Undefeated Niles wrestler ready for state

Published 3:50 pm Friday, February 11, 2005

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Niles High School senior Matt Poehlman has been wrestling since the seventh grade, so you can imagine his excitement and seriousness of making it all the way to state in his final year of wrestling at the high school level.
Poehlman wrestles in the 119 pound weight class and is 33-0 heading into conference action this weekend (see related story on this page for information).
His goal this year? "To get to state," Poehlman said. "I didn't even make it out of districts. I was 40-2 last year and lost twice at districts."
Poehlman has been a member of the varsity team since entering high school and has been coached by Bob Galvin, Niles High School wrestling coach, since day one.
Coach Galvin admits it wasn't easy for him at first. "Matt started out as a freshman for us at 85 pounds. He had some experince in junior high, but not the kind you would experience at the high school level. He got bumped around quite a bit in the beginning," Galvin said.
Poehlman admits his biggest highlight of this season so far is being undefeated, but winning at the Berrien County Wrestling Tournament is also a big achievement for him.
If you have never seen Poehlman wrestle, or have, and have wondered about the hair cap he wears or the knocking on wood, "I'm very superstisious," he admits. Poehlman hasen't cut his hair since he began wrestling this year. You can also see him knocking on wood whenever someone mentions the word "undefeated".
Poehlman currently holds a 3.3 GPA. After high school he plans to attend either Western Michigan University or Bethel College, but says he is not sure yet if he will continue to wrestle. "If I go to Bethel I might," Poehlman says.