Utica Ford II 125-pound grapper Noah Tgiros, right, locks up with an opponent during the Dec. 22, 2018, Macomb County Wrestling Invitational. Tgiros won his weight class at the county invite.

Utica Ford II 125-pound grapper Noah Tgiros, right, locks up with an opponent during the Dec. 22, 2018, Macomb County Wrestling Invitational. Tgiros won his weight class at the county invite.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Grapplers do battle at 45th Macomb County tourney

By: Jason Carmel Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published January 4, 2019


MACOMB COUNTY — Prep wrestlers from programs all over Macomb County and neighboring areas converged on the Macomb Community College Sports & Expo Center Dec. 21-22 for the 45th annual Macomb County Invitational, with medals and bragging rights on the line.

Wrestlers in 14 weight classes from 37 schools hit the mats to determine who would reign supreme this winter in Macomb County. After taking second place in 2016 and 2017, Warren Woods Tower tallied 265 points and broke through to claim the program’s first county championship since 1985. Macomb Dakota took second with 262.5 points. The Cougars had won the previous two county titles.

Algonac High took third with 214.5 points. Rounding out the top five were New Baltimore Anchor Bay (175 points) and Romeo High (156).

The county championship capped a strong 2018 for the Titans wrestling program. Tower won Division 2 district and regional titles on its way to a trip to the D-2 state semifinals back in February.

“I’m just excited for the guys,” Tower coach Greg Mayer said. “It was a really complete team effort by everybody. A lot of our guys who don’t necessarily get the spotlight wrestled well and helped the team do well. Those guys were largely responsible for the team’s success. It was great to get everybody involved.”

Tower not only ended a team drought, but some history was set at the 2018 county invite as well.

Titans 130-pound senior Chaise Mayer beat Dakota’s Justin Tiburcio in sudden death to claim a fourth straight county title. Mayer is the fourth athlete in the history of the tournament to capture four county championships — and the third since 2011.

Tower’s Omari Embree won a county title at 160 pounds. Two other Titans — 119-pounder Joe Haynes and 135-pounder David Stepanian — placed second in their respective weight classes. Three other Tower wrestlers recorded third-place finishes to help the squad claim the county championship.

“We hoped we’d get some great results from certain guys — Mayer, Stepanian and (Joel Radvansky). Those guys did a nice job. (Embree) did a nice job too,” Mayer said. “We’ve got some good guys some people don’t know about, and they all wrestled really well.”

Dakota won county titles in three weight classes: Brendan Ferretti at 119 pounds, Nick Alayan (125) and Dustin Solomon (171).

Utica Ford II, which finished seventh with 128.5 points, came away with two individual titles. Zach Wells and Ethan Tgiros won at 140 and 152 pounds, respectively.

“I just went out there and gave it everything I had, and I was able to pull it off,” Tgiros said. “It feels good. What helped me is being around so many people who’ve been wrestling for so long. That instruction helped a lot, and I’m thankful for it.”

Armada High’s Brennan McClelland won at 103 pounds.

Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse 112-pound grappler Cole Dunn won a county championship at his weight.

Madison Heights Lamphere’s Matt Tomsett won at 135 pounds.

Anchor Bay’s Nino Tranchida captured the 145-pound title.

Madison Heights Bishop Foley’s Kendel Taylor won at 189 pounds.

Warren Fitzgerald’s Taye Ghadiali won at 215 pounds.

Warren Lincoln 285-pounder Jaren Johnson won the heavyweight title.

Mayer believes the county tournament can set wrestlers up for success down the line.

“Individually, you have an opportunity to wrestle some guys you’ll see at the end of the year (in the postseason),” Mayer said. “Doing well at the county meet gives guys a chance at seeding criteria over some of those guys.

“From a team perspective, it’s nice to win. It builds confidence. With the wrestling in Macomb County being so strong, it’s good to win it.”

County’s best
The 2018 Macomb County Wrestling Invitational took place Dec. 21-22 at Macomb Community College. Following is a look at how each of the 37 competing teams fared.

1. Warren Woods Tower 265 points
2. Macomb Dakota 262.5
3. Algonac High 214.5
4. New Baltimore Anchor Bay 175
5. Romeo High 156
6. Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse 145
7. Utica Ford II 128.5
8. Madison Heights Lamphere 125
9. Warren Mott 112
10. Warren De La Salle 107
11. Marysville High 92
12. Warren Fitzgerald 84.5
13. Armada High 81.5
14. Fraser High 81.5
15. Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 80
16. Grosse Pointe North 70
17. Center Line High 69
18. Roseville High 62.5
19. Madison Heights Bishop Foley 56
20. Port Huron High 54
21. Warren Lincoln 51.5
22. Sterling Heights Stevenson 38
23. Clawson High 36.5
24. St. Clair Shores Lakeview 36
25. Warren Michigan Collegiate 35
26. Utica High 29
27. Sterling Heights High 28
28. Utica Eisenhower 28
29. Port Huron Northern 27
30. Warren Cousino 25
31. St. Clair High 25
32. Macomb L’Anse Creuse North 24
33. St. Clair Shores Lake Shore 24
34. Macomb Lutheran North 15
35. Eastpointe High 11
36. St. Clair Shores South Lake 10
37. New Haven High 7