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Fraser wrestlers press on despite voids in key spots

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published January 11, 2012

 Fraser High senior grapplers Austin Sellers, top, and Josh Rezney work on takedown techniques during a Jan. 4 practice.

Fraser High senior grapplers Austin Sellers, top, and Josh Rezney work on takedown techniques during a Jan. 4 practice.

Photo by David Schreiber


FRASER — Being without grapplers in the 140- and 145-pound weight classes early in the season isn’t killing the confidence of members of Fraser High School’s wrestling team.

Until the Ramblers can fill those holes, which coach Ed Skowneski says the staff is working on, Fraser will essentially be down 12 points before it hits the mat for its matches.

“Even with the void, we still have a solid team,” said Skowneski, whose team finished the 2010-11 season 7-12, 2-5 in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division. The squad Skowneski believes will give his group its toughest competition — Marysville — went 7-0 last season to win the Blue.

“I still think we can match up with any team with the guys we have. We’re gonna see what our guys are made of.”

Junior 171-pounder Matt Mainhardt is one of those grapplers ready to step up. He said he welcomes the challenges he and his teammates will face early in the season.

“I think we’ll all have an extra edge about us going into our matches because we know what we’ll have to make up in terms of points,” Mainhardt said. “We’ll go out knowing we have a job to do.”

Senior 160-pounder Josh Rezney, a state-finals qualifier last season, likes the fire in his teammates. He said that confidence will be key when facing such teams as Marysville and St. Clair Shores Lake Shore. The Shorians finished one match back in the race for the MAC Blue title.

Togetherness is another reason for Rezney’s optimism. He said this year’s roster is full of guys who root each other on and want success for one another.

Fraser, which placed 21st in the 36-team Macomb County Wrestling Invitational, hasn’t seen much mat action outside of the practice room this season.

Skowneski believes the two-hour training sessions have helped the Ramblers grapplers improve greatly.

“It’s really important for us to get as much work in as we can, because we’re in a tough division,” Skowneski said. “We have guys who’ve come in here and worked almost every day to improve, even over Christmas break. I think that dedication will play a role in how we do this year.”

Fraser next hits the mat for a MAC quad at 5 p.m. Jan. 12 at Warren Mott High School.