In sports, your team is a family.
Developing a relationship keeps the team together, and the closer it is to a family, the better. But the Michigan wrestling team is a step above the others, featuring three pairs of brothers — the Amines, Corrells and Mattins.
What has the program done to attract so many siblings? For the Mattin brothers, it’s the family connection. Their commitment to wrestling together started a long time ago.
“Over time, our relationship has definitely changed because we used to fist-fight all the time when we were training,” redshirt junior Drew Mattin said. “Now, (Cole) is one of the best partners to train with, so it’s come full circle.”
“I would say when we started off probably up until my sophomore year of high school, we used to fight about every single time we practiced together,” sophomore Cole Mattin said. “ … Definitely now, we can actually learn from each other instead of getting into fights every single time.”
Drew was already in the program for two years, and when it was time for Cole’s commitment, he knew his brother was going to have an influence.
“He really did not have much word on my commitment because he wanted me to do what I wanted to do, not what he wanted me to do,” Cole said. “Obviously he wanted me there and thought it would be great to wrestle with him, which is a lot of why I came to Michigan, but in the end he did tell me he wanted me to come to Michigan, but he did not influence it much. But I definitely made the correct decision.”
Last season was Cole’s first in the program and Drew’s third. When Drew decided to redshirt, Cole slid into the lineup, and Drew gave him pointers throughout the season. Cole won 16 of his 29 matches last year.
“Drew and I are brothers by blood, and my teammates are basically my brothers, just not by blood,” Cole said. “Family is a very big influence on our team because we have a ton of brothers. Actually my brother Zack is a (high school) senior coming up to the program next year. There’s just a lot of things that draw you closer to Michigan and seeing like the family bond and how everyone is super close is just another thing that makes you want to go there.”
All teams have a special bond, but according to the Mattins, there is something about a family relationship that just means more in their eyes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown challenges at all of us — including The Michigan Daily — but that hasn’t stopped our staff. We’re committed to reporting on the issues that matter most to the community where we live, learn and work. Your donations keep our journalism free and independent. You can support our work here.
For a weekly roundup of the best stories from The Michigan Daily, sign up for our newsletter here.