Rochester Adams’ Ethan Williams, top, has a hold of his Ferndale High opponent at the Oakland County tournament. Adams had 10 wrestlers place in the event, and 13 made it to the second day of competition in the Dec. 21-22 event.

Rochester Adams’ Ethan Williams, top, has a hold of his Ferndale High opponent at the Oakland County tournament. Adams had 10 wrestlers place in the event, and 13 made it to the second day of competition in the Dec. 21-22 event.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Adams wrestling looking to build off successful county tournament

By: Jacob Herbert | Rochester Post | Published January 8, 2019

ROCHESTER HILLS — Rochester Adams wrestling coach Mike Holtz views success as a double-edged sword, and he’s curious to see which end his wrestlers use.

The Highlanders performed well at the 59th annual Oakland County tournament Dec. 21-22, with 10 wrestlers placing and 13 wrestlers making day two of the tournament. Overall, Adams placed third.

“You kind of find out where you’re at … as a team and as an individual because a lot of the guys you see there, you’re going to see again at districts or at your region,” Holtz said. “If you have a good showing there, then there’s a pretty good chance you’ll have a good showing at districts and regionals.”

From there, Holtz said his wrestlers can take one of two paths. They can either continue to work hard to improve down the stretch, or they can be complacent with a good county finish and mail it in on the season.

Holtz hopes for the former, and he’s done some things to try and make that a reality.

At the beginning of the year, the 11th-year coach at Adams had his grapplers make a list of goals. The lists are made up of academic and wrestling goals both for this current season and their high school careers.

Holtz, who is an Adams grad, has the kids make two copies that are to be signed by both parents. He gets a copy and the kids hold on to the other one.     

The idea is that physically viewing their goals will go a long way in making sure that they are accomplished.

“The mindset for the goals are having it in your head is one thing; you write it down on a piece of paper (and) it’s another thing, but then when you tell someone about it, the percentages on it coming through go up because you’re holding yourself accountable,” Holtz reasoned.

Some of the wrestlers looking to build off the success of counties are seniors Kyler O’Grady, Jacob Postek, Jack Dunn and Joe Eble.

O’Grady took third in the 189-pound weight class; Postek took fourth at 119; Dunn was fifth at 140; and Eble took seventh at 145.

Holtz said O’Grady struggled a bit last season but worked hard over the offseason, and it’s now showing with his county performance. That’s also the case for Postek. The wrestler in front of him on the depth chart last year decided not to return to the program, and Holtz said the senior has pounced on every opportunity he’s had because of that.

Holtz also noted that there have been some nice surprises on the team this year by way of sophomores Noah Vibert and Kevin Gibbons, and junior Sean Phalen.

“That’s the thing about us this year: Top to bottom, we don’t have a weakness,” Holtz said. “We’re not super loaded at any weight. Most teams have four or five studs, and then they have big holes. For us, this year we’re just solid top to bottom.”

The Highlanders coaches have also been doing their part to make sure the success built at counties carries on. Part of that effort comes from running an organized practice with high energy that keeps the kids hungry. Another part, one that might be more difficult, is knowing what buttons to push and at what time.

“As coaches, one of our jobs is to figure out what makes our kids tick,” Holtz said. “Individually, you have to know what seeds to plant.”

Holtz hopes that by doing these things, it will trickle down to the rest of his wrestlers and they can accomplish their goals of winning a district title and competing in regionals.