Published January 23, 2013
Troy Athens wrestling young and looking to improve
By Christian Davis firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Christian on Twitter.
TROY — Giving up what amounts to five pins before they even step on the mat, the dual portion of the wrestling season has been a struggle for Troy Athens.
But when the Red Hawks are on the mat, and the voids have passed them, they have shown they can wrestle with the best in the county.
“We have tough wrestlers, tough kids,” coach John Keyes said.
Some of the toughest include seniors Jazz Hubbard and Steve Toporowski, and junior Thomas Keyes.
Hubbard finished seventh in the Oakland County Tournament at 140 pounds, but he will be wrestling 135 for the rest of the season.
Toporowski also finished seventh at 171, and Thomas Keyes was fourth in the county at 130.
Hubbard and Toporowski are also being counted on for their leadership as much as their wins. Both are captains and have embraced helping the freshmen on the squad, who make up about half of the starting lineup.
“They help a lot, teaching-wise,” Keyes said. “They don’t just pound on them at practice. They’re teaching them moves, getting them ready for their sophomore, junior and senior years.”
The duo said they enjoy the work.
“They are how like we were as freshmen,” Hubbard said. “It’s good to help out and know in the future, they’ll be good.”
“I really enjoy coaching, personally,” Toporowski added. “Like Jazz was saying, everyone is a freshman at some point, and you understand more when you’re older. Also, it helps you reflect what you need to work on by helping them.”
Keyes also remembers the learning curve that takes place for new wrestlers. A 2009 Athens graduate, he started his wrestling as a freshman and finished fifth in the state as a senior.
“You just have to stick with it,” he said. “It’ll all catch on. I talk to them a lot about it.”
For the current crop of grapplers, Hubbard is 25-3 overall and Toporowski is 22-7.
As a team, the Red Hawks are 3-14 overall but believe they have what it takes to win a Class A district.
They’ll be taking on Warren Mott, Royal Oak High and Troy High in districts. Athens has lost to Mott and Royal Oak by a handful of points, and has split with Troy in two matches, but Keyes and his seniors believe that, with some tweaking to the lineup, the squad will be better prepared this time around.
“It’s a complete mental game. It will come down to whoever wants it more and having tenacity all six minutes of the match,” Toporowski said.
- 7 DAYS
- 30 DAYS
- Utica Ford boys golf tops at 2015 Evans-Gill tournament - Ray Township
- Troy and Athens softball set to face off for first — and only — meeting - Troy
- Mercy softball stays perfect on the season, wins by mercy twice in doubleheader sweep of Ladywood - Farmington Hills
- New Tower baseball coach sees potential in young team - Warren
- Brother Rice struggles in opener but earns split at Divine Child in Saturday baseball action - Birmingham
- Hazel Park High girls soccer young, but with high expectations - Hazel Park
- Wayne State softball team takes aim at another successful postseason - Detroit
- Catholic League honors boys, girls hoops teams - Metro Detroit
- Macomb Area Conference names season’s top hockey players - Macomb County
- Center Line baseball to lean on defense and pitching, manufacturing runs - Center Line
- Gasparotto challenging his Farmington soccer squad with hopes of playoff payoff - Farmington
- Roseville High softball coach teaching positivity, joy of the game - Roseville
- Lake Shore softball hopes to build on last season’s run to regionals - St. Clair Shores
- Royal Oak coach rewarded for greatness - Royal Oak
- Roseville High softball coach teaching positivity, joy of the game
- East Detroit baseball out to surprise teams in 2015
- Royal Oak coach rewarded for greatness
- Lakeview baseball expecting good things in 2015
- East Detroit softball looking to stay on the upswing
- Former North soccer standout, Stander, returns to patrol the sidelines
- Royal Oak High soccer back with experience and high goals