2021-22 Preseason All-MAC Teams

2019 NCAA All-American Matt Stencel (Photo/Sam Janicki;

InterMat has released its preseason All-MAC first and second teams, along with preseason conference Wrestler of the Year, preseason Newcomer of the Year, and preseason team favorite. We've used the term "Newcomer" since there is the possibility of wrestlers that competed at the national tournament in 2021, being called "freshmen."

First Team Preseason All-MAC

125 - Jake Ferri (Kent State) 2021 National Qualifier; 2021 MAC 3rd

133 - Derek Spann (Buffalo) 2x National Qualifier, 2019 MAC 2nd

141 - Dresden Simon (Central Michigan) 2x MAC Champion, 2021 NCAA Round of 12 Finisher

149 - Brent Moore (Clarion) 2018 National Qualifier, 2018 ACC Champion

157 - Johnny Lovett (Central Michigan) 2021 National Qualifier, 2021 MAC 3rd

165 - Izzak Olejnik (Northern Illinois) 2x National Qualifier, 2x MAC 2nd

174 - Jacob Oliver (Edinboro) 3x National Qualifier, 2021 MAC 3rd

184 - Brit Wilson (Northern Illinois) 2021 NCAA 6th, 2x MAC Champion, 3x National Qualifier

197 - Ben Smith (Cleveland State) 2021 National Qualifier, 2021 MAC 2nd

285 - Matt Stencel (Central Michigan) 2019 NCAA 7th, 4x MAC Champion

Second Team Preseason All-MAC

125 - Luke Werner (Lock Haven)

133 - Mario Guillen (Ohio)

141 - Quinn Kinner (Rider)

149 - Alec Hagan (Ohio)

157 - Ben Barton (Lock Haven)

165 - Riley Smucker (Cleveland State)

174 - Mason Kauffman (Northern Illinois)

184 - DeAndre Nassar (Cleveland State)

197 - Matt Correnti (Rider)

285 - Colton McKiernan (SIU Edwardsville)

Preseason MAC Wrestler of the Year: Matt Stencel (Central Michigan)

In 2021-22, Matt Stencel is aiming to become the first five-time MAC champion, as he's a heavy favorite at the conference's largest weight. Stencel has been a fixture at the back of the Chippewa's lineup for his entire career and has been one of the nation's best from day one. As a freshman, Stencel earned the #16 seed at his first NCAA tournament and since he's been rewarded with a top-ten seed in his subsequent appearances.

As a sophomore, Stencel made the NCAA podium after pinning in-state rival Mason Parris (Michigan), in the NCAA Round of 12. The two clashed three times that year, with Stencel prevailing by fall in two of those contests. A year later, Stencel garnered NWCA first-team All-American honors after the 2020 NCAA Championships were canceled. He was seeded fifth at that tournament. At 30-4 on the year, Stencel was named the MAC Wrestler of the Year, the first CMU wrestler to receive the honor since 2012.

Stencel stormed through the 2021 regular season and MAC Tournament with a 10-0 record heading into St. Louis. Unfortunately, he went 1-2 and missed out on placing.

Heading into his final year of eligibility, Stencel holds a 100-27 career record, which gives him an outside shot at breaking Casey Cunningham's (1995-99) school mark of 132 wins. His 52 career falls have him ahead of three-time All-American Wynn Michalak for third on the school's all-time list. Kevin Vogel's 66 career pins are within striking distance for the big man from Oregon, Ohio.

Stencel is currently ranked #12 in the nation at 285 lbs in InterMat's preseason rankings.

Preseason MAC Newcomer of the Year: Enrique Munguia (Kent State)

The Golden Flashes signed one of their best recruits in years as they kept one of Ohio's best at home with the addition of Enrique Munguia. Enrique was an Ohio DI state runner-up in 2020-21, losing only to the top-ranked recruit in the Class of 2021 in the state finals. He finished the year ranked in the top five nationally and was named the #28 overall recruit in the nation by MatScouts. Prior to his senior season, Munguia was third at the Super 32, while competing at 160 lbs.

Due to precautions associated with the Covid pandemic, many national tournaments were not held in the 2020-21 school year. Before that season, Munguia still was able to place at the Beast of the East as a sophomore (7th) and junior (5th). Also as a junior, Munguia was fifth at the Walsh Ironman.

Munguia enters the 2021-22 season penciled in as Kent State's starter at 157 lbs.

Preseason Team Favorite: Central Michigan

The big news in the conference during the offseason was that Missouri has moved back to the Big 12. The Tigers had captured every conference title during their stay in the MAC (2013-21), which made the label "preseason team favorite" a foregone conclusion most October's for the last decade. But, without Mizzou, the conference appears to be wide-open.

Before Missouri's arrival, Central Michigan was a mainstay at the top of the MAC. Expect them to be so again. Like many teams with the extra year of eligibility, CMU is expected to field a veteran-heavy lineup. The Chips have five wrestlers with NCAA experience, though one is expected to redshirt. Five others, represented CMU at the 2021 conference tournament.

Things may be close in conference dual competition, as Rider and Northern Illinois could threaten Central Michigan, but CMU should separate themselves in a larger tournament format. In addition to Stencel, who is expected to win his fifth MAC title and contend for All-American honors again, Central Michigan has a returning NCAA Round of 12 finisher in Dresden Simon, who sits at #12 in InterMat's preseason rankings. At 157 lbs, Johnny Lovett had a breakout campaign in 2021 and ended up winning a pair of matches at nationals, including one over #7 Jarrett Jacques (Missouri).

In addition to Central Michigan's conference dual slate, they'll represent the MAC at the National Collegiate Duals in late-December, host SoCon power Campbell, and take on their in-state foes from the Big Ten (Michigan, Michigan State).


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