Grosse Pointe North’s Hamilton gearing up for state wrestling tournament

Grosse Pointe Times | Published February 26, 2019

 Grosse Pointe North’s Raymond Hamilton has his hand raised in victory after winning a match earlier this season. Hamilton has a 46-5 record entering the state tournament.

Grosse Pointe North’s Raymond Hamilton has his hand raised in victory after winning a match earlier this season. Hamilton has a 46-5 record entering the state tournament.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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GROSSE POINTE –– For most state qualifiers, wrestling beings at a young age.

That isn’t the case for Grosse Pointe North’s Raymond Hamilton, as he didn’t begin wrestling until the eighth grade. However, that hasn’t stopped him from reaching the state tournament in two consecutive seasons.

Since his wrestling career began, all he has done is put in the work to become one of the top wrestlers in the state. Entering the state finals — which take place March 1-2 at Ford Field in Detroit — Hamilton has a 46-5 record. Those 46 wins are tied for the most in the 152-pound weight class in the Division 1 final bracket.

Hamilton said when he takes the mat, he’s looking to wrestle “tough.”

“You got to come out there aggressive. And you can’t hold back, can’t give up, can’t get tired. You just got to keep going and push through it,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton didn’t place in last year’s state tournament, but as a senior, his goal is to leave Ford Field as a state champion. He knows it will be tough, but he’s focused and prepared to make that dream become a reality.

He credited his coaches and teammates for the support, advice and practice they have helped him with throughout the season. North coach Derek Davison is in just his second year as coach, but he’s seen Hamilton make tremendous strides throughout the time they’ve been working together.

“I think with his background, only been wrestling since eighth grade, he picks up on things really, really fast. He’s wrestling at a level that kids who have been wrestling since they were in third, fourth grade haven’t reached yet, and I think he’s just really progressing with his technique. He’s super athletic, which helps, but he’s also a student of the sport,” Davison said.

For Hamilton, one of the biggest differences between this year and last year is experience. Last season, it was his first state meet, and that can be an eye-opening experience. This season, he knows what to expect and there isn’t much pressure.

Hamilton will open the tournament with Novi Detroit Catholic Central’s Cameron Amine, who is one of the state’s best and finished runner-up at 152 last year. However, with it being his last state tournament, Hamilton is ready to put it all out on the mat.

“A lot of people will count me out because not a lot of people know what I can do or he’s the No. 1 kid in the state, but he’s human just like I am, so he’s not unbeatable. He can be beaten, and I feel like I can take that from him,” Hamilton said.

If he is able to win the state title, it would be a special moment not only for Hamilton, but also for the program and coaching staff.

“When I’m on the mat, it’s basically a lonely place, just you and him. It’s basically another person that’s trying to take you out, but at the end of the day, you can’t let that happen,” Hamilton said.

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