss from earlier in the spring. He will compete for the Red, White and Blue in Sofia, Bulgaria on August 17.

New York Wrestling News caught up with Grey as he prepared for the trip abroad.

New York Wrestling News (NYWN): What was the experience like in 2011 when you wrestled in the World Championships in Romania?

Mark Grey (MG): It was an awesome experience. It didn’t pan out the way I wanted it to because I didn’t go there to get fifth place. But I learned a lot from that one.

NYWN: What were some of the things you took away?

MG: The experience from being there at the Worlds was huge. I remember before my first match, how super nervous I was. Now, I’ve been there. I know what to expect. The Europeans go out and wrestle really loose. That’s what I plan to do. Just go out there relaxed. Keep moving my feet, get to my inside ties, start taking those shots.

NYWN: What’s next in your preparation?

MG: We have training camp in Cleveland. Then we fly to Sofia the 15th, I weigh in on the 16th and wrestle the 17th. So it’s right into wrestling. Last time, we went to Romania a week before and trained for four or five days and got acclimated to everything. This time, we get there and I get going right away.

NYWN: In order to make the World Team, you had to go through a difficult draw. What was your preparation like?

MG: It was a lot different from last time. I trained at Cornell, for about four weeks, mostly with my brother [Mike Grey, Cornell assistant coach]. We worked on getting technique down and getting my body where it needed be. I also spent time wrestling with Frankie Perrelli a couple times a week and got my cardio workouts in and wrestled live. I was really ready for the [Junior World Team Trials]. I was pretty confident coming in and I was actually happy that I didn’t get a bye to the finals because when that happens, you’re not ready to go right away and you sometimes get off to a slow start.

NYWN: At the Junior World Team Trials you started with 2012 World Team member Earl Hall [an 8-3 win], then beat your former Blair teammate Joey McKenna (who took third). Talk a little bit about those matches.

MG: I never wrestled Hall before. Last year he won the Trials. The match against [McKenna] was a little weird for me because he’s like my little brother and we know each other really well. I was really cautious. It was different than my other matches because I didn’t open up and I wasn’t dominant as I should have been. It was tough.

NYWN: In the finals, you faced Illinois redshirt freshman Zane Richards, who defeated you in straight periods at the FILA Juniors in the bronze medal match. What was different this time?

MG: The week or two before the tournament, Mike [Grey] really worked with me on beating him to the inside tie. At FILA Juniors, he completely killed me by beating me to the inside tie, pulling and wearing me down. This time, I got there and by the end of the periods, I was able to get my shots off. I was able to score late in both matches to win. It was a great game plan by my brother. On my feet, I kept focusing on moving, going for the full six minutes and leaving it all on the mat.

NYWN: You mentioned going the full six minutes. Do you like the new freestyle rules? Do you feel like they benefit you?

MG: I love the new rules. Conditioning is a factor now. And I like the cumulative scoring. In the past, you basically had a two-minute sprint. Now, you can slowly wear guys down. Even if you give up some takedowns, if you keep going after guys, wearing them down, shots start to open up.

NYWN: After you get back from Romania, it will be back to folkstyle. You spent the last year training with the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club (FLWC) and competing in open tournaments. What did you get out of the experience?

MG: It was a really good year. I grew a lot as a wrestler and I also was able to learn a lot about Cornell and the team so I’ll be ready for this year as a freshman. I think the things I most improved on were the mental aspects and definitely bottom. Bottom wrestling was a really hard transition at first, but I learned a lot and got a lot better there throughout the year. Wrestling with Frankie Perrelli helped me a lot too.

NYWN: You won titles at the National Collegiate Open, Mat Town Open and Edinboro Open and also placed at the Southern Scuffle, Binghamton Open and Buffalo Invitational. What would you consider to be your biggest win?

MG: I would say beating [All-American] Ryan Mango in the finals of the National Collegiate Open (NCO). I went in with some good momentum, right after beating [Lehigh’s Mason] Beckman in the semis. That win lit a fire under me and I just had a lot of fun against Mango, winning in overtime. I had some good matches with Beckman too. We wrestled three times. He won the first time at the Binghamton Open but then I beat him at Edinboro and the NCO. He also beat me in high school. It’s a good rivalry.

