Brendan Ferretti and coach Ed Skowneski hug after Ferretti won a 2019 individual state championship. Ferretti recently won his third individual state title, capping off an impressive career at Dakota.

Brendan Ferretti and coach Ed Skowneski hug after Ferretti won a 2019 individual state championship. Ferretti recently won his third individual state title, capping off an impressive career at Dakota.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Dakota wrestling’s Brendan Ferretti reflects on impressive career

Senior finishes season with third straight state title

By: Zachary Manning | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published April 21, 2021

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb Dakota has produced some of the state’s top wrestlers over the years, and it’s hard to argue that Brendan Ferretti doesn’t deserve a place among the all-time greats.

Cougars coach Ed Skowneski knew he had something special in Ferretti long before he ever stepped on the mat for Dakota. He remembers watching his competitive nature and strong skill set coming through the youth program.

“Brendan Ferretti was in our youth club. I think he was in either fourth or fifth grade, and I could see the competitive nature that he had way back then, and I knew he was going to be something special,” Skowneski said. “He had a supportive family, he was a hard worker, you could tell he loved the sport, so even before he got into high school, I knew that this kid was going to be something special, a once in a lifetime type of athlete.”

Through the years, Ferretti did nothing but validate what his coach already knew. When he stepped on the mat his freshman year, there was little doubt he’d find success.

He entered the 2018 state tournament at 52-5 overall, eventually working his way into the Division 1, 103-pound semifinal match. Though he would fall in an ultimate tiebreaker and go on to finish third, it was there that Ferretti knew what he was capable of.

“I tasted that success, and I wanted it. I wanted that state championship, so I just drove for it and pushed for it, and ended up getting it,” Ferretti said.

From that point, he was nearly unstoppable, losing just one match over the next three years, while winning three consecutive Division 1 individual titles (112 pounds, 119 pounds and 130 pounds). Ferretti finished his career with a 177-6 overall record, going 124-1 from his sophomore to senior year.

His impact went far beyond just individual achievements, however. Dakota was routinely a contender for a team state championship, with Ferretti being a key leader on all of those squads.

Skowneski said toward the end of freshman year and starting in sophomore year, he could see Ferretti becoming more of a vocal leader and a grappler others were looking up to.

Having someone with his versatility and skill set was an advantage for Dakota. With him being able to defeat nearly anyone he wrestled, the Cougars went into each match knowing they could count on getting points from Ferretti.

“As a coach going into all these dual meets, you have options when you have someone like Brendan, because no matter where he’s going to wrestle, he’s going to win, and he’s probably going to get you bonus points,” Skowneski said. “That does a lot for us as coaches when we’re trying to figure out our strategy of how we’re going to beat this team or that team. He’s someone you can count on. You can always count on him not only to win, but to get those extra points for the team.”

Ferretti’s high school career is over, but he will continue in college, wrestling for the U.S. Naval Academy. Skowneski noted that Ferretti is certainly one of the all-time best to come through the program.

As he moves into the next phase of his career, he only hopes to replicate the success he found at the high school level. As for his Dakota career, he noted that his success is a direct result of the work he and the coaches put in together.

“I just plan on working out, getting stronger, getting bigger, because I’m going to the Naval Academy for wrestling,” Ferretti said. “It should be interesting. I’m really excited to do that, so it’s time to get prepared.”

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