Lamphere wrestling looks to keep winning tradition

By: Christian Davis | Madison - Park News | Published January 18, 2016


MADISON HEIGHTS — The wrestling room is tucked around the corner by the entrance to the gym at Madison Heights Lamphere.

Adorning the four walls are plaques with the names of grapplers who made their mark on the program.

From state placers and qualifiers to team recordholders and wrestlers who earned 100 or more wins in their careers, they’re all there.

“This room, we all look up to everyone (on the wall),” senior Alex Peace said. “I remember when I was a freshman and the traditions we had here. They are still going on, so it’s pretty cool.”

After qualifying for the state final last season, Peace has a spot reserved for him on the wall. He’s also around 30 wins shy of the 100 mark and has plans of placing in the state. Last season, he was one win away from finishing in the top eight, which is considered All-State.

“I’d like to get some more numbers up there,” Peace said.

Peace had a 19-3 record at press time and has helped keep the tradition of winning at Lamphere.

The Rams were 6-3 overall and hadn’t yet wrestled in the Macomb Area Conference White Division.

“The White is very good,” said coach Russ McKenzie. “We’re definitely going to try and compete, but I’d say the favorites are (Warren) Lincoln, (Utica) Eisenhower and Marysville (High).”

Lamphere tied for the division title two seasons ago and was tied for third last year.

McKenzie has been pleased with the showings so far this season, taking 11th in the Macomb County Invitational and third at the West Bloomfield High Invite.

“We’re improving every time we wrestle, and that’s what we’re looking to do,” the coach said. “We’re working hard and getting into the meat grinder of the season, so hopefully we stay healthy and keep improving.”

It’s in the postseason where the Rams have made their mark, winning four straight district titles and 11 in the last 13 years.

If Lamphere is to keep that streak alive, Peace knows it’ll be directly related to the effort given in the wrestling room.

“We started the season off slow, but we got it going. We are putting in the work,” he said. “We want to be a team. We know we have to work hard at practice.”

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