NYWN: You weren’t the only incoming freshman to have a successful year with the FLWC. Do you expect the incoming freshmen to be big contributors for the Big Red this year? What are your expectations for the team?

MG: I think we’ll surprise people this year. People may think we’re pretty young and inexperienced, but it’s going to be good from the start. I expect us to wrestle like we’ve been there before. We have a good mix of freshmen coming in and veteran guys. I’m excited to have great wrestlers like Nahshon [Garrett] and [Mike] Nevinger around me in the lineup. I think we’ll get some huge points rolling right off the bat. The future is very bright. I think the sky’s the limit and I believe we will win a team national title in the next few years.

NYWN: Anything else?

MG: I’m ready to go get that gold. That’s what I’m going to Bulgaria for – gold and nothing else.


Cornell Wrestling Announces the Promotion of Mike Grey to Full-Time Assistant Coach

Story courtesy of cornellbigred.com

ITHACA, N.Y. – After two seasons as a volunteer on the Cornell coaching staff, Mike Grey has been promoted to a full-time assistant coach it was announced today by Rob Koll, The David Dunlop ’59 Head Coach of Wrestling.

Grey, Photo by BV

In his two seasons as a volunteer assistant, Cornell posted a 25-5 dual meet record with two Ivy League titles, two EIWA team crowns and two top five NCAA team finishes. Big Red athletes won four NCAA titles, earned nine All-America honors, won six EIWA titles and captured seven first-team All-Ivy honors. The 2012 squad finished fourth at the NCAAs and featured three national champions, while the 2013 team was fifth overall and had four wrestlers finish in the top four of their weight class. Included was four-time national champion Kyle Dake, the 2013 Hodge Trophy winner.

Grey joined the Big Red as volunteer assistant coach in 2011 after helping the team to second-place finishes at the 2010 and 2011 NCAA championships as a student-athlete, the highest finishes in program history.

For the entire story, see this link.

Clint Wattenberg Selected for the Cornell University Athletic Hall of Fame

On September 21, Clint Wattenberg will be one of 12 new members inducted into the Cornell University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Wattenberg, a two-time All-American for the Big Red at 184 pounds, owned the second most wins in Big Red history at the time of his graduation. He also was a three-time All-Ivy pick, an EIWA champion and the recipient of the Peter J. Floros Memorial Award, honoring Cornell’s Most Valuable Wrestler.

The California native, who took third at the 2004 Olympic Trials, was an assistant coach on Rob Koll’s staff after completing his collegiate career.  He has remained in Ithaca where he wears many hats, including as Specialty Nutritionist for the Cornell Healthy Eating Program,  Coordinator of Sports Nutrition for Cornell Athletics and President of NYWAY (New York Wrestling Association for Youth). He also has been an integral leader at the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club since its inception.

For the full story from cornellbigred.com, see this link.

Cornell Starts Off Recruiting Period Strong With Commitments from Joe Galasso (PA) and Andrew Garcia (MI)

The recruiting season started off with a bang for Cornell, as the Big Red secured verbal commitments from two highly-ranked wrestlers earlier this week, Joey Galasso and Andrew Garcia.

Galasso, a 2013 Pennsylvania state champion from Father Judge High, projects at 141 or 149 pounds.  Both FloWrestling and Intermat have him ranked as one of the top 20 recruits nationally – at #14 and #17, respectively.  In addition to taking first place in PA this March, he was fifth as a sophomore at the same event and fourth at the National Prep championships as a freshman.  He also has excelled in other events, grabbing third at the Powerade, eighth at the Super 32 and a runner up showing at FloNationals in 2012.  Flo currently has him pegged as the #4 grappler in the country at 145 pounds.

