Wrestling

Published February 15, 2017

C&G Newspapers

FRASER — Macomb Dakota’s wrestling program won its second consecutive Division 1 regional title with a 31-23 victory against New Baltimore Anchor Bay Feb. 15 at Fraser High.

In the second from last match of the evening, Anchor Bay got a win from Luke Yenna (215 pounds) to trim Dakota’s lead to 25-23.

Dakota sealed the victory when Rahmi Khalil (285) won via void to give the Cougars their final points of the night.

With the victory, Dakota is heading to the quarterfinals for the fourth time in the last five years.

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Published February 15, 2017

C&G Newspapers

WARREN — Next weekend won’t be the first time the Warren Woods Tower wrestling team has competed in the state quarterfinals, but it will be the first time the team has entered the last weekend of the season unbeaten.

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Published February 14, 2017

FARMINGTON HILLS — Jon Herstein was going to put a positive spin on this, one way or another.

The Farmington Hills Harrison wrestling coach has watched his young, up-and-coming team improve all season long.

And he was more than happy to boast about it following last week’s team district action.

“The kids wrestled very tough in this one,” Herstein said of the Division 2 district Feb. 8. “We were a little banged up, so we had to battle. It was certainly something to build on.”

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Published February 14, 2017

Scott Welborn called it a “real good battle.”

And if the Royal Oak High wrestling coach had a full squad last week in the team district event, it may have been a real good win.

“We had to void three weight classes, and that was tough,” Welborn said of what was a 52-30 loss to Warren Cousino in the Division 1 team district Feb. 8 at home. “We wrestled well the whole time.”

In matches where the Ravens had guys compete, Cousino outscored them just 34-30.

Josh Weyer got things going with a pin in the 112-pound weight class.

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Published February 13, 2017

Short-handed and young, the Birmingham Groves wrestling team went match for match with Southfield A&T in a Division 1 district final.

In the end — and in overtime — it was the Warriors who eventually moved on at the Feb. 8 final.

Still, as Groves coach Joseph Jones reflected back on the postseason, and the team season for that matter, he had nothing but praise for his grapplers.

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Published February 9, 2017

UTICA — Utica Eisenhower won its third straight wrestling team district championship, defeating Troy Athens 50-17 in the title round Feb. 9 at Utica High.

"I think this shows that we're still around," said Ike coach David Drath. "We had 14 kids graduate from last year, which is quite a bit. Even with that and a lot of injuries, we showed that we can wrestle tough, which says a lot about our entire team."

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Published February 9, 2017

UTICA — Troy High and Troy Athens saw their wrestling seasons end on Feb. 9, with each side falling in the district round at Utica High.

Athens fell to Utica Eisenhower 50-17 for the title. It was the Eagles' third straight district crown. The Red Hawks topped the host Chieftains 43-31 in the opening round

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Published February 9, 2017

C&G Newspapers

ROSEVILLE — The Fraser High wrestling team downed Roseville High 42-18 Feb. 9 to claim a fourth Division 1 district title in five years and also avenged an early loss.

The Ramblers advance to face the winner of a Macomb L'Anse Creuse North district in a regional semifinal at 5 p.m. Feb. 15 at home. The other half of the bracket comprises Macomb Dakota and St. Clair Shores Lakeview.

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Published February 8, 2017

C&G Newspapers

MADISON HEIGHTS — Host Madison Heights Lamphere wrestling secured its sixth consecutive Division 2 district championship with a 39-31 victory against Ferndale High Feb. 8 at home.

The Rams have now won a district title in 13 of the last 15 years.

With its victory, Lamphere advances to a regional Feb. 15 at Warren Woods Tower.

With Lamphere leading 35-31 heading into the final match, 145-pounder Devin Hunt sealed the district title for his team with a 13-5 victory.

At one point, Ferndale led the Rams 25-4.

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Published February 8, 2017

WARREN  — Warren Woods Tower wrestling coach Greg Mayer said the competition his team has faced so far this season has been stiff, but it's the competition amongst Titans wrestlers that has put the team at another level.

