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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Published December 22, 2016

C&G Newspapers

LAKE ORION — The 57th annual Oakland County Wrestling Tournament took place Dec. 16-17, with Oxford High besting 37 other teams to take home the prestigious championship.

The Wildcats totaled 176 points, capturing three individual titles in the 14 weight classes at the event that saw action at Southfield A&T and Lake Orion High on Friday afternoon and the finale at the latter site on Saturday.

Joe Wood has served as the tournament director for 10 years, pulling double duty this season after taking over the helm of the Troy High program this fall.

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Published December 12, 2016

FRASER — After winning three consecutive Macomb Area Conference division titles and two district championships over the past three seasons, Fraser High wrestling coach Rick Julien is not ambiguous about his goals — he wants more of the same.

The Ramblers have won a MAC Blue title each of the last two seasons, which was preceded by a MAC Gold championship in their 2012-13 campaign.

The championship streak started after going 14-15 overall and 3-4 in the MAC Blue in the 2011-12 season. 

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Published November 29, 2016

Ferndale High’s wrestling program recently began preparing for a new season.

Some of the Eagles’ accomplishments last year included winning the Toys for Tots Wrestling Tournament for the second year in a row, going 13-5 in dual meets and qualifying at least one individual for the state finals for the 18th consecutive year.

Ferndale also finished second in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division for the second straight season.

Coach John Bassier described last season as a good one, but is hoping to make this one even better.

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Published March 14, 2016

WALLED LAKE — Walled Lake Central wrestler Ben Freeman is one step closer to his quest for four state championships.

The junior won his third straight Division 1 title March 5 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

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Published March 14, 2016

AUBURN HILLS — Utica High senior Nick Mason was feeling overjoyed shortly after a victory in a blood-round bout at the MHSAA individual state wrestling tournament March 4.

He had just beaten a familiar opponent in Kyran Daniels of Warren Mott by an 11-6 decision, and in doing so became the first Utica wrestler to earn a medal at the state finals in 10 years under coach Clint Davis.

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Published March 8, 2016

ROSEVILLE — Most wrestlers who advance to the state finals express excitement at the feat.

Roseville High senior 152-pounder Kyle Minor said he had different feelings upon getting to the state finals.

“I was relieved,” said Minor.

“I just thought, ‘Finally.’ After all that hard work, I made it. It all finally paid off.”

Minor and teammate Rion May, who wrestles at 145 pounds, battled their way to the Division 1 state finals, which took place March 3-5, after press time, at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

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Published March 7, 2016

FRASER — By placing in the top eight at the individual state wrestling finals, two Fraser High wrestlers came away from the season with All-State honors.

Nathan Hollifield placed third in the 103-pound weight class, with teammate Jared Roberts placing seventh at 160.

It was the first All-State accolades for both Hollifield and Roberts, who wrestled at the Division 1 level.

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Published March 7, 2016

C&G Newspapers

AUBURN HILLS — The best of the best wrestlers in the state took to The Palace of Auburn Hills floor March 3-5 for the individual state tournament.

Sixteen grapplers in each division competed, with the top eight earning All-State status.

The tournament was the culmination of months, and in some cases years, of sacrifice in the practice room.

For North Farmington junior Warren Stanfield, who placed fourth at 130 pounds in Division 1, it was also a chance to represent his school on the biggest stage.

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Published March 5, 2016

AUBURN HILLS — Walled Lake Central’s Ben Freeman put an exclamation mark on a perfect season.

The junior won the Division 1 135-pound state championship, pinning Westland John Glenn’s John Siemasz in the first period March 5 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

“He went out there and took care of business,” Central coach Al Freeman said. “Whether it was going to go the whole match or not, he was going out there to set the pace. … If he goes out there like a horse out of the gate, good things usually happen.”

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Published March 5, 2016

AUBURN HILLS — Warren Woods Tower junior 112-pound wrestler Elijuh Weaver set a clear goal after losing in a state title match in 2015 — get back to that point and win.

Weaver did just that, outlasting Gibraltar Carlson sophomore Branson Proudlock 5-4 in a Division 2 state title match March 5 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

“This feels good. It just shows that if you work hard at something that you can go out and get it done, and that’s what I did,” said Weaver, who ends the season with a 61-1 record.

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Published March 5, 2016

AUBURN HILLS — Warren Lincoln wrestling coach Will Rewitzer won a Division 2 state title in 2006 at 171 pounds.

Rewitzer had been the Abes last state champion until March 5 — when two Lincoln wrestlers won state titles about 10 minutes a part.

Senior 160-pounder Deirrien Perkins (44-1) outlasted Trenton High junior Connor Charping 2-1 to claim a D-2 state championship. Shortly thereafter, Abes 171-pound senior Jelani Embree capped an undefeated, 50-0 season with a 4-1 win over Lakeland High senior Danny Kruse.

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Published March 4, 2016

There were 72 grapplers from the C&G Newspapers coverage area that qualified for the individual state final.

Tonight at 7 p.m., 15 of them will wrestle in the semifinal round, just one win way from the championships, which begin at 4:45 p.m. tomorrow.

Here’s a list of the grapplers that still have title hopes alive after winning their first two matches of the tournament.

Division 1
Bloomfield Hills High
Kajuan Caldwell, 145 pounds

Fraser High
Nathan Hollifield, 103

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