West Bloomfield High senior Austin Bashi takes his opponent to the mat at the Oakland County wrestling tournament on Dec. 22. Bashi took second place in the 112-pound weight class at the tournament.

West Bloomfield High senior Austin Bashi takes his opponent to the mat at the Oakland County wrestling tournament on Dec. 22. Bashi took second place in the 112-pound weight class at the tournament.

Photo by Donna Agusti

Grapplers battle in 59th County wrestling tournament

By: Zachary Manning | C&G Newspapers | Published January 4, 2019


OAKLAND COUNTY — Wrestlers in 14 different weight classes from 38 schools across Oakland County battled at the 59th Oakland County Championship Dec. 21-22.

After claiming the past two titles, Oxford High fell just short, placing second, while Clarkston High nabbed the title. Clarkston’s Devin Trevino claimed the 160-pound title, and the Wolves had a wrestler place in the top eight in 12 of the 14 weight classes.

Rochester Adams coach Mike Holtz spoke very highly of the Oakland County tournament and the teams that participated.

“Oakland County’s one of the toughest tournaments in the state before postseason, and there’s a lot of tradition and history. There’s over 35 teams that go every season, and the Oxfords and the Clarkstons and the Catholic Centrals and the Hollys over the years have always been towards the top. We’ve been pretty consistently in the top five to seven or top 10,” Holtz said.

Adams (204), Holly High (176.5), Waterford Kettering (157.5), Lake Orion High (152), Novi Detroit Catholic Central (141), Rochester High (130.5), Ferndale High (119.5) and Birmingham Seaholm (103) rounded out the top 10.

Holly had the most individual champions with Jacob Gonzales claiming the 135-pound class, Cade Dallwitz nabbing the 189-pound title, and Blake Querio taking home the top spot in the 285-pound class.

Like Clarkston, Adams used depth to claim a spot at the top, finishing third. The Highlanders didn’t have a single individual champion but had 10 guys finish in the top eight spots of their respective weight class.

Holtz was very proud of the way his kids performed throughout the tournament and credited his seniors for being great leaders on his team.

“From 103 to heavyweight, we have solid kids at every weight class. We don’t have any real holes,” Holtz said. “We have a couple of studs, but most teams have a few hammers and then they have holes. For us, we’re just consistent from 103 to heavyweight, and unless you have some super stud, we’re going to be in the fight.”

Rochester Hills Stoney Creek (95), Novi High (93.5), Hazel Park High (72), Southfield A&T (71.5), Farmington High (64), West Bloomfield HIgh (60), Ortonville Brandon (59), Walled Lake Northern (57), Birmingham Groves (57) and Walled Lake Western (56.5) rounded out the top 20.

West Bloomfield coach Greg Alessi was happy with his team throughout the tournament. The Lakers had three wrestlers finish eighth or higher. Austin Bashi finished second in the 112-pound class, Devon Isaac took home seventh in the 171-pound class, and Jeremy Sarter ended with a seventh-place finish in the 125-pound class.

“Very happy we had three place finishers. The team wrestled tough, and we gained some great experience. Our biggest barrier is getting varsity matches under our belt. We have a very inexperienced team, so every time out we need to gain match experience and develop,” Alessi said.

Milford High (56), Walled Lake Central (55.5), Royal Oak High (51.5), South Lyon East (47.5), Lakeland High (47), Troy High (45), South Lyon High (44), Waterford Mott (41), Berkley High (40.5), Birmingham Brother Rice (36.5), Troy Athens (36), Auburn Hills Avondale (34.5), Bloomfield Hills High (31), North Farmington (27.5), Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (21), Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (21), Farmington Hills Harrison (20) and Pontiac High (20) rounded out the field.


Local champions and top performers
Seaholm’s Jackson Vance took home the 140-pound title by defeating Clarkston’s Ethan Polick. Vance qualified for states in the 125-pound weight class last season.

“He’s only a sophomore and has now placed twice in county. He has been wrestling all his life. He is one of the hardest-working guys in the room and a leader. He was two points away from placing in state last year. He was the first freshman at Seaholm to make it to state in the 28 years I’ve been at Seaholm. He could be a multiple state placer,” Seaholm coach Neil Tuomi said.

Stoney Creek’s Andy Hampton claimed the 112-pound class with a win over Bashi. Bashi finished fourth in the state in the 103-pound weight class last season.

Rochester’s Kavan Troy was able to defeat Ferndale’s Dylan Coleman to claim the 103-pound championship.

Other top performances included Groves’ Damon Dunbar finishing second at 152; Avondale’s Torey Coleman placing third at 145; Royal Oak’s Earle Weaver taking third at 160; North Farmington’s Scott Hampton claiming third place at 140; Rochester’s Brandon Troy finishing third at 135; Stoney Creek’s Blake Noonan getting second place at 119; Adams’ Dougie Bombard finishing third at 103; Farmington’s Donovan King claiming second at 285; Ferndale’s Donovan Pitts-Reed finishing second at 215; and Adams’ Kyler O’ Grady claiming third place at 189.