Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse’s Nick Wallanse, left, goes in for a  takedown on Algonac High’s Caden Bell during a 152-pound match  at the Macomb County Invitational Dec. 21.

Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse’s Nick Wallanse, left, goes in for a takedown on Algonac High’s Caden Bell during a 152-pound match at the Macomb County Invitational Dec. 21.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Champions crowned at Macomb County Wrestling Invite

By: Jason Carmel Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published January 2, 2020

WARREN — The reigning team champion kept its crown Dec. 20-21 at the 46th annual Macomb County Wrestling Invitational at Macomb Community College.

Warren Woods Tower finished with 272.5 points to edge out Macomb Dakota (256.5) to win the county meet for the second straight year.

The Titans, coming off a fourth straight trip to the state finals, had two wrestlers win individual titles — 119-pounder Joe Haynes and 125-pounder Josh Howey. Dakota, which won county titles in 2016 and 2017, also saw two grapplers win their weight classes — Brad Weiand (130) and Joseph Papas (145).

The Titans put six grapplers in championship matches to the Cougars’ three.

Tower coach Greg Mayer said the tournament gave a lot of his wrestlers the chance to showcase their abilities and they delivered.

“We’ve got some guys who’ve played backup roles for a lot of their career. They were behind a lot of good guys, but the county meet gave them a chance to show off the work they’ve put in,” said Mayer, who has led the Titans to consecutive county titles following a 33-year drought for the program. “Those guys get to be the main guys for us this year. The last few years of preparation have really helped them.”

Haynes and Howey both entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed in their respective brackets. To see them navigate the bracket, Mayer said, was important since the format of the county meet mirrors that of the state tournament.

“The county meet is so early in the season, it’s a good way to gauge where (your team) is at,” Mayer said. “I feel like our guys did a good job of addressing some things that got exposed early in the year.”

Utica Ford II finished third with 188 points. Four Falcons (112-pounder Tamin Machart, 135-pounder Noah Tgiros, 152-pounder Gary Nilson and 171-pounder Noah Bright) won their weight class, giving Ford the most individual winners at the meet.

Nilson said the Falcons’ strong performance could be attributed to a high level of training.

“Our level of training is beyond any other program in the county, I think,” said Nilson, who earned All-State honors last season. “All of our wrestlers buy into one goal that we want to achieve together. When we’re at practice, we’re enemies on the mat and friends off of it. I think that’s why we have success whereas other teams might not.”

Last season, six county champions went on to win state titles. Nilson is hopeful that trend continues.

“I’m using the (county meet) as a … victory and motivation for a much larger goal, which is hopefully a state title,” Nilson said.

Still on top

The Warren Woods Tower wrestling team edged out the field to claim its second straight Macomb County Wrestling Invitational title. Following is a look at the team scores from the Dec. 20-21 county meet.

Tower: 272.5 points
Macomb Dakota: 256.5
Utica Ford II: 188
New Baltimore Anchor Bay: 187.5
Algonac High: 154.5
Clinton Township Chippewa Valley: 124
Madison Heights Lamphere: 119
Warren Mott: 118.5
Romeo High: 116
Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse: 112
Utica Eisenhower: 96
Armada High: 92
Warren De La Salle: 92
Fraser High: 85
Utica High: 80
Marysville High: 79.5
Port Huron Northern: 67
St. Clair High: 66
Roseville High: 63
Warren Lincoln: 55
Warren Cousino: 54
St. Clair Shores Lake Shore: 45.5
Madison Heights Bishop Foley: 39
St. Clair Shores Lakeview: 37
Warren Michigan Collegiate: 31
St. Clair Shores South Lake: 29
Clawson High: 27
Warren Fitzgerald: 27
Macomb L’Anse Creuse North: 27
Macomb Lutheran North: 27
Port Huron High: 22
Center Line High: 20
Sterling Heights High: 20
New Haven High: 18
Eastpointe High: 8
Sterling Heights Stevenson: 6

A cut above
Champions were crowned in 14 weight classes at the Macomb County Wrestling Invitational. Following is a listing of all of the individual champions.

• 103 pounds — Jermaine Jackson, Warren Lincoln
• 112 pounds — Tamin Machart, Utica Ford II
• 119 pounds — Joe Haynes, Warren Woods Tower
• 125 pounds — Josh Howey, Tower
• 130 pounds — Brad Weiand, Macomb Dakota
• 135 pounds — Noah Tgiros, Ford
• 140 pounds — Justin Varcally, New Baltimore Anchor Bay
• 145 pounds — Joseph Papas, Dakota
• 152 pounds — Gary Nilson, Ford
• 160 pounds — Nino Tranchida, Anchor Bay
• 171 pounds — Noah Bright, Ford
• 189 pounds — Kenneth Ryder, Warren De La Salle
• 215 pounds — Ryan Osterland, Algonac High
• 285 pounds — Isiah Daniels, Warren Mott