Fraser High senior Austin West-Houck, left, prepares to wrestle an opponent from Macomb L’Anse Creuse North. The Ramblers have won two consecutive Division 1 district championships.

Fraser High senior Austin West-Houck, left, prepares to wrestle an opponent from Macomb L’Anse Creuse North. The Ramblers have won two consecutive Division 1 district championships.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Fraser High wrestling is having another strong season

By: Mark Vest | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published January 16, 2018

 Fraser High heavyweight Mark Hickman performs a move on an opponent from Macomb L’Anse Creuse North at a recent match. The Ramblers are attempting to win their fifth consecutive Macomb Area Conference division championship this season.

Fraser High heavyweight Mark Hickman performs a move on an opponent from Macomb L’Anse Creuse North at a recent match. The Ramblers are attempting to win their fifth consecutive Macomb Area Conference division championship this season.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Advertisement

FRASER — Fraser High wrestling coach Rick Julien described his team — if healthy — as one that is very scary.

Despite some injuries, the Ramblers were 11-2 overall and 2-0 in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division at press time.

Success is nothing new to Fraser, as the program has won four consecutive MAC Division championships, with the last three coming in the Blue and the one prior in the Gold.

The Ramblers could once again pose a serious threat to their MAC opponents.

“Got a pretty nice senior-oriented team this year,” Julien said. “These kids have been around together for a long time. Once we get healthy, I think we’re (going to) be a team to be reckoned with.”

Aside from having success in the MAC, Fraser has also won two consecutive Division 1 district championships.

The team that has prevented the Ramblers from going even further has been Macomb Dakota, as the Cougars have beaten Fraser in two consecutive regional tournaments.

If both squads get past districts again this season, they could once again meet at regionals.

“It’s a privilege to get out there and be able to wrestle a team with that caliber and see what happens,” Julien said. “They’re pretty loaded at every spot. … My kids look for the challenge; they talk about it.”

Some of the wrestlers who can help Fraser try to secure more championships and get past regionals are seniors Carter Meatte, Seth Fillar, Kyle Helsel, Josh Brady, Jalen Smith, Austin West-Houck, Chris Hackney and Mark Hickman.

“All those guys together have a chance, and probably will, after their four years of wrestling, win over 100 dual meets in their four-year career with each other, which is quite an accomplishment,” Julien said. “I’m real happy with the way they’ve been stepping up to the plate, helping out the young guys.”

While winning multiple division championships could lead to complacency, that hasn’t been Smith’s observation.

“(We’re) practicing harder then we did all them other years,” he said. “We lost a big part; our seniors left. … Hopefully we get it again this year.”

Aside from being a part of another division and district championship, individually, Hickman, who is a heavyweight, would like to finish All-State at the individual finals in March, which would require a top-eight finish in his weight class.

“It’d be great,” Hickman said. “I don’t have any honors, like countywise or statewise, so it’d be cool to go All-State my last year. … To see my hard work show would be special.”

Fillar would also like to make his senior season all the more special by placing at the finals.

“It’s my senior year, and I’ve never made it to states, even though I’ve won titles,” he said. “It’s the last tournament of the year. It’s what the entire season prepares us for.”

Before the conclusion of the season, Julien would like to make some history for Fraser’s wrestling program.

“We’ve had five state qualifiers the last couple years at Fraser,” he said. “That’s my record, five state qualifiers. … I’d like to break that record and send these boys to Ford Field and wrestle. … Win, lose or draw, just get in that atmosphere. It’s something I think these boys deserve.”

Advertisement