Chanc Ravish doesn’t take an “e” in his first name.
He also doesn’t take many “L’s” on the wrestling mat.
However, at the first tournament of the year for Calumet College’s wrestling team, his new home beginning in the fall, Ravish went 0-2 at 165 pounds at the Grand View Open.
The senior transfer from Niles, Michigan, decided to use the early November defeats as motivation instead of excusing them because of the high-risk level of competition at the open.
“That first weekend smacked me in the face and helped me realize a few things,” Ravish said. “This sport comes with a lot of heartache. I was at a lower place at the start of the season because it gets exhausting.
“But I had never been 0-2 at a tournament. It actually rekindled me.”
The sergeant in the Army reserves, who spent his first three seasons of eligibility as well as a redshirt season backing up national-champion-caliber wrestlers at Division III Wabash College, refocused.
“I’ve been praying more and keeping my spirituality in check with wrestling,” Ravish said. “The fire is making its comeback to what it once was. I’m not out here just to get by but to win. I re-love the sport and have motivation to win.”
And win he’s done. Since the 0-2 start at 165, Ravish has dropped to 157 and is 10-2 with two major decisions. He’s ranked No. 5 in the Midwest at 157 pounds and eager to qualify for nationals in the coming months.
“It’s been great this year,” Ravish said. “I was really hoping I could go to 165, but I don’t deal with the height of a lot of the guys there.”
Ravish’s road to Calumet College involved some financial hardships and a savior in the form of Crimson Wave coach Ryan Rivera, who got Ravish the necessary scholarship after coaching Ravish’s brother last season.
Ravish began wrestling at age 5, if only as a diversion to give his divorced, single mom a break. By fifth grade, he made his first all-star team, seventh grade he went undefeated, and at Brandywine Jr./Sr. High School in Niles he was a four-time state qualifier and three-time placer, including second and third his junior and senior seasons, respectively.
He ended up at Wabash in Crawfordsville, but he had tough luck cracking the lineup. He only had a partial academic scholarship, and when his mom had to take out a loan to help him pay for school he decided it was time to transfer.
“Coach Rivera’s great,” Ravish said. “He’s a real personal coach. He cares about the guys who care about the sport. It’s a smaller room, but everybody’s in there busting their butts. It’s a real reciprocal thing. As long as you’re working hard, everyone’s working hard with you.”
He took the spring semester off to focus on getting things together and take classes to improve his leadership and standing with the U.S. Army reserves.
Ravish has been all that he can be since a recruiter knocked on his door his junior year of high school. He trained in the summer months after both his 11th and 12th grade school years.
He still reports to a local unit one weekend each month for training and courses as he enters his sixth year as a reserve.
Ravish’s gritty personality is not limited to wrestling and the Army. He loves coaching the sport and spent last spring volunteering at his prep alma mater and with its club.
He’s been to Peru on a mission trip with his father, a pastor, and he went to Oklahoma for voluntary cleanup efforts after a rash of F-5 tornadoes damaged parts of the state last year.
Ravish hopes to pursue a master’s in psychology and potentially a doctorate, but this time next season he knows he’ll be on the mat, only coaching some kid out of a low spot and telling his story of resilience.
Right on track: The St. Joseph’s men’s and women’s track teams competed last week at the Northwest Ohio Invitational on the campus of the University of Findlay.
One of the difference-makers out of the gates was freshman Thomas Jones (Merrillville), who helped the Pumas’ mile relay team win its heat and take fourth overall. Jones also was 14th in the 400 at the nine-team event.
Allison Zimmerle (Kouts) was seventh in the high jump for the women’s team, while Joli Jungels (Kankakee Valley) was 22nd in the long jump.