The Oakland County wrestling tournament is on the horizon, taking place Dec. 20-21. Pictured, two grapplers lock up at last year’s event. Clarkston High comes in as the defending champion.

The Oakland County wrestling tournament is on the horizon, taking place Dec. 20-21. Pictured, two grapplers lock up at last year’s event. Clarkston High comes in as the defending champion.

File photo by Donna Agusti


Local grapplers get set for Oakland County tournament

By: Zachary Manning | C&G Newspapers | Published December 13, 2019

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OAKLAND COUNTY — With winter sports in full swing, the Oakland County wrestling meet is getting set to take place Dec. 20-21.

Teams will hit the mat Dec. 20 at Southfield A&T and Lake Orion High, while Lake Orion will host the Dec. 21 action.

Coaches praise the level of competition each year. Clarkston High, Oxford High, Rochester Adams, Holly High and Waterford Kettering were the top