Wrestling

Published February 9, 2011

BIRMINGHAM — There are times during a match when Birmingham Seaholm coach Neil Tuomi looks over and expects to see his friend, Mike Hessling, sitting next to him.

Tuomi was an assistant coach under Hessling, who he affectionately called “Hess,” since they both came to Seaholm 1990.

That changed this summer when Hessling passed away July 15 at the age of 54.

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Published February 3, 2011

WARREN — Three years removed from a one-win season, the Warren Lincoln wrestling program is adding to its storied history.

The Abes took home a share of the 2010-11 Macomb Area Conference Gold Division title at 7-1, and with the start of the individual state tourney around the corner, so is the time of year when Lincoln wrestlers prove themselves.

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Published February 2, 2011

C&G Newspapers

WARREN — When the Warren Woods Tower and the Roseville High wrestling teams met for the first time as Macomb Area Conference Red Division rivals Jan. 26, it was just like old times.

While it marked such firsts as the Titans taking home a win against Roseville under coach Greg Mayer, the dual also gave a couple of old friends a chance to get reacquainted.

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Published January 27, 2011

SOUTHFIELD — Southfield High junior Darius Durrett admits he feels the nerves and even a bit of fear before heading into a match.

The heavyweight admits they are still there when he warms up and even when he enters the circle, face to face with his opponent.

But then, it clicks, and the self-doubt and worries fade.

“The nerves go away when I put my hands around a kid,” Durrett said. “It’s like a shark that smells blood.”

And Durrett has certainly thrashed the competition this season.

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Published January 26, 2011

FRASER — At 284 pounds, the only thing that isn’t big on Fraser High senior heavyweight Jim Froehlich is his ego.

Despite making his way to the 2009-10 Division 1 individual state finals at The Palace of Auburn Hills, Froehlich returned to the mat as a senior knowing that he was going to have to work for everything that came his way.

“Some kids get to the finals and come back, and they haven’t prepared as hard as they did before, but Jimmy has worked very hard this year,” Fraser High coach Rick Julien said.

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Published January 25, 2011

FRASER — Eastpointe East Detroit wrestling coach Phil Jackson loves teaching his grapplers new moves and techniques, so his 2010-11 squad fits him to a T.

“It’s been refreshing,” Jackson said. “We have a young squad with a bunch of ninth- and 10th- graders, but they’re holding their own.”

With a young, yet committed, lineup, Jackson has been able to impart his wisdom to his grapplers, and he’s impressed with the way they keep coming back for more.

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Published January 18, 2011

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — When high school wrestling coaches have to make midseason adjustments to their lineup, it’s usually not a good sign. But for Macomb Dakota, it could be the best news the program has ever had.

After starting the year with a surprising runner-up finish at the Macomb County Championships without his top lineup, coach Bill Witgen is feeling confident about his team’s future.

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Published January 19, 2011

FARMINGTON HILLS — The North Farmington High wrestling team jogged in place, and when commanded, dropped to the floor and scrambled back up again as quickly as they could.

The conditioning drill lasted until every grappler made 100 drops and then was topped off with each wrestler having to score two takedowns on a teammate.

It’s their way of finishing practice.

Senior John Davis, who captains the team along with Courtney Drew, James Huang and Jordan Russell, said the drill is plenty worth it.

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Published January 19, 2011

CENTER LINE — Most schools have a relationship built between their wrestling and football programs, but few have one quite like St. Clair Shores Lakeview’s.

Pat Threet, who just so happened to be the prep wrestling coach for Lakeview’s wrestling coach, Ken Lowry, while they were at Warren Woods Tower, coaches the Huskies’ gridiron squad.

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Published January 12, 2011

C&G Newspapers

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Nick Braet believes in starting things off on the right foot.

That’s why it was important for him to start his senior season with the Clinton Township Chippewa Valley wrestling team by taking home the 2010 Macomb County title at 103 pounds.

“It’s a great experience, and it’s something you always work for,” Braet said of a county title. “County’s is the first big step you take forward and getting that under your belt is huge.”

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Published January 12, 2011

FARMINGTON HILLS — For the first time in over 30 years, there’s a county wrestling champion walking the halls of Farmington Hills Harrison.

Senior James Roberts won the title Dec. 18 at The Silverdome in Pontiac.

“It was just a great feeling, and I was shocked that it happened, especially with a pin,” Roberts said.

The 140-pounder beat Riley Hanson of Novi Catholic Central by fall in the second period.

In fact, Roberts won all five of his matches in the tournament by pin, using the cradle.

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Published January 18, 2011

In his second season leading the Utica Ford II wrestling team, coach Scott Scalici is seeing his plan pay dividends.

After the Falcons finished 0-7 in the Macomb Area Conference Red Division in 2009-10, Scalici knew if his grapplers stuck to his message of perseverance and hard work, there was nowhere to go but up.

But he was surprised by how far and how fast the Falcons got there.

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Published January 18, 2011

MADISON HEIGHTS — After coming within one match of a 2009-10 Division 2 state title, Madison Heights Lamphere senior 189-pounder Jackson Lewis returned to the wrestling practice room this year and was faced with a different environment.

“My practice partners have changed every year, but now I’m the best guy in the room,” Lewis said. “I’m used to looking for the best guy in the room to beat me up a little bit and help me get better.

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Published January 17, 2011

ROSEVILLE — It’s not often that an athlete as accomplished as Roseville senior 215-pounder Chris Nash learns to live in someone’s shadow.

Despite being a two-time All-State honoree and state runner-up at 215 pounds as a junior, Nash spent those years under the tutelage of his older brothers Bobby Nash and Kevin Nash.

But as he is now the only Nash on the Panthers’ roster, he’s adjusting to his time in the spotlight.

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Published January 17, 2011

WARREN — Warren Woods Tower wrestling coach Greg Mayer’s quest to make sure his team gets the most out of every match it wrestles took another step forward Jan. 6.

The Titans wrestled their first dual meets as members of the Macomb Area Conference Red Division Jan. 6 at Roseville High, falling to Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 48-27 and Anchor Bay High 35-25.

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Published January 17, 2011

ROCHESTER — One thing Rochester High wrestling coach Frank Lafferty is certain about is that it’s going to take a good team to beat his squad.

The Falcons bring a balanced lineup with experience and talent from the lighter to the heavier weights.

How far that combination takes Rochester, though, is the question.

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Published January 17, 2011

C&G Newspapers

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — With four Grosse Pointe North wrestlers taking All-County honors at the 2010 Macomb County Championships, the Norsemen showed they have been listening to coach Brian Lorenzo.

Lorenzo’s message of wrestling tough and not letting opponents dictate the match helped such grapplers as senior 189-pounder Evan Locke make the most of the county meet.

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