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Hazel Park, Madison Heights

February 22, 2013

Local wrestlers make it to the state finals

By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Lamphere’s Andrew Gorman locks in a hold on an opponent from Marysville earlier this season. Gorman is scheduled to make his third appearance at the state finals Feb. 28.

Although the team wrestling season for Hazel Park and Madison Heights Lamphere has come to an end, both squads will be represented at the individual state finals.

Keith Bucholtz will represent Hazel Park, while Andrew Gorman and Evan Reich will take the mat for Lamphere.

The quarterfinals, semis and finals are Feb. 28-March 2 at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Gorman, who finished third in the state last year amongst Division 2 wrestlers, was 51-2 this season and will be making his third appearance at the state finals, according to Lamphere coach Russ McKenzie. The trip to Battle Creek will be a first for both Bucholtz and Reich. All three are seniors.

The success that Gorman, who wrestles at 112, and Reich, who was 42-9 and will compete at 135 pounds, have enjoyed doesn’t come as much of a surprise to McKenzie. Due to family members who were also high school wrestlers, McKenzie was familiar with both of them before they ever took to the mat for Lamphere, and he anticipated that they had the potential to rack up their fair share of victories.

Both wrestlers embody what McKenzie is looking for in those who wrestle for his program.

“Hard work, dedication and everything that goes with it,” he said. “The key is that they both have very strong work ethics. Both four-year varsity wrestlers, both captains.”

Gorman also cites hard work as a reason for his accomplishments, as well as help he has received from his coaches. Although he is undecided as to which college he would like to attend, he is interested in continuing to wrestle after high school.

Wherever he may land, Gorman expects he will miss being a part of Lamphere’s program.

“Wrestling for Lamphere’s meant a lot to me,” he said. “After these four years, I’ve really started liking wrestling. I want to do this for another four years, and that’s what I plan to do.”

As pleased as he may be with the success Bucholtz has found in the mat, Hazel Park coach Dale Hart has also discussed life after high school with his wrestler.

Hart said that he told Bucholtz — who was 28-13 this  season and will wrestle at 152 pounds — that, in the long run, no one is going to ask him how many guys he pinned. Instead, the questions are more likely to be, “Where did you go to school and what were your grades?”

The answers are likely to impress any coach.

“He made student of the month at Hazel Park this month,” Hart said. “He carries basically As and Bs. The kid’s very dedicated. He’s my captain this year. He’s been a four-year wrestler for me. He’s a role-model kid. It’s been a pleasure for the past four years coaching him.”

Bucholtz plans to attend Wayne State University, where he may have an opportunity to play safety for the football team.

“You have to stay dedicated,” Bucholtz said of the kind of work that goes into finding success on the mat. “Always coming to practice, always being on time (and) always pushing yourself.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mark Vest at mvest@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1112. Twitter Follow Mark on Twitter.