February 10, 2005

Consistent Mormile Leads Red Wrestlers

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While the No. 15 Red (8-4, 3-0 Ivy) is loaded with potential 2005 national champions such as No. 1 Dustin Manotti (149-pounds) and No. 2 Travis Lee (133-pounds), senior Mike Mormile’s (125) consistency over the past few weeks has been crucial in establishing the team’s current success.

“Mike’s been doing great,” said senior No. 10 Joe Mazzurco (174-pounds). “He’s made a lot of improvements. In terms of last year, he had a lot of matches where he’d lose by a point or two and he was in every match, but he would come out on the losing end. This year, it seems like he’s turned it around and is starting to come out on the winning end.”

Mormile came out on top in two crucial matches over the past weekend — first defeating Hofstra’s Dave Tomasette, 3-1, before going on to beat Columbia’s Jeff Sato, 2-0. The senior’s contribution helped give the Red a huge win over the then-No. 11 Pride and Columbia in the evening.

The road to success did not come easily for the wrestler from Monroe, N.Y. Mormile, who started wrestling in seventh grade after a family friend encouraged him to try the sport out, has had numerous injuries including a knee surgery which forced him to miss the entirety of his sophomore season.

However, Mormile rebounded last year, posting a 28-23 record and qualifying for nationals after finishing in third place at the EIWA championships. This season, the senior has been even more impressive, going 19-4 thus far.

“This season’s going well so far,” Mormile said. “I need to work on a lot of things with nationals coming up, but the confidence is there because I’m doing better than I did last year.”

One reason for Mormile’s success is the quality of his practice partners, most notably, Lee. According to head coach Rob Koll, it is difficult to see how talented Mormile is when he wrestles the heavier and extremely talented Lee or assistant coach Steve Garland. Therefore, according to Koll, when Mormile goes into competition, the 125-pound wrestler is very well-prepared. Koll said that while Mormile has improved this season, he still needs to work on escaping in preparation for his goal of becoming an All-American.

“If he could keep on working on [escaping], he could go with anybody on their feet and he’s pretty darn tough,” Koll said.

Koll said that Mormile is the typical, successful student-athlete. Mormile missed the first semester due to his work with the Cayuga Venture Fund, and, a day before talking to the Sun, he was in New York City attending a job interview.

In the weeks ahead, Mormile and his teammates will also have the real and very possible opportunity to not only be successful in the classroom, but also on the mat.

“We’re peaking and our confidence is up right now and that’s what you need to go into a big tournament like that,” Mormile said. “We started out kind of slow because we didn’t have Joe Mazzurco and myself. Now, we have everyone in the lineup and … everything’s starting to click.”

Archived article by Brian Tsao
Sun Senior Editor