Attention Readers
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, C & G Newspapers has temporarily suspended its print publications. We look forward to resuming our print operation in the coming weeks. In the meantime, continue to find local news on our website and look for us on Facebook and Twitter. We hope you stay healthy and safe.
 Birmingham Groves’ Damon Dunbar competes in the Oakland County tournament earlier this season. At 189 pounds, Dunbar is set to take on Westland John Glenn’s Sadiq Sheikhmerri in the first round of the Division 1 individual wrestling state finals March 6 at Ford Field.

Birmingham Groves’ Damon Dunbar competes in the Oakland County tournament earlier this season. At 189 pounds, Dunbar is set to take on Westland John Glenn’s Sadiq Sheikhmerri in the first round of the Division 1 individual wrestling state finals March 6 at Ford Field.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Groves’ Damon Dunbar eyeing state title in senior season

By: Jacob Herbert | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published March 2, 2020

Advertisement

BEVERLY HILLS — In his high school wrestling career, Birmingham Groves’ Damon Dunbar has over 200 wins. However, a handful more wins could prove to be the most important.

The senior is aiming for an individual state championship at the Division 1 state finals March 6-7 at Ford Field.

Dunbar has now qualified for the state finals three years in a row and has placed both years, each year better than the last. As a sophomore he placed seventh, and last season he placed fourth.

Everyone within the Groves wrestling program knows that simply qualifying for a state final is the expectation for Dunbar. But now the desire he has is to stand atop the podium as the best in the state at 189 pounds.

“When I qualified, I felt very enthusiastic and expressive,” Dunbar said. “I knew I had a chance this year to win a state title. You think about it the whole year, you want to grind and get it, and every time you get a step closer it feels like fate.”

Over the next couple of days, Dunbar, whose current record stands at 50-1 overall, will practice with Birmingham Seaholm’s Jackson Vance and West Bloomfield High’s trio of Kareem Al Hariri, Jeremy Sarter and Devon Isaac, who all also qualified for the state tournament.

Since wrapping up his regional tournament, Dunbar said words of encouragement have been pouring in from friends and family. The overwhelming message coming through is for the grappler to keep his head up.

Everyone, including his coaches, believes he has what it takes to be crowned a state champion.

“I think he’s super excited about the opportunity,” Groves assistant coach David Moseley said. “He’s expecting to win it all, and with the way he’s wrestling, he can. I’ve been around a lot of talented kids, but he’s probably the most talented kid I’ve had the privilege of being able to coach.”

When it comes to Dunbar’s wrestling style and how he handles his business on the mat, Moseley called it “‘showboaty but intense.”

“He’s very passionate,” the coach said. “Obviously, his emotions show through sometimes and he’s had to keep those in check, but I think that’s what makes the sport so special, because you can’t hide your emotions.”

Moseley went on to say that Dunbar is a “technique machine,” and that he’s fun to watch.

As Dunbar enters Ford Field, he does so knowing full well what to expect when it comes to the atmosphere. Dunbar said his favorite part of wrestling in the home of the Detroit Lions is the crowd. He thrives off the energy from those in the stands.

“When the refs make a call, you can hear the crowd,” he said. “Every time I wrestle, the crowd there makes it fun.”

As the book closes on high school, Dunbar recognizes the sense of urgency that comes with chasing wrestling’s top prize. That sense of urgency would make getting the job done that much sweeter.

“It would mean a lot, because that’s what I’ve been trying to get for four years,” Dunbar said. “It would mean the world, because I’ve always come up a little bit short. … I want it so bad.”

Advertisement