Wrestling

Published March 4, 2017

AUBURN HILLS — From a first timer, to someone looking to overcome some past frustration to one of the best ever simply doing what he does.

In a variety of ways, it was a brilliant evening for the Walled Lake Central wrestling team Saturday at The Palace of Auburn Hills, as Ben Freeman, Nick Freeman and TJ Daughtery each took home individual state championships.

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Published March 4, 2017

AUBURN HILLS — Fraser High senior Danny Pfeffer (145 pounds) capped off his high school career with a runner-up finish at the individual wrestling finals March 4 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Novi Detroit Catholic Central’s Cameron Amine, who won a title last season in the 125-pound weight class, came away as the state champion.

Pfeffer finished 57-1 on the season.

It was Pfeffer’s first All-State finish, which is earned by wrestlers who place in the top eight.

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Published March 4, 2017

AUBURN HILLS — Warren Lincoln wrestling coach Ken Kaercher says wrestling is a very small part of what makes 189-pound grappler Jelani Embree.

Embree is very good at that small part, and it showed at the 2017 state finals, as he downed Dexter High senior Will Feldkamp 7-2 to claim his second straight Division 2 state championship. Embree ends the season at 39-0. He hasn’t lost a match in two years.

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Published March 2, 2017

ROSEVILLE — Two Roseville High wrestlers have battled their way to berths at the Division 1 individual state finals, and they both have quite the story.

Junior 215-pounder Marcus Fresch and senior 171-pounder Josh Butler will make their first appearances at the state finals, set for March 2-4 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Fresch has wrestled since he was 6 years old. Now 17, it almost looked like the 215-pounder wouldn’t make it to the big stage.

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Published March 2, 2017

STERLING HEIGHTS — It’s been a pretty good year for Utica Ford II junior 119-pound wrestler Terrin Machart.

Machart said he’s faced and beaten some good competition this season. He’s performed so well, he’s making his third straight trip to the Division 1 individual state finals March 2-4 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

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Published February 28, 2017

TROY — Only seven victories short of 100 career wins, Troy Athens junior Andrew Yan has already accomplished a very successful wrestling career with the Red Hawks. 

One of Yan’s biggest goals will be checked off as he heads to The Palace of Auburn Hills for the individual wrestling state finals March 2-4, competing in the 189-pound weight class in Division 1.

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Published February 28, 2017

ROCHESTER HILLS — For the first time in a dozen years, Rochester Adams will send a heavyweight to the individual state championships.

Senior Ben Petersmark will have the honor, representing the Highlanders at The Palace of Auburn Hills March 2-4 in the 285-pound class for the first time since Steve Thatcher did in 2005.

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Published February 28, 2017

CLAWSON — Three was the magic number, or record number, if you will.

That was the record in the 1970s when Clawson High sent three wrestlers to the individual state finals.

And since that time, the Trojans squad has never been as well-represented on the season’s biggest stage.

Until now, that is.

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Published February 27, 2017

FRASER — Fraser High wrestler Danny Pfeffer stayed perfect on the season, winning a Division 1 individual regional championship in the 145-pound class Feb. 18 at Hartland High.

The victory also gave the senior a spot at the individual finals March 2-4 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

“It’s my first one (regional championship). It felt really good to win the title,” Pfeffer said.

Pfeffer’s accomplishments now include a 54-0 record for the season, a Macomb County championship and 198 career wins.

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Published February 27, 2017

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — When asked about Danny Smyk, Utica Eisenhower wrestling coach David Drath chuckles, calling him one of the best leaders he’s ever had on a team, but also one of the quietest.

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Published February 25, 2017

MOUNT PLEASANT — Warren Woods Tower came close to earning the school's first team championship in any sport as the wrestling squad fell 32-21 to Lowell High in the Division 2 state title match on Feb. 25 at Central Michigan University.

The defeat marked the first and only blemish on the season, as the Titans finish 28-1 overall.

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Published February 25, 2017

MOUNT PLEASANT — In its first-ever appearance in the Division 1 wrestling state semifinals, Macomb Dakota fell to Davison High 37-21 Feb. 25 on the campus of Central Michigan University.

"They have nothing to be ashamed of, they went out there and wrestled extremely well," said Dakota coach Ed Skowneski of his team. "Davison is a very tough team. They don't have any holes in their lineup, but we hung in there with them."

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Published February 24, 2017

MOUNT PLEASANT — With only three matches remaining in the Division 2 state quarterfinals, Warren Woods Tower was headed to its first loss of the season.

After a quick pin at 215 pounds, the Titans were down 33-18. The No. 2 seed in the tournament, Tower needed a major comeback to stave off an upset by DeWitt High.

In the span of roughly 10 minutes in real-time, Tower saved its season, closing out the contest with a 17-0 run to improve to a perfect 27-0 on the year.

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Published February 24, 2017

MOUNT PLEASANT — The Macomb Dakota wrestling team made program history with a thrilling 26-25 victory against Westland John Glenn, the first win the Cougars ever recorded in the state tournament.

"This feels great," said Dakota coach Ed Skowneski. "I would've liked it to not have been as close, but I'll take it any way it comes."

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Published February 24, 2017

WARREN — The Division 2 individual wrestling state finals will have a distinct Titans flavor to them this year.

That’s because the Warren Woods Tower wrestling team will send 11 grapplers to the finals, set for March 2-4 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. That number is a school record. The previous record was six wrestlers, set last year.

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Published February 24, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — It’s been a long road for St. Clair Shores Lakeview senior heavyweight Austin Bauslaugh.

The 285-pound grappler has battled his way to regionals each of the last three seasons. In 2015 and 2016, Bauslaugh, also a standout on the Huskies football team, lost in the blood round when a win would have sent him to The Palace of Auburn Hills.

This year, the Lakeview senior put it all on the line and will finally compete at the wrestling state finals.

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Published February 20, 2017

C&G Newspapers

After advancing through the district and regional rounds, the top grapplers in their respective weight classes will head to The Palace of Auburn Hills for the individual wrestling state finals.

The event begins with the Grand March at 1:45 p.m. March 2, followed by the first round of action.

On March 3, the bouts resume at 8:30 a.m., with the semifinals slated to start at 7 p.m.

On March 4, consolation matches begin at 11 a.m. and the title bouts begin at 4:45 p.m.

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Published February 17, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — St. Clair Shores Lakeview wrestling coach Steve Nicholl called his team’s season, which saw the squad win a second straight Division 1 district championship, a success “by far.”

“We had, I guess, a tumultuous season with injuries, illnesses, kids who weren’t committed who we parted ways with,” Nicholl said. “I’m excited that we were able to win our district and get (to regionals).”

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Published February 17, 2017

On March 2, the prep-wrestling community will descend on the Palace of Auburn Hills for the individual state finals.
The top wrestlers and coaches from across the state will be on hand, but one will be missing.

Rochester High coach Frank Lafferty died Feb. 15 after a bout with pancreatic cancer.

He was 67.

Lafferty coached the Falcons since 2003 and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame last year. He will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame this May in Ann Arbor.

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Published February 15, 2017

C&G Newspapers

ROCHESTER HILLS — Oxford High earned its ninth regional championship in 10 seasons, handling Rochester Adams 54-12 in the title match.

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