Published March 4, 2014
AUBURN HILLS — Rochester High senior Shwan Shadaia wanted to leave his mark on the wrestling program.
By becoming the second two-time state champion, Shadaia did just that.
“My senior year, I just wanted to leave something behind to contribute to the school, because they gave me a lot,” he said.
Shadaia beat Wood Haven High’s Derek Hillman in a 4-3 decision March 1 in the Division 1 individual state final to defend his 189-pound crown.
Earlier in the year, Shadaia lost to Hillman by eight points in a match.
“He kind of figured it out on his own,” coach Frank Lafferty said of the different result. “He’s the kind of guy that rises to the occasion.”
Hillman led 2-1 after the first period, scoring a takedown midway through the frame. Shadaia then scored an escape.
To start the second, Shadaia scored on another escape and then took Hillman down with 13 seconds left to take a 4-2 lead.
Shadaia rode Hillman for a minute and a half in the third before giving up an escape to make it 4-3. Shadaia then turned back Hillman’s multiple shots to hold on for the win.
“He just knows how to win,” Lafferty said. “He’s a natural. I wish it was coaching, but it’s him.”
Shadaia’s rise to two-time state champion came after not even being on the varsity roster as a freshman.
“He just worked hard and he got it. It’s just been great for our program and great for our team,” Lafferty said.
Shadaia finished 44-3 overall this season. In his three years on varsity, he was 144-20.
He thanked his multiple drilling partners through the years, including his brother, Shane Shadaia, who is a two-time state placer, including a fifth-place finish at 171 this season.
“I can’t ask for a better brother and a better connection with him,” Shwan Shadaia said.
He added that both titles are special and were equally as challenging to obtain.
“I like having two titles, so double the fun, I guess,” he said with a laugh.
Rochester Hills Stoney Creek senior Kyle Noonan also battled for a state championship.
He took on Davison High’s Lincoln Olson at 125 pounds and lost by a tech fall in the third period.
Noonan finishes the year 48-3.
“I learned a lot, and the good thing is, I’m not done yet. I plan on wrestling in college. I’m just looking forward to that now,” Noonan said.
Coach Jeff Smart said he’d be missed.
“He’s just worked hard and put in a lot of time in the offseason. He’s great in the classroom, he’s been a great leader and he’s learned a lot of the aspects of the sport. He’s a student of it, so for the program and for me, it’s been great,” the coach said.