Michigan State University wrestling team.
MSU wrestling coach Roger Chandler and Everett Dressander.
by Patrick Misner contributing reporter
Theresa Umlauf recently contacted the Ledger about a positive experience she had with the Michigan State University wrestling team.
She was looking for something fun she and her husband, John Umlauf, could do with her -year-old grandson, Everett Dressander. Their grandson loves MSU athletics, and is on his third year of participating in the Lowell Youth Wrestling Club. After doing some research, she decided to get tickets to a home wrestling match in East Lansing against Cleveland State University on Sunday, Feb. 10.
Umlauf was excited about the event and was talking about it with some her friends when they suggested she should reach out to the team to see if they could meet Everett before or after the match. Unsure of whether or not this was realistic, Umlauf found the coach's email address online and contacted him. To her surprise, coach Roger Chandler emailed her back promptly and said that would be great. She had not realized how easy reaching out would be.
“All teams have a website and probably Facebook page.” Umlauf explained. “It's fun and brings about conversation.”
Umlauf also thinks the novel experience may help encourage her grandson and other people given the opportunity in the future.
“I believe in education beyond high school and it is my hope that our grandsons go to college and/or trades program,” Umlauf said. “Sometimes just going to a place or talking about it can be an inspiration.”
The coach, Roger Chandler, who began his tenure as MSU's head coach following the 2015-2016 season, met with her grandson and introduced him to many of the wrestlers on the team. The proud grandparents were also able to snap a few photos of their grandson with the team. "Coach Chandler and the team were genuinely congenial to my grandson," Umlauf said.
The MSU wrestling team brought home a 36-7 victory in the match. The generosity extended beyond the match as well. She stayed in contact with coach Chandler; he invited Everett and his family to join them at their match against Purdue University on Sunday Feb. 17, complements of the team. They went with some fellow wrestlers from his team and their families. Unfortunately, the MSU team lost 14-18 to 20th ranked Purdue.
Umlauf hopes to do something similar in the spring with the football team, as Everett also plays football. "During the spring, MSU has an exhibition football game, and you can possibly meet with Coach Dantonio," explained Umlauf.
Overall, Umlauf said, "The experience was great!"