That was on display in Tower's 66-15 win against Warren Lincoln in a Division 2 district final Feb. 8 at Lincoln. The win put the Titans at 25-0 on the season. 

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Published February 3, 2017

C&G Newspapers

METRO DETROIT — What wrestlers will make it to Central Michigan University and The Palace of Auburn Hills?

We’re about to find out, as the state wrestling playoffs begin. From now until early March, there’s a full slate of postseason tournaments.

At the team level, districts take place Feb. 8 (Division 2 and 4) and Feb. 9 (Division 1 and 3). Individual districts are Feb. 11.

Team and individual regionals are set for Feb. 15 and Feb. 18, respectively. 

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Published January 31, 2017

TROY — When asked what fuels his passion for wrestling, Joe Wood is frank, stating that the sport saved and changed his life immensely.

“I went from being an overweight fifth-grader always getting bullied to having self-confidence, learning about fitness, hard work and integrity,” Wood said. “It has really shaped my life, and my goal is to give back to try and build up people and then put them back into the community.”

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Published January 31, 2017

ROSEVILLE — The Division 1 state wrestling postseason begins Feb. 8, and Roseville High junior 119-pounder Gerald Carter said he and his teammates will be ready to go.

“I think we’ll be OK,” said Carter, who is in his second year as a varsity wrestler. “We’ve had a lot of new guys come up this year, and they’re getting a lot better. Our team is pretty young, so we need the young guys to step up.”

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Published January 17, 2017

FARMINGTON HILLS — On a roster 20 wrestlers strong, Jon Herstein has three seniors.

Needless to say, the Farmington Hills Harrison wrestling coach is spending the season building for the future of the program.

“It’s a process right now,” Herstein said. “Another year from now, for the guys that stick with it, they have the talent to be good. And this is a group that’s bonded to form a pretty nice team that’s making this program their own.”

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Published January 10, 2017

SOUTHFIELD — This will be the best year the Southfield A&T wrestling program has ever known when all is said and done.

Technically, because this is the first year the program has ever known, that aforementioned fact may carry a little less weight.

Still, as the Warriors continue through the winter campaign, they’re certainly doing everything in their power to make this year, if nothing else, a standard setter to be proud of.

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Published January 9, 2017

FARMINGTON — This year will be a grind, a battle at every turn.

Al Beyar has no problem with that.

In fact, the longtime Farmington High wrestling coach welcomes it.

“This is a team building for the future — there’s no doubt about that,” Beyar said.

With 18 wrestlers on the varsity roster, Beyar estimated that nearly two-thirds are in the freshman or sophomore grade class.

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Published January 9, 2017

CLAWSON — The sibling rivalries growing up weren’t unique, but the lopsidedness was something Katlyn Pizzo always had to deal with.

The lone girl with three brothers, she was constantly outnumbered — to say the least.

That fact remains unchanged today for Pizzo, and she’d have it no other way.

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Published January 9, 2017

FRASER — Fraser High senior wrestler Danny Pfeffer recently entered some rare territory when he took first place in the 145-pound weight class at the Macomb County Invitational Classic, which took place Dec. 16-17.

According to Fraser coach Rick Julien, Pfeffer was the school’s first county champion since his son, Kevin, accomplished the same feat in 2005.

Pfeffer finished runner-up his first three seasons before finally breaking through to win a county title in what was his last chance to do so.

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Published January 9, 2017

BEVERLY HILLS — He knew it was a good day, but just how good remained a mystery.

After arriving home from the Oakland County wrestling event last month, Birmingham Groves coach Joseph Jones realized “good” was an understatement.

“We went to that event healthy and with a full squad for the first time all year,” Jones said. “That was key.”

Groves scored 57 points and placed seventh overall in the field, its best finish in school history.

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Published January 9, 2017

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — This past football season, David Drath attended every Utica Eisenhower contest, cheering along the Eagles as they earned conference, district and regional titles.

An assistant with the JV football squad since 1993, he was very pleased with Ike’s deep playoff run, as the team reached the state semifinals. But Drath knew the postseason success would take a toll on his other Eisenhower coaching post.

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