All-State wrestlers relish chance to compete against the best at state finals

By: Jason Carmel Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published March 6, 2017

 Wrestlers prepare to battle at the individual state finals March 2 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. In all, the C & G Newspapers coverage area had 34 grapplers earn All-State honors.

Wrestlers prepare to battle at the individual state finals March 2 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. In all, the C & G Newspapers coverage area had 34 grapplers earn All-State honors.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

METRO DETROIT — Just getting to the state wrestling finals is quite the accomplishment.

It’s even more of a testament of a grappler’s skill and mettle when they earn All-State honors.

A total of 34 grapplers from the C & G Sports coverage area took home the distinction. 

In total, nearly 900 wrestlers competed at the final, which took place March 2-4 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The top eight finishers in each class earned the All-State distinction.

Macomb Dakota sophomore 152-pounder Dustin Solomon was one of them. He took fifth place in Division 1 in his class.

Solomon was competing in his second state finals after falling in the blood round last year. 

“It’s awesome competing here. You’re anxious at first, until you get on the mat. Then it’s one on one like any other mat, and you’re OK,” said Solomon, who ended the season with a 45-10 record. “It feels good to have this honor this time, especially after how last year ended.”

In his first trip to the state finals, Warren Fitzgerald junior 160-pounder Steven Dunmire battled his way to a third-place finish in D-2. Dunmire, who ended the year with a 53-6 mark, said he was nervous at first, but calmed down once he picked up his first win.

“It feels good to come in and show what I can do,” Dunmire said. “I just came in wanting to do my best, and I think I did pretty good. I’ll do the same next year — just try to get back here and do my best. Hopefully, I can take first place then.”

Fraser High junior 189-pounder Chris Hackney accomplished his goal by earning All-State honors. Hackney finished fifth in D-1.

“I really wanted to place this year,” said Hackney, who finished the year with a 53-7 record. “Going into the blood-round match, that’s all I wanted; it’s really special. It really hit me during the (final) grand march. It was amazing looking up, seeing all the placers. It’s really special to me.”

Madison Heights Lamphere sophomore 130-pounder Matt Tomsett finished sixth in D-2 in his weight class. Tomsett lost in regionals as a freshman, and he said he’s happy with this year’s results.

“It was good this year to come back, and placing made it even better,” Tomsett said.  

Dakota junior heavyweight Rahmi Khalil finished fourth in his first state finals appearance in D-1. Like a number of other grapplers, Khalil said nerves took over early, but he was able to calm down and perform well.

“Once I knew I was going to be All-State, I wasn’t nervous anymore. I went out there with nothing to lose,” Khalil said. “It’s been awesome. It makes me ready for next year. I plan on winning it next year. I already feel ready to do it.”

Sports Writers Mike Moore and Mark Vest and Sports Editor Christian Davis contributed to this report.

Grapplers from schools inside the C & G Sports coverage area earned All-State honors at the state wrestling finals. The top eight finishers in each weight class earned the recognition. Following is a listing of each of the All-State wrestlers from our coverage area.

Division 1
103 pounds
• TJ Daugherty, Walled Lake Central, state champion
• Nick Alayan, Macomb Dakota, second place

112 pounds
• Justin Tiburcio, Dakota, fourth

119 pounds
• Terrin Machart, Utica Ford II, fifth

125 pounds
• Nick Barrett, Dakota, third
• Isiah Berry, Southfield A&T, seventh

130 pounds
• Warren Stanfield III, Walled Lake Central, third

135 pounds
• Nick Freeman, Walled Lake Central, state champion
• John Hawkins, West Bloomfield High, sixth

140 pounds
• Ben Freeman, Walled Lake Central, state champion, 22nd four-time winner in state history
• Colin Takata, Birmingham Groves, second

145 pounds
• Danny Pfeffer, Fraser High, second

152 pounds
• Dustin Solomon, Dakota, fifth

160 pounds
• Layne Malczewski, Dakota, fourth

171 pounds
• Max Doggett, Southfield A&T, sixth
• Frank Alcini, Dakota, eighth

189 pounds
• Chris Hackney, Fraser, fifth
• Nick Onwenu, Walled Lake Central, sixth

215 pounds
• Marcus Fresch, Roseville High, seventh

285 pounds
• Rahmi Khalil, Dakota, fourth
• Ben Petersmark, Rochester Adams, seventh

Division 2
112 pounds
• Chaise Mayer, Warren Woods Tower, second

119 pounds
• Elijuh Weaver, Tower, third

130 pounds
• Matt Tomsett, Madison Heights Lamphere, sixth

135 pounds
• Joshua Edmond, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, second
• Joey Schindler, Tower, third

145 pounds
• Keff O’Connell, Tower, eighth

152 pounds
• Austin Frederick, Tower, fifth

160 pounds
• Steven Dunmire, Warren Fitzgerald, third
• JuJuan Lovejoy, Tower, seventh

189 pounds
• Jelani Embree, Warren Lincoln, state champion

215 pounds
• Joel Radvansky, Tower, seventh

285 pounds
• Donovan King, Farmington High, fifth

Division 3
103 pounds
• Katlyn Pizzo, Clawson High, eighth, third female in state history to place