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Grosse Pointe Woods

February 27, 2014

Norsemen senior focused on reaching podium at wrestling finals

By Thomas Franz
C & G Sports Writer

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Grosse Pointe North’s Andrew Lock wrestles against Chippewa Valley’s Spencer Philippi in the 160-pound bout of districts on Feb. 8. Lock will be wrestling in the individual state finals that will be held at The Palace of Auburn Hills beginning on Feb. 27.

GROSSE POINTE — Andrew Lock has already won 156 bouts in his decorated career at Grosse Pointe North, but the senior grappler is still searching for a couple of more wins at the MHSAA individual wrestling state finals.

Lock will be competing in the 160-pound bracket at the state tournament, which begins on Feb. 27 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

To reach the state tournament, Lock was runner-up in his weight class at districts before going on to be regional champion. Lock will be bringing a 52-5 record into his opening-round match against Logan Vish of Hartland.

North coach Eric Julien said a big part of Lock’s success this season has been due to an improved attitude and better focus.

“We had some attitude issues in the past that I think could’ve affected him mentally, when it comes to the wrestling game. And this year, it’s just been a great attitude the whole time,” Julien said. “Whether it’s a win or a loss, he’s learning how to, when you lose, sometimes you can pick up things that you did wrong before. I think his attitude has improved immensely.”

Lock agreed with his coach, saying his improved mental tenacity allowed him to become more consistent.

“It’s been improving every year, and it’s nice to see it pick up and keep going. I have more consistency. I don’t have any of the bad days that I used to have, and mentally, I’m stronger, and it’s piecing together more now,” Lock said.

That improved mental game certainly helped Lock become a regional champion. In each match at regionals, Lock surrendered the first takedown and trailed at the end of each first period. Given Lock’s ability to come back, Julien said that his mental toughness allowed him to persevere.

“It keeps him level-headed. At regionals, the Andrew of old probably would’ve gotten mentally beat up after that and thought he wouldn’t be able to win the match in the third, but this time around, he was able to win every match in the third because you could see he never gave up,” Julien said.

In the week leading up to the state finals, Lock said his coaches were still pushing him to help reach his goals at the finals.

“My coaches are doing a great job helping. … They do so much to actually help me be where I’m at and to be mentally sound before all of my matches, and push me to go out there and keep giving my all,” Lock said.

“Making it to states was a goal, but now it’s just placing at states, and representing the school and community well and the team.”

The MHSAA individual state finals begin Feb. 27. The first bouts begin at 2 p.m. with the 112-pound weight class. Quarterfinals and semifinals of the championship bracket are Feb. 28, with the finals taking place March 1. All matches are at The Palace of Auburn Hills.