GPN’s Ladach grinds his way to states

By: Zachary Manning | Grosse Pointe Times | Published March 3, 2020

GROSSE POINTE WOODS –– When grapplers from across the state meet March 6 at Ford Field to begin the individual state wrestling tournament, everyone is just a state qualifier.

Each grappler will begin their journey with the same dream of becoming a state champion. That’s not to say some didn’t have harder paths than others, however.

Grosse Pointe North junior Logan Ladach was often overlooked at 125 pounds, due to him not being one of the top seeds entering any of the qualifying tournaments. The top four from the district and regional tournaments advanced. That’s the exact place Ladach finished each time to move on in the postseason.

“We had a pretty big argument at our seeding meeting about him. He was actually the No. 8 seed at districts,” Norsemen coach Derek Davison said. “It was kind of like he was already written off from there. When he won his match to go to regionals, I grabbed him and said, ‘Not bad for an 8 seed.’ When he punched his ticket to go to the state tournament, I said the same thing.”

For Ladach, earning his spot felt like seeing his hard work pay off.

“It takes years of training and total dedication, because you’ve got to be lifting weights all summer and open rooms wrestling 24/7,” Ladach said.

He will again be seen as an underdog at the finals. His opening match is against Davison High’s Andrew Chambal, who enters with a 35-5 overall record. Chambal finished as the state runner-up at 119 pounds last season.

Ladach is 36-8 overall.

He’s gotten advice from family and the coaching staff about what to expect when he takes the mat for the first time at Ford Field.

His cousin, Tyler Sanders, was the state runner-up at 130 pounds for Macomb Dakota back in 2016. Ladach said Sanders has been giving him advice and teaching him a few things.

For the coaching staff, it’s been more about helping Ladach with the mental part of the sport as opposed to the actual wrestling.

“Physically, everything’s there,” Davison said. “His technique, his work ethic, his endurance — everything’s there. It’s just kind of that mental aspect now.”

No matter his finish, Ladach is one of the final 16 wrestlers left in his D-1 weight class in the entire state.

As Davison said, “Not bad for an 8 seed.”