Farmington High and Farmington Hills
February 21, 2012
FARMINGTON — Al Beyar, the Farmington High wrestling coach, and Jim Stuef, the head man for Farmington Hills Harrison, have the unique relationship of competitors and co-coaches.
They coach wrestling at rival high schools, but share the duties at East Middle School in Farmington Hills.
“I think it’s a good relationship because, obviously, we have a lot of kids coming from the same school. We tend to work a lot together during the offseason, and it’s a friendly relationship. But when we’re in competition with each other, there are no friends,” Beyar said with a laugh.
East sends most of its students to Farmington, but a portion also attends Harrison.
“The more we can do with those kids, the better our programs are going to be. It works out well,” Stuef said.
This season, each coach led their respective team to Division 1 district championships.
It was the first for Farmington since 2008 and the third trophy in the last four years for Harrison.
“That’s how you build a program, when you can put those trophies in a trophy case. But until we can start a youth program, we’re always going to be a district champion,” Stuef said, adding that he’d like the program to progress to being regional and state-final contenders. “We have to have a youth wrestling program to make us competitive with (elite) programs.”
The Hawks were shut out against Hartland High Feb. 15 at Waterford Mott. Stuef said he rested many of his individual regional qualifiers once he realized the match was out of hand.
Harrison finished 22-7 overall and as the Oakland Activities Association White Division champions after going 5-0.
“Winning the district was the biggest thing we could do all year,” Harrison senior Marcus Shepherd said.
Senior Sultan Hubbard agreed.
“It was the last time to do it as a Harrison Hawk, so we had to take advantage of the opportunity,” he said.
Farmington ends the year 18-8 overall and with the city championship after beating North Farmington and Harrison earlier in the season.
“I’ve never seen all three teams so much on even par,” Beyar said. “Hopefully, that continues on. It’d be good for this area if it did.”
Farmington lost in its regional final against Novi Detroit Catholic Central 64-9, but beat Plymouth High 38-36 in its regional semifinal Feb. 15 at Garden City High.
“It was nice to get to the final,” Beyar said. “It kind of vindicated that we were district champs because we beat another district champ to get to the final.”