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February 5, 2013

Roseville wrestling team peaking in time for another postseason run

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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Roseville wrestling team peaking in time for another postseason run
The Roseville High wrestling team starts the 2013 postseason in a MHSAA Division 1 district with Fraser, Warren Cousino and Warren De La Salle. The district takes place at 5 p.m. Feb. 6 at Cousino; draws were not available at press time. Pictured is Roseville 140-pound grappler Julio Rosario, left, during the 2012 Macomb County Invitational.

ROSEVILLE — For Roseville High 215-pound senior wrestler Lamar Harris, winning is all he knows.

Harris, in his third year with the varsity squad, has been a member of two district and regional championships. He’s also wrestled in two state finals, and he wants to make it three.

“It’d be a great feeling to be able to get back there again,” said Harris, whose teams have advanced to the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 state quarterfinals in 2011 and 2012. The Roseville team, as a whole, has fought its way to three straight state finals appearances, as well.

“There’s been a lot of great wrestlers to come through this program, and being on three state-final teams would help myself and the other seniors in being added to that list.”

Panthers coach Davon Gray, in his third year with the program, said he believes this year’s group has a shot to make a return trip to the state finals, set for Feb. 22-23 at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek. The individual finals take place Feb. 28-March 2 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Gray said his squad is peaking at the right time, having won its last six dual meets at press time. With that streak, the Panthers moved to 13-5, 3-2 Macomb Area Conference Red Division.

“This is the time of year when you want everything to click, and I think we’re hitting our stride,” said Gray, who won state championships when he wrestled for the Panthers in 1993 and 1994.

“We won six dual meets just in the last week. I think we have our lineup all set up and ready for the playoffs, too.”

Gray added that his team continues to work diligently in each practice. He said the group is more balanced than last year, which featured 140-pound standout Kirk Wawrzyniak and 119-pounder Doug Zundel, who became just the second wrestler in the history on the Macomb County Wrestling Invitational to win a title in four consecutive years.

Gray touted seniors Paul Martin, Nick Rosario, Christian Thursam and Harris as leaders of the team. Each has wrestled in the state finals.

“We don’t have a top-gun so much as we have a mix of guys who can go out and get it done,” Gray said. “We’ve got a strong team that can battle with just about anybody.

“If we didn’t get back to the state finals, it’ll be a bit of a disappointment.”

Catch Roseville in its MHSAA D-1 district, set for 5 p.m. Feb. 6 at Warren Cousino. The Panthers are in a grouping with Fraser, Cousino and Warren De La Salle. District draws weren’t available at press time.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.