Q&A Bulldog Spotlight: Getting to Know Adrian College Wrestlers Mara Eason, Zach Rieger

Q&A Bulldog Spotlight: Getting to Know Adrian College Wrestlers Mara Eason, Zach Rieger

ADRIAN, Mich.--Every Wednesday, the Adrian College Athletic Communications Office will unveil a Q&A format interview with a student-athlete(s) from one of the Bulldogs' 40 intercollegiate athletics programs for a new series, Bulldog Spotlight: Getting to Know..." The debut edition is representatives from the Adrian wrestling teams:

Zach Rieger l Junior l Hudson High School l Social studies major (secondary education)

Q: Why did you choose to come to Adrian College?
A: "I chose Adrian College because I heard the wrestling program was coming back. Wrestling is something I've always been passionate about and I figure coming here would be a good opportunity to compete again."

Q: What are your pre-game rituals?
A: "Just warming up any way I can, trying to get my heart rate up before I compete. I try to stay loose and get my mind not worry about anything." 

Q: How do you handle the demands of being a student and athlete at the same time?
A: "I try to manage my time as wisely as I can. Setting time for specific things throughout the day and going to bed at a decent hour."

Q: What does being a NCAA Division III student-athlete mean to you?
A: "Being a NCAA Division 3 athlete to me means that I'm here because I love the sport I'm competing in. Sure, it would be nice to have an athletic scholarship, but being a Division 3 athlete really makes you think back to why you started competing in your sport in the first place. You reflect and find the little things that made you fall in love with the sport back when you were younger."

Q: What is your best Adrian sports memory?
A: "My best Adrian college sports memory to date is when I was still competing on the football team back in 2015. The entire season was so much fun for me, but the highlight was probably when we beat Trine at home. It was a fun game to play and we all played very well."

(Note: Rieger made the all-conference second team as a defensive lineman that season, and the Bulldogs beat the Thunder, 38-24, on Senior Day to knock the visitors out of the MIAA title race.) 

Q: What has keyed your success on the mat this season?
A: "I have been really dedicating myself to the sport and trying to stay healthy as much as possible. In addition to working hard in practice with coach (Bill Schindel) and my drill partner Clarence Kennedy (a sophomore teammate), it's been a combination of all of that. I hope to keep it going and push further as the season progresses."

Q: What do you like the most about the Adrian campus?
A: "I like how friendly all the faculty and staff are. It's really helpful seeing and knowing that our professors really want to see all students succeed and are willing to help all of us out.

Q: What's the best advice (and from who?) that anyone has given you? 
A: "An old friend, Antoine Johnson-Clark, basically told me to forget about what people think of me and to control what I can control." 

Q: If you could meet a celebrity, who would it be and what would you ask s/he? 
A: "It would have to be Billy Joel. I'd ask him if him and I could sing a duet or hang out with his entourage at a concert." 

Q: What does being a Bulldog mean to you?
A: "Taking a great deal of pride in all that I do" while representing the team and the College.

Q: If you could visit a place that you've never been, where is it and why?
A: "Australia. I know a few people who have been there and they've had nothing but good things to say about the place. There's a great deal to see and do there. It sounds like it would be a worthwhile visit."

 

Mara Eason l Freshman l La Porte, Ind. (La Porte High School) l Biology major

Q: Why did you choose to come to Adrian College?
A: "I really wanted to go to a college that would have both a women's wrestling team and a good science department. In my first visit to Adrian College I fell in love with the staff and the environment. I knew I had found a college where I could continue my athletics career and further my academics."

Q: What are your pre-game rituals?
A: "I try to get a good night's rest the day before, and I listen to music on the way to the venue. After I weigh-in, I try to eat some food and drink water. We do a team warm-up and afterwards I listen to music. I usually watch and cheer on my teammates until my match is close, then I go near my mat to stretch and warm up."

Q: How do you handle the demands of being a student and athlete at the same time?
A: "You have to set your priorities early and you have to stay organized. It is also important to have good communication with your teachers and coaches. They are all usually eager to work with you and help if you let them know your situation ahead of time. I have to make sure I keep track of my student and athletic schedules so I know in advance if something is going to conflict. 

Q: What does being a NCAA Division III student-athlete mean to you?
A: "It means that I have the privilege to continue participating in a sport I'm passionate about. It also means I don't have to worry about it becoming a "job" because I'm doing it purely out of want."

Q: What is your best Adrian sports memory?
A: "My favorite Adrian sports memory is the first time my team and I traveled to a tournament. It was a 12-hour drive, but we talked the whole way, laughing together and singing at the top of our lungs. Getting to bond with them was my favorite."

Q: What do you like the most about the Adrian campus?
A: "I love the science building, Peelle Hall. I absolutely love the periodic table in there." 

Q: What's the best advice (and from who?) that anyone has given you?
A: "My mom once told me to always stay true to who I really am. I try to always live by that advice."

Q: If you could meet a celebrity, who would it be and what would you ask s/he?
A: "I would love to meet actress Jennifer Lawrence, and ask her to be my best friend."

Q: What does being a Bulldog mean to you?
A: "To me, being a Bulldog is a bit of everything. It's a good teammate, friend, sportsmen, scholar, and much more."

Q: If you could visit a place that you've never been, where is it and why?
A: "I would love to visit Spain. I think the area is pretty and that I would enjoy the culture."

#AdrianBulldogs #GoDawgs #GDTBAB