Garcia, a two-time Michigan state champion from Detroit Catholic Central, is also a highly-regarded prospect, ranked as the #72 recruit in the nation according to Flo and #73 by Intermat.  Before taking the Michigan crown at 171 pounds the past two seasons, he was a runner up at 152 as a ninth grader. He also has starred in offseason events, placing in both Freestyle and Greco at Fargo and winning the USA Wrestling folkstyle national championship in 2011.  Garcia, Flo’s #6 170-pounder in the latest rankings, will likely take the mat at 174 pounds for the Big Red.


VIDEO: Vote Kyle Dake for the ESPY Award for Best Male College Athlete

It isn’t often that a wrestler is nominated for an ESPY Award.  Cornell’s Kyle Dake is one of four candidates for Best Male College Athlete.

Voting is at this link.

The following is a great highlight video by Riccio Productions to get out the vote for Dake:

College Commitments – What are the Destinations for the Class of 2013 Wrestlers?

On July 1, recruiting season officially begins for the Class of 2014.  With that in mind, we will be bringing some recruiting-related content, including articles from the perspective of college coaches and a New York State champion headed to Division I wrestling this fall.

For now, here’s a list of where New Yorkers are going for the 2013-14 campaign (as well as out of staters who will attend Empire State institutions). These are commitments we have been made aware of, but if you see something that should be added or changed, please contact newyorkwrestlingnews@gmail.com.



Zack Bacon, Hornell (NY), Football

Kevin Thayer, Unatego (NY)

Air Force

John Diekel, Whitehall (NY)

Conor O’Hara, Sachem East (NY)

Arizona State

James Brundage, Ossining (NY)/Rider

Kyle Colling, Pioneer (NY)/Oklahoma


TJ Brandt, Altoona (PA)

Christian Doyle, McKinney Christian Academy (TX)

Logan Everett, Williamson (PA)

Nick Frank, Urbana (MD)

Ruben Jurado, Concord (NC)

Mason Kumashiro, Los Alamitos (CA)

Lincoln Mallinger, St. Michael-Albertville (MN)

Tristan Manderfield, Foley (MN)

Mark Marchetti, Father Ryan (TN)

Russell Parsons, Blair Academy (NJ)

Trevor Smith, Ripon (CA)

Troy Taylor, Ironwood Ridge (AZ)

Jack Wedholm, Blair Academy (NJ)


David Almaviva, Shenendehowa (NY)

Thierno Diallo, Duval (MD)

Nick Kelley, Shenendehowa (NY)

Kyle Kelly, Chenango Forks (NY)

Bryce Mazurowski, Avon (NY)

Robert Person, Bellmore JFK (NY)

Nick Tighe, Phoenix (NY)

Zack Zupan, Canastota (NY)


Kevin Rodriguez, Patchogue Medford (NY)


Jeff Bechen, Whitman Hanson (MA)

Peter Ottaviano, Colts Neck (NJ)

Pete Hailer, Milton (MA)

Dillon Stowell, Gouverneur (NY)


Lewis Yablans, Jericho (NY)


James Corbett, Wantagh (NY)


Connor Lapresi, Lansing (NY)


James Benjamin, Vestal (NY)

Jake Campana, Southern Regional (NJ)

Roy Daniels, Olentangy Liberty (OH)

Corey Hollister, Perry (NY)

Alex Francik, Vestal (NY)

Nick Flannery, Cleveland State

Carmine Goldsack, Bergen Catholic (NJ)

Anthony Liberatore, Williamsville South (NY)

Brandon Muntz, Falconer (NY)

Rrok Ndokaj, Monsignor Farrell (NY)/Bloomsburg

Tyler Rill, Mount St. Joseph’s (MD)/Bloomsburg

Mike Silvis, Holley (NY)

Andrew (AJ) Voelker, Monroe Woodbury (NY)

Austin Weigel, Onteora (NY)


Quinton Murphy, Holley/Indiana (NY)

Tim Schaefer, Warsaw (NY)

Danny Sutherland, Mepham, Nassau CC (NY)

Coast Guard Academy

Dan Fiorvanti, Commack (NY)


John Florio, Valley Central (NY)


Chris Araoz, Wantagh (NY)

