Published January 16, 2013
Stoney Creek wrestling boasts two county champions
By Christian Davis email@example.com Follow Christian on Twitter.
ROCHESTER HILLS — For the first time in school history, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek wrestling celebrated two county champions.
Junior Kyle Noonan won his title at 112 pounds and sophomore Andrew Price was tops at 152. The event took place Dec. 22 at Lake Orion High.
For Noonan, it meant making good on a journey that started last season, when he finished second in the county.
“I didn’t want to go out and be a two-time finalist and no-time champ,” he said. “You want to win it. Last year, I got beat up pretty bad in the finals. But this year, I took it to them.”
Noonan beat Novi Detroit Catholic Central’s Parker O’Brien in a major decision for the title.
At press time, he was 20-1 overall.
Price finished sixth in the county last season. On his championship run this year, he beat a handful of opponents that had beaten him the previous season, including Oxford High’s Wesley Maskill by major decision in the final. Maskill beat Price twice last season.
“He’s making the adjustment from youth wrestling to high school wrestling,” coach Jeff Smart said. “Last year, he made a lot of progress, then he had a good offseason, and he’s continuing to make those changes.”
“I just went out with nothing to lose,” Price added. “Whether I’m wrestling the best kid in the state or the worst kid in the state, I’m going to come in with the same attitude. I’m going to wrestling my match.”
Smart described his wrestlers as having contrasting styles. Noonan is more aggressive, while Price is more calculating, looking for countermoves.
Both, Smart said, have terrific work ethics and endurance. In the county tournament, the coach said the strategy was to keep the matches close, and then finish them in the third period when the opponent wore down.
“I thought both of those kids did that at least twice each during the tournament,” he said.
Though the titles are satisfying, the coach and his grapplers agreed that they won’t change their expectations for the rest of the season.
“I think it helps them realize they can compete with the kids at The Palace (state finals). Rather than changing expectations, it’s more of a confirmation that whatever dreams or goals they have are attainable,” Smart said.
“These are just steppingstones,” Noonan added.