Athlete of the Week: Michael Fleck

Phat Nguyen, Sports Editor

Meet Michael Fleck, a freshman starter from Easton Pa., who is off to the hot start this year with two technical falls going 17-0 and 16-1 at the John Reese Duals. The former second baseman loves ice cream as much as he loves when the Met’s are beating the Phillies.

Year: Freshman
Major: Environmental Engineering
Hometown: Easton, Pa. It’s about an hour and 15 minutes from here.

What made you want to come to Wilkes? The coaches really made it welcoming. Everyone on the team was really cool too. They made me feel really wanted. Also the academics were pretty good.

What do you miss about Easton? Probably the fanbase of wrestling team. Sometimes there would be 1,500 people at matches. That’s the biggest thing that I miss though.

1,500? Wow, wrestling must’ve really been a big deal. Yeah, pretty much wrestling was the biggest sport. You were kind of like God around there if you wrestled.

How did you do at states last year? Last year I took third at states. I was pretty proud of myself.

What weight did you wrestle at Easton? 119. I wrestle at 125 now.

Is there a big difference in the weight change now in college? I wouldn’t say a weight difference, but a strength difference, and how kids are older than me. You have to adjust to it.

Have you ever felt intimidated wrestling someone with more experience than you? No, I just try to go out and wrestle my own match. I just try to score as many points as possible. I try to do everything in my control.

At the John Reese Duals, you had two technical falls winning 17-0 and 16-1 against some pretty good teams. How were you able to have so much success? Well, just starting my team off right. It was great feeling to get that five point right off the bat. Getting that momentum swinging was huge. I think they fed off of that. That just made me feel accomplished. I like to think it spread throughout the team.

Can you talk a little bit more about that first match? I was up 14-0 after the first period. I just took him down and was dominating on top which is probably my best position. I just kept the ball rolling with the momentum going, and I kept scoring points. It was pretty.

In your only loss on the day, the guy from Cortland gave you some trouble. What do you take away from that experience? I was just taking shots from too far out. I wasn’t wrestling my match. I was wrestling to his style. That’s something I learned from the weekend. I need to wrestle every match my style every time I get out there. He was a little stronger and harder to move. It was just a learning experience.

Does that give you a lot of motivation to bring everything you have the rest of the season? Definitely, I was a little disappointed with myself. I know I’m just as good as that kid if not better. I just didn’t perform at my best.

Would you want a rematch? I hope I get to face him again. It would be nice to beat him. I like beating kids who have beaten me in previous matches, but I’m not sure about the scheduling. Hopefully, I get to wrestle him.

Are you more like your mom or dad? Probably more like my mom. She’s the kind of person I am. Determined, quiet but once you get to know them, talkative.

What are you doing over break, other than Thanksgiving dinner? Probably go to the Easton-Pburg (Phillipsburg) football game. A lot of people go to that game. It’s a huge rivalry. I want to hang out.

With the Christmas season coming up, what’s on your wish list? Hopefully someone gets me a nice winter jacket. It’s starting to get cold up here, so that would be nice.

What’s your favorite Christmas song? “Jingle bell rock.”

What’s been your favorite class at Wilkes so far? My math 101 class. I’m doing the best in it.

Who’s teaching that? (laughs) Couldn’t even tell you my teacher’s name.

What’s the hardest class that you’ve taken so far? Chemistry. I have taken chemistry since my freshman year in high school. It’s pretty tough, but I’m getting through it.

Do you know who’s teaching that? Dr. Wignot.

Do you have any guilty pleasures? I like to eat ice cream. I know it’s bad for my weight, but I eat it anyways because I love it so much.

What’s one thing about you that not a lot of people know about? I am a sports fanatic. I like to follow every sport, football, basketball, baseball, college and professional level.

Who do you like to cheer for? My MLB team is the New York Mets, NFL is the Carolina Panthers and NBA is the Philadelphia 76ers.

Is there any reason for liking those teams? I like to pick a team who’s a rival to my dad’s team. He likes the Phillies, so I like the Mets. Panthers, I don’t know why I like them. 76ers are the hometown team for basketball.

Is there any tension between you and your dad when you guys watch sports at home? Definitely with baseball. That’s definitely our favorite sport. It gets interesting when the Mets and Phillies are playing each other, and we want our teams to win. It’s fun.

Did you play any sports other than wrestling? I played second base until 8th grade, but then I stopped to wrestle.

Could you still turn a double play? Maybe. I don’t know. I’m a little rusty.

Do you have any superstitions before matches? I like to keep all the same stretches. Every time I go to the bathroom I like to use the same place and wash my hands in the same sink.

There’s not a certain number of times that have you wash your hands, is there? (laughs) No, just location. It’s just something I always have done.