Clinton Township, FraserMarch 7, 2012
Fraser, Chippewa Valley grapplers show skills at individual state finals
By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer
AUBURN HILLS — Clinton Township Chippewa Valley senior 160-pound wrestler Greg Dolland said there was no way he’d miss his last shot to become a state champion.
“This is my second time here. All the training and sweat and everything else has all been for this moment,” Dolland said after a first-round win over Saline’s Tyler Gross at the Michigan High School Athletic Association individual wrestling state finals, held March 1-3 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
“There was absolutely no way I was going to miss being here this year,” added Dolland, who with his opening-round victory improved his record on the season to 44-7.
Fraser sophomore Jonathan Hill in his second year as a varsity wrestler made his second trip to the individual state finals.
Wrestlers who advance to The Palace are considered the best in the state. That has yet to faze Hill, though.
“I won three matches last year as a freshman,” Hill said. “From there, I knew how much work I had to put in to get back here.”
Hill’s teammate, Ramblers senior heavyweight Mike Fruelhich, said that at 27-11 going into the state finals, he thinks he had an “OK” season. His coach, Ed Skowneski, said Fruelhich took on more of a leadership role this season.
Fruelhich said he worked harder this season than at any time in the past.
“If you even want to just make it (to the state finals) you have to put in 100 percent effort,” said the Fraser heavyweight,
“It’s not easy getting here. You have to constantly work — at practice, outside of practice. You have to want to get better every day if you want to make some noise (at the state finals).”
Big Reds senior 130-pounder Shaun Lee is a three-time state qualifier. He said the feeling of making it back to The Palace hasn’t changed.
“It always feels good,” said Lee, who entered the finals at 48-8. “I’ve busted my head up a few times this season and fought through it every time.
“You see all kinds of guys here who fought through injuries because of how bad they wanted to get here. This is why we all work so hard.”
When the final whistle sounded at The Palace, Dolland placed seventh in his weight class; Lee won his first match then lost the next two; and Fruelhich and Hill did not place.