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 Wrestlers prepare to lock up in the preliminary round of the 2018 Macomb County Invitational.

Wrestlers prepare to lock up in the preliminary round of the 2018 Macomb County Invitational.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Macomb County wrestling invite set to return

By: Jason Carmel Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published December 13, 2019

MACOMB COUNTY — The 46th annual Macomb County Wrestling Invitational is on the horizon.

If recent seasons are any indication, winning a county title could propel grapplers to great heights.

The invitational this year will take place at the Macomb Community College Sports & Expo Center. Preliminary matches begin at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 20. The finals start at 9 a.m. Dec. 21. The cost to attend is $5.

Grapplers in 14 weight classes will battle for championships and bragging rights. Warren Woods Tower took the crown in 2018 after finishing second in 2016 and 2017. Macomb Dakota won the county title in both of those years.

Dakota coach Ed Skowneski said it’s always a goal for his program to win a county title.

“It’s a great tournament,” Skowneski said. “You see a lot of tough competition and it’s a two-day tournament, which is a good way to simulate (the state finals). It’s always something we want to win.”

Dakota junior Brendan Ferretti, who won a 2018 county title at 112 pounds, called the county invite good preparation for the state tournament. He said it’s a good way to get a start at what most grapplers are after — a state championship.

Last year’s county meet proved to be a springboard for several local grapplers. Six 2018 Macomb invite winners went on to capture state championships.

That group included Ferretti, who also won the 112-pound state championship.

“Having six kids win state titles is a lot, especially in one county,” Ferretti said. “The level (of talent) in our county is pretty high. That really shows when the county produces six state champs.”

Locally, at last year’s county meet, along with grapplers from Tower and Dakota, wrestlers from Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse, Madison Heights Bishop Foley, Madison Heights Lamphere, Warren Fitzgerald and Warren Lincoln won individual county championships.

Skowneski touted the level of wrestling talent in Macomb County. He called it one of the toughest counties in the state and said being in contention for a county title can bode well for prep grapplers.

“If you place at the county meet, you’re pretty good,” Skowneski said. “If you’re a county champ, you can contend for a state title. You want to perform well at (the county meet). There’s always a high level of competition and it’s good prep for the end of the year.”