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|FEATURE: Steiber brothers making names for themselves|
By Matt Russell Special for TheMat.com
FARGO, N.D. - Ohio brothers Logan and Hunter Steiber are looking to make their presence felt this year at the Cadet Freestyle National Championships in Fargo, just like another pair of Ohio siblings did for multiple years not long ago.
About 80 miles to the southeast of Monroeville, where Hunter and Logan reside, is Massillon, the town where amateur wrestling standouts CP and Dustin Schlatter called home growing up.
CP was a four-time Ohio state champion that posted an unbelievable 145-1 record during his career for St. Paris Graham High School, a two-time Cadet Nationals freestyle winner and a Junior National double champion in 2003.
His younger brother, Dustin, posted an undefeated record in his four trips to Fargo and like his brother, won four state championships for Perry High School.
Both brothers now wrestle for the University of Minnesota, where they helped the Gophers win the NCAA Championships last season. Dustin, who will be a junior next season, was an NCAA Champion in 2006 as a true freshman and runner-up in 2007 at 149 pounds. CP, an incoming senior, is a three-time NCAA Qualifier that placed sixth at the NCAA Championships last season.
Those are large footsteps to follow in but coaches who work close with the tandem think it's hard to tell at this stage but not out of the question.
"They rank extremely on high on my list," said Ohio Cadet freestyle head coach Jim Lehman, who's been with the program for almost 10 years. "Logan is definitely one of the best we've ever had."
Logan, an incoming sophomore has an opportunity to match the Schlatters' impressive title numbers after winning the Division III Ohio state championship for Monroeville High School at 103 last season. Logan also is a defending Cadet National Champion, winning the 105-pound crown last year.
"It's a great atmosphere here," said Logan, who has six technical falls and one pin through eight matches at 112 pounds. One of those tech fall victories came over Cadet national champion Dylan Ness of Minnesota. "I'm really happy to be here trying to win another title."
Logan's younger brother, Hunter, who will be a freshman, is a two-time Ohio Junior High State Champion and the 2007 FILA Cadet freestyle champion at 42 kg.
"I didn't get to come to Fargo last year to watch my brother win," said Hunter, who hasn't lost a period so far in his Cadet debut at 95 pounds. "So I'm pretty excited to be here competing."
Hopefully nerves won't take over Hunter during the medal round on Wednesday but Ohio Cadet assistant coach Eric Burnett doesn't see that happening.
"Hunter has a lot of national experience," said Burnett. "And although there's nothing like Fargo, his experience in Tulsa and at the state level will help him."
Not only are the Steibers known for their accomplishments on the mat, they are also natural-born leaders.
"They have a huge impact on the team," said Lehman. "They set the standard in our training camps with their work ethic and being easy to coach and polite."
Burnett, who works more close with the Steibers throughout the year, echoes those comments.
"They focus on their own strengths and their self-motivated," said Burnett. "Even though they are extremely talented wrestlers, they don't underestimate their opponents."
Although the duo is focused on their own personal goals, don't believe they aren't keeping an eye out on each other.
"What happened out there," Logan asked Hunter after his match with Ronnie Garbinsky of Pennsylvania tonight in Session II. Hunter trailed 1-0 early to Garbinsky in the first period before coming back to win 4-2, and taking the second stanza, 6-0.
It's natural for a brother to keep tabs on another, especially when they spend so much time together on the mat.
"Hunter is a great workout partner", said Logan. "He's smaller, quicker and taller than most of my opponents, so it's good to train with someone that size."
Hunter appreciates what Logan has done for him as well.
"He's stronger and is always there to correct my mistakes," Hunter said of his older brother.
The Steibers have a long way to go to match the accomplishments of the Schlatters, but it appears they are on the right track.