Britain Carter, Maple Mountain (UT)

Mike Fetchet, South Fayette (PA)

Troy Hembury, Muncy (PA)

Matt Leshinger, Sayville (NY)

Justin Mann, Ladue (MO)

Vince Pallone, Mendham (NJ)

Andrew Psomas, Monsignor Farrell (NY)

Garrett Ryan, Wyoming Seminary (PA)

Markus Scheidel, St. Edward (OH)


Dan Choi, Syosset (NY)

Jake George, Long Branch (NJ)

Griffin Higginbotham, Union Grove (GA)

Dylan Realbuto, Somers (NY)

Jake Taylor, Bald Eagle Area (PA)

Ty Walter, Mifflinburg (PA)


Chris Alianakian, Kellenberg (NY)

Colin Barber, Westfield (NJ)

Nick Bellanza, John Glenn (NY)/Jacksonville

Mat Bradice, William Floyd (NY)

Brian Bulger, Westfield (NJ)

Chris Cataldo, MacArthur (NY)

Lucas Ciancamino, Sayville (NY)

Antonio DeLuco, Rome Free Academy (NY)

Brendan Dent, Connetquot (NY)

Matt Dillon, Nanuet (NY)

Troy Feniger, North Rockland (NY)

Jake Green, Chenango Forks (NY)

Casey Lanave, Chenango Forks (NY)

Tyler Lilly, New Rochelle (NY)

Lance Moore, Johnson City/Binghamton (NY)

Jagger Rebozo, Half Hollow Hills West (NY)

Mark West, Hauppauge (NY)


Alex Tanzman, Westhampton Beach (NY)

East Stroudsburg

Eric Januszkiewicz, New Paltz (NY)


Terrence Cheeks, Newburgh (NY)

Lester Enriquez, Hewlett (NY)

Franklin & Marshall

Tommy Quinlan, Fayetteville-Manlius (NY)


Eric Lewandowski, Lancaster (NY)


Tyler Grimaldi, Half Hollow Hills West (NY)


Mike Hughes, Smithtown West (NY)

Kyle Krasavage, Wyoming Valley West (PA)


Travis Berube, St. Joseph’s Collegiate (NY)

Jimmy Kaishian, Yorktown (NY)

Steven Sabella, Yorktown (NY)

Joe Sprung, Berne-Knox-Westerlo (NY)

Carlos Toribio, Brentwood (NY)

Lake Erie College

Keanu Thompson, Grand Street (NY)


Drew Longo, Ardsley (NY)

Thomas Murray, Yorktown (NY)

Life University (Georgia)

Rowdy Prior, Phoenix (NY)


Chris Reilly, Half Hollow Hills West (NY)


Austin Hedges, Letchworth (NY)

Dan Reagan, Lewiston Porter (NY)


Lucas Malmberg, Marathon (NY)


Josh Bonneau, Minisink Valley (NY)

Gio Santiago, Sachem North (NY)

Vinny Turano, Wantagh (NY)


Anthony Abidin, Nassau CC (NY)

Niagara CCC

Jude Gardner, Fredonia (NY)

North Carolina

Jacob Pincus, Pittsford (NY)


Roman Accetta, Poly Prep (NY)

John Messinger, Putnam Valley (NY)

Amit Naik, Providence Day (NC)

Nick Matthews, West Morris (NJ)

Joey Rizzolino, Campbell

Ethan Walker, Heritage Hall (OK)

North Carolina State

Shayne Brady, Carthage (NY)

Joe Mastro, Yorktown (NY)

Oklahoma State

Chris Koo, Great Neck South (NY)


Simon Greebel, Hewlett (NY)

Taylor Jones, Palmyra Macedon (NY)


Dan McDevitt, Wantagh (NY)

Jun Yoo, Jericho (NY)


Trey Aslanian, Edgemont (NY)


Steven Mills, Sachem North (NY) – Football

Roger Williams

Tom Carta, South Glens Falls (NY)

Sacred Heart

Nick Allesandrini, St. Anthony’s (NY)

