Senior Michael Fleck is in his final year wrestling at Wilkes University. He has had a very successful season with an overall record of 28-2 at the 125 pound weight class.
Fleck has worked very hard in his final year to make the most out of it. His only two losses this season were both against the same wrestler. The wrestler from Messiah is ranked above Fleck, but it won’t stop Fleck from giving it all that he has.
“I know that I have to continue to work hard and take every opportunity that I get in the practice room,” Fleck said.
Fleck wants to dedicate his final month left of wrestling to prepare himself for the national tournament. The wrestler from Messiah is a former two-time national runner-up, and Fleck believes he is wrestling at that national level.
Fleck has been ranked in the top-ten for a great portion of the season. He has more confidence knowing that he is ranked, but he also knows ranks can be misleading.
“One poll said I was ranked fourth, and another said I was ninth. However, the rankings don’t mean that much to me. I try to stay focused, always work on the tasks at hand and get better every day,” he said.
Fleck has wrestled at Wilkes all four years, and is sitting at a career record of 94-24. A 100-win career would be an honor for Fleck. He is on his way to win it too: He has two matches, and hopefully, two tournaments to wrestle in, which should give him the opportunity to reach his goal.
One of the most important and influential people to Fleck’s wrestling career here at Wilkes was Anthony Dattolo.
He wrestled while Fleck was a first-year and was a two-time All-American.
“He is the reason why I became such a good wrestler. He really helped me turn the corner and qualify for nationals in my first year,” Fleck said.
Along with Dattolo, Fleck’s coaches have all influenced him in their own unique ways. He credits his current coaches Jon Laudenslager, Mitch Marcks and Brian Broderick as well as his former coaches.
Fleck can now see the end of his academic career too. With only one class and a senior project, Fleck’s final semester is a bit slow. He appreciates the extra time so he can focus on wrestling even more.
Mechanical engineering was a struggle for Fleck. Since he has just about finished his degree, he chooses to help his teammates within the same major.
Dustin Zuzulock is a wrestler and mechanical engineer, and he has received help from Fleck.
“I hope that I can pass on my knowledge to others, so they don’t make the same mistakes that I did,” Fleck said.
Zuzulock appreciates Fleck for that reason, and admires his work ethic.
“Fleck is really motivated. No matter what, Fleck comes ready to work hard in practice, and is always ready for a challenge,” Zuzulock said.
Fleck is in his last rodeo. He hopes for everyone to do well in the upcoming tournaments. He has wrestled for most of his life.
When it comes down to the moment where his career is on the line, he will have to take a step back and realize that he may never wrestle again.