Macomb Dakota junior Layne Malczewski lines up his opponent Feb. 25 during a 171-pound bout in the Division 1 state semifinals. Malczewski chose to continue his wrestling career at Michigan State University.

Macomb Dakota junior Layne Malczewski lines up his opponent Feb. 25 during a 171-pound bout in the Division 1 state semifinals. Malczewski chose to continue his wrestling career at Michigan State University.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Dakota wrestling standout signs with MSU

By: Timothy Pontzer | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published November 20, 2017

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MACOMB — One of the most decorated wrestlers in Macomb Dakota history made his decision where to continue his career.

Senior Layne Malczewski officially signed with Michigan State Nov. 8. A standout at the 160, 171 and 189 weight classes, Malczewski said he is thrilled to become a Spartan.

“I knew I wanted to go there right after my visit,” Malczewski said. “I loved the team and how everyone seemed like family. They all treated each other like brothers and made me feel like I was at home. I look at MSU and see how they’re getting better because of how great the coaches are. I know we’re going to turn the program around and be one of the top teams in the Big Ten.”

Malczewski has compiled a 169-23 record in three years on varsity at Dakota, including three consecutive trips to individual state tournament. He called his Cougars career vital to earning a spot in East Lansing.

“I’ve learned a lot from my coaches Ed Skowneski and (assistant) Joel Trombley,” Malczewski said. “They’ve pushed me to the limit since my freshman year. They taught me how to be a leader and how to push my team. Everyone worked as hard as they could every single day, and we accomplished so many things here. I wouldn’t be where I am today without any of these people.”

Malczewski played a crucial role in Dakota’s postseason run last year. The Cougars eventually fell in the Division 1 state semifinals in Mount Pleasant.

“Layne was integral in each match and his leadership to get the other wrestlers pumped up and excited about wrestling,” said Skowneski, who is now in his seventh year at the helm of the program. “He has such a confident style — he truly believes he can beat anyone. That’s why he’s so good — he’s fearless, always wanting to face the other team’s best wrestler.”

Chosen a captain as both a sophomore and junior, Malczewski will likely have the rare distinction of being a three-year team captain at Dakota. Skowneski praised his leadership abilities, saying he takes charge both on and off the mat.

“He’s a great leader, and that’s what sets him apart from most high school wrestlers,” Skowneski explained. “His work ethic makes him special. He works extremely hard in the practice room, which is great because all the other kids follow his lead and work hard as well.”

Malczewski said he relishes the role and looks forward to taking the mantle once again as a senior.

“It feels awesome to have the younger guys look up to me and ask questions on how to lose weight or get their conditioning better,” Malczewski said. “I help them with certain moves, and it brings me closer to every kid on the team because I get to know every single guy.”

One of those certain moves is a “whizzer,” which is a hold that Malczewski uses to control an opponent. He calls it his go-to move.

“He can simply do things on the mat that no one else can do. He’s one of the most talented I’ve ever coached,” Skowneski said. “He can get himself out of any situation because of how good his hips are. His opponents will feel like they’re going to score and then all of the sudden he flips them on their back.”

While he has his sights set on Michigan State, Malczewski still has his final year at Dakota awaiting him. He’s determined to accomplish a few more goals as a senior.

“I want to get what I’ve wanted since I was a little kid — a state title,” Malczewski said. “I want to make it back to the team state tournament and compete for a team state title too.”

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