TJ Fabian, Shoreham Wading River (NY)

Tom Filipkowski, Mattituck (NY)

Matt Fisher, Oneida (NY)

Brendan Goldup, LaSalle (NY)

Daniel Hayden, East Islip (NY)

Patrick Henn, Lindenhurst (NY)

Austin Hulse, Stony Brook School (NY)

Nick Lupi, Huntington (NY)

Zak Mullen, Shoreham Wading River (NY)

Alex Swanson, Smithtown West (NY)

Johnny Vrasidas, St. Anthony’s (NY)


Corey Ali, Shenendehowa (NY)

Hunter Ayen, Gouverneur (NY)

Zach Joseph, Shenendehowa (NY)

David Varian, Yorktown (NY)


Kevin Tynes, Brooklyn Tech (NY)


Drew Hull, Royalton Hartland (NY)


Tim Raner, Mexico (NY)


Robert Rosenberg, Hewlett (NY)

Western New England

Andrew Cole, Ogdensburg (NY)

Matt Jarvis, Carle Place (NY)

West Virginia

John Pellegrino, Division (Nassau CC) (NY)

Gunnar Van Curen, Portville (NY)

Wheeling Jesuit

Justin Jimenez-Castillo, Irvington (NY)


Pankil Chander, Lawrence (NY)

Kyle Dake Nominated for Best Male College Athlete ESPY Award – (Link to Vote Included)


The recognition continues for Cornell’s four-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake.  Voting opened for ESPN’s ESPY Awards on Thursday and Dake is one of the four nominees for Best Male College Athlete, along with Michigan basketball player Trey Burke, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and St. Cloud hockey standout Drew LeBlanc.  Both Burke and LeBlanc were finalists for Sports Illustrated’s Male College Athlete of the Year honor, which Dake won in the spring.

To vote for the ESPYs, see ESPY voting link.


Cornell's Mark Grey Earns Second Trip to Junior World Championships … And More from the Junior World Team Trials

Mark Grey represented the United States at the Junior World Championships in 2011, taking fifth at 55 kg. After his stellar performance in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Sunday, he’ll once again aim for a Junior World title as he earned the 60 kg spot on Team USA with a perfect day in a loaded field.

Grey began with an 8-3 decision over Earl Hall, a 2012 World Team member who spent the last year at the Olympic Training Center. He followed with a hard fought 6-4 triumph over former Blair Academy teammate Joey McKenna, the eventual third place finisher.

Grey, photos.nj.com

That put Grey into the best-of-three championship series against Zane Richards of Illinois. At the recent FILA Junior Nationals in Las Vegas in the spring, the two grapplers met for bronze, with Richards coming away with a 2-0, 5-1 victory.

Grey turned the tables on Sunday, capturing the opening bout 5-4. In the second contest, Richards got off to a strong start, but Grey rebounded to win 6-4 and punch his ticket to Bulgaria, where the World championships will be held in August.

Grey will be a freshman at Cornell in the fall, as will three other wrestlers who placed at the event, including a pair at 74 kg/163 pounds.

Dylan Palacio went directly to the championship series after his FILA Junior National crown in Las Vegas. He faced Alex Dieringer of Oklahoma State, who took third at the NCAAs in March. On Sunday, the Cowboy defeated Palacio in two matches to take the World Team slot.

In order to get to the championship series against Palacio, Dieringer squared off with another future Big Red wrestler in the title bout of the Challenge Tournament – Brian Realbuto. Realbuto had a strong showing with a 4-1 record. He started with a 7-0 win over McCoy Newburg and followed with a 6-4 decision over Yoanse Mejias. He then came out on top of two high scoring affairs, a 20-13 triumph over Dylan Reel and a 15-10 victory over Isaiah Martinez.

Another Cornellian, Gabe Dean, dropped his opener at 84 kg/185 pounds, but bounced back with three consecutive wins, by a combined score of 24-4, to get to the bronze bout before taking fourth in the Challenge Tournament.

Those weren’t the only Ivy Leaguers to have success on Sunday. Columbia recruit Garrett Ryan notched second in the 120 kg Challenge bracket after defeating the second seed, Brooks Black, 8-6 in the semifinals.

On the Greco side, a pair of New Yorkers took third place in the Challenge event. Jessy Williams, a Section 4 native, grabbed bronze at 60 kg, while Warsaw state champion Burke Paddock did the same at 74 kg. Paddock came back from a first round loss to score 22 points in his consolation matches on his way to third.

Hofstra’s Jamel Hudson recorded two technical falls at 60 kg in freestyle during a 2-2 day in which both setbacks came against third placer Joey McKenna.

For full results, see here.

Kyle Dake Wins Sports Illustrated's College Athlete of the Year Award

The awards just keep on coming in for Kyle Dake.  On Tuesday night, he received the Charles H. Moore Outstanding Senior Varsity Athlete award at Cornell, along with Rob Pannell (widely considered the best lacrosse player in the country).

On Wednesday, Sports Illustrated announced that Dake was the winner of its inaugural College Athlete of the Year honor.  The four-time NCAA champion from Lansing came out on top in fan voting against Khaled Holmes (USC football), Drew LeBlanc (St. Cloud hockey), Trey Burke (Michigan basketball) and Tyler Thornton (Duke basketball).

To read Sports Illustrated’s story and watch the video, see here.

For a look back at Dake’s journey to his four titles, see here.


Steve Bosak Reflects on Career; Joins Teammates Kyle Dake and Cam Simaz to Develop "Next Generation of National Champions"

When he arrived at Cornell, Steve Bosak knew he was joining a very talented team. But having three NCAA titlewinners in one season? That hadn’t happened in the history of Big Red wrestling.

But it all changed in March of 2012 when Bosak (184 pounds), Kyle Dake (157) and Cam Simaz (197) all came out on top at the biggest tournament of the season.

“I never would have guessed that we would have three champions in one year,” he said. “Not in my wildest dreams. It was an accomplishment that seemed nearly impossible, but we did it and it was great.”

That March night at the NCAAs in St. Louis was the last time the trio of gold medalists competed together, as Simaz graduated that spring.

But the three wrestlers are teaming up again June 8th and 9th in Bosak’s hometown of State College, Pennsylvania for the “Big Red Champs Clinic”, to pass along some of the knowledge and skills that led them to the top of the podium.

“It will be a great time,” Bosak said. “We’re really excited to do this clinic. We want to get kids motivated to work hard at wrestling, have fun and learn great technique to use throughout their careers. What’s great is that they’ll learn from three wrestlers who are different in their styles, but all found a way to win national championships.”

Wrestling has been such an integral part of Bosak’s life that he wants to make sure to pass along the skills he’s acquired along the way.

But there was a time in 2012 when the sport wasn’t close to the top of his mind. Prior to the start of the 2012-13 season, Bosak was diagnosed with a staph infection and spent time in the hospital.

“At that point in time, I took a reality check,” he said. “I knew I had to get through it and do what it took to get healthy because my life was at stake. Wrestling was on the backburner.”

But it wasn’t off his mind for long. When he was declared free of the infection, the Big Red wrestler wrestler jumped back in, hoping to get back on the mat as soon as possible. He wasn’t sure, however, whether he’d be able to return to national championship level.

“Even in November, when I was in the recovery process, there was a lot of confusion and it wasn’t clear whether I would be able to get back to my full potential by the end of the year,” he said. “I had to just keep focusing on working hard and mentally preparing.”

The confidence of those around him certainly helped. As the Grapple at the Garden event approached in December, Bosak had only two to three weeks of training under his belt. But the opportunity to compete at the famous Madison Square Garden venue against two of the nation’s top teams – Oklahoma State and Missouri – was one he couldn’t pass up. And it wouldn’t be easy, as he would be squaring off with a pair of nationally-ranked opponents – Mike Larson and Chris Chionuma – in his first action of the campaign.

“Before the Grapple took place, I told Coach Koll that I didn’t know if I would be at my best for the matches,” Bosak said. “He joked that I could be at 30% and still win by tech fall. I knew that wasn’t actually true, but it was a nice confidence boost when he put it that way. I just wanted to go out and perform for the team.”

He did that, winning both bouts.

“I was probably about 75%,” he said. “I was exhausted in the first period of both of my matches and had to mentally push through to come out on top. It was really difficult.”

But as the season progressed, it got less difficult. Bosak said by sometime in February he felt nearly 100%.

Back in peak form, Bosak set out to capture a title he had never won before (EIWA) and one he had collected in 2012 (NCAA).

The first goal on the list – the conference championship – seemingly would run through Lehigh’s Robert Hamlin, who had defeated Bosak for the EIWA crown in both 2011 and 2012.

“Hamlin’s a good buddy of mine,” Bosak said. “Sometimes, with rivals, you wind up hating each other. But I consider him a pretty good friend. But, I was hoping to get a little bit of revenge in the EIWAs. He got the better of me head to head over the years and I was hoping to have the opportunity to beat him in the finals.”

However, the rematch didn’t happen as the Mountain Hawk senior injury defaulted to sixth while Bosak cruised to the crown. With that result, the Big Red coaches expected the 184-pounder to receive the #3 seed at the NCAAs.

However, to their surprise, he was slotted into the fourth spot, bringing a possible semifinals matchup with another defending national champion, Ed Ruth of Penn State.

“What the seeding committee decided was completely surprising,” Bosak said. “Going into nationals, I felt totally disrespected. It was uncharacteristic of past seeding and we were all shocked. But I knew I had to wrestle everyone anyway, so I had to keep my head on straight and perform.”

He did that, breezing through his first three matches by a combined score of 18-1. When it came time to face Ruth in the semis, the Big Red senior was ready with his game plan.

“I felt that if I slowed down his shots from the outside and kept pressure forward, I would be ok,” he said. “I needed to dominate the ties to prevent his quick, sudden takedowns. Unfortunately, he caught me in the first five seconds. After that, I recovered and almost had a takedown on the edge that would have put me in a great position to win.”

After the 4-1 defeat, he responded like a champion, winning his consolation matches on Saturday morning to complete his career in third place. The audience showed its appreciation for the three-time All-American as he walked off the mat.

Photo by BV

“It was great to end that way,” he said. “It was also nice that I got a standing ovation from the crowd. I felt appreciated and it was an awesome experience.”

It was especially significant for Bosak because he said it was his last competitive match.

“I’ve always felt that I’m a much better folkstyle wrestler,” he said. “My style doesn’t translate well to freestyle. So I’m ready to focus on the next stage of my life.”

What is that next stage? Bosak said he is pursuing two possible paths.

“I’m heavily considering coaching,” he said. “I have a bunch of offers from college programs and I’m looking at my options. I’m also interested in marketing and have talked to some places and am going through the interview process.”

But whether it’s marketing or wrestling next year, on June 8 and 9, he’ll definitely be on the mat in State College, knee deep in the sport he loves.

“After the season, I wanted to go and give back to wrestling,” he said. “I felt that doing a clinic like this was a great opportunity to help young kids perfect technique and what better way to teach them than to have Cam and Kyle join me to share what we know?”

Going back to the community in which he grew up seemed like a natural choice for the clinic.

“The area is rich with wrestling. It’s wrestling country,” he said. “I wanted to go home to my roots and give back. There are so many people who impacted my life and career there.”

In addition, he is excited to be able to help his high school, as part of the proceeds of the camp will be donated to the State College Wrestling Booster Club.

“Our goal coming out is to have a quality camp at a cheap price [$99] with a fun atmosphere,” he said. “When it’s over, we’ll have free posters for the kids and we’ll do autographs and pictures. The three of us all have different strengths and we’ll each teach the moves that worked best for us. We want to motivate kids to work hard at wrestling, have fun and learn great technique. We want to help create the next generation of national champions.”

For more information on the Big Red Champs clinic with Steve Bosak, Kyle Dake and Cam Simaz, see this link.