On Sunday, first-year Michigan coach Sean Bormet didn’t just get his first win of his fledgling career, he did it with style. With three of his wrestlers pinning their opponents and two securing major decision wins, the Wolverines flexed their fifth-ranked muscles over Central Michigan, winning 32-12.
But the major win was just another day at the office for Bormet. It wasn’t until after the match, when the coach checked his phone to see a flood of congratulatory messages, that the moment really sunk in.
“For me, I don’t really focus on those things,” Bormet said. “I try to just focus on the moment. I want to see our guys compete up to their ability and really embrace competition and compete with a lot of passion, and I thought they did that today.”
After serving as the program’s top assistant for seven years, Bormet has looked to oversee a smooth transition from former coach Joe McFarland and continue Michigan’s historic level of success. And with the lopsided win over the Chippewas, Bormet looks poised to do just that.
In order to ensure that his team remained in the upper echelons of college wrestling, Bormet named redshirt juniors Myles Amine and Stevan Micic team captains.
Through his consistency on and off the mat and relentless work ethic, Amine was awarded the title — the same position his father held in 1988.
“Well it’s one of the highest honors I’ve ever received to be named a captain of a varsity sport at the University of Michigan,” Amine said. “It’s a prestigious thing, and on top of that, it means even more to me that we took team votes and had a lot of the kids on the team vote, and it played a large part in the coach’s decision.
“Also, I should probably add it goes back to 1988-89 when my dad was a captain. So to be able to share that with somebody in my family, my mentor, somebody that I really look up to as my role model is really cool.”
Both Amine and Micic then demonstrated why they earned the title of captain and pinned their opponents in the second round.
Amine was on the offensive early and secured three first period takedowns to take a commanding 6-2 lead. After starting the second period in the down position, Amine would struggle under the shifty leg-riding of Central Michigan’s Collin Lieber. Lieber maintained his control over Amine until the dwindling moments of the second period, where Amine then scored a reversal that led to the match-ending pin.
“Well I had probably spent a little too much time in the bottom,” Amine said. “I was trying to roll around, but the kid was pretty good with some leg riding … but I’ve really been in that same position a lot in practice, so I was in the exact same position this week. It was just bread and butter from that point.”
Another bright spot of the meet came from redshirt sophomore Kanen Storr.
Storr, the Iowa State transfer, dominated Drew Marten for a 15-5 major decision. Storr used four takedowns, a reveral and a two-point turn to run up the scoreboard and earn key bonus points for his new team.
After a tumultuous year with the Cyclones, the Leslie, Mich. native returned home to wrestle for the Wolverines, and the program couldn’t be happier to have him.
“Kanen’s got a tremendous work ethic, he’s really positive, and that’s contagious,” Bormet said. “As far as his wrestling goes, I think he’s really starting to hit his rhythm. It took him a while with all the transition from transferring and getting here over the summer.”
Added Amine: “He’s a huge addition to our team just in terms of the attitude he brings. He elevates everyone in the practice room. He’s got a very positive attitude. He’s really a student of the sport, he’s always wanting to learn. So to see him open up, and he scored some pretty fancy takedowns today, so you know, he’s looking very crisp and got groomed to make a lot of noise this season. He’s a great addition to our team, and really just complements how tough that 141 spot is.”
Storr adds to a deep, dominant squad that is only trending upward. And with a prized young coach, it appears as though this win could be the first of many more for Bormet and the Michigan wrestling team this season.