by RANDY GREGORY
When Central Michigan University (CMU) and Eastern Michigan University (EMU) met on the wrestling mat on February 8th in Mt. Pleasant, there was more than just a hint of orange and black on both benches. Leading the way for CMU was three-time All-American Ben Bennett at 184 pounds. Bennett is a red-shirt senior for the Chippewas who also claimed three state titles while wrestling for the Rams during his prep career. His career has reached new heights of success during the 2012-13 season as he stands at a perfect 22-0 and is ranked as the number two wrestler in America by both the Amateur Wrestling News and Intermat.
Gracing the other sideline was former two-time state title holder for Rockford Jake Dorulla who would take to the mat at 174 pounds during the match. The going has been a little tougher for Dorulla as the sophomore finds himself with an overall record of 10-15 while facing off with wrestlers at the top level of collegiate wrestling across the country. Dorulla spent the vast majority of the year wrestling at 165 pounds before recently bumping up to 174.
And although he didn’t wrestle on this occasion, Dorulla has another former Ram standout as a teammate in red-shirt freshman Jake Byers. Byers has amassed a mark of 14-11 while getting his first taste of NCAA Division 1 wrestling.
It was a mixed bag of results for the former Ram grapplers on the evening. CMU won the match from a team perspective 31-6, while Bennett posted a major decision with a 13-3 win and Dorulla dropped a 4-0 decision. Good luck to all three in their future endeavors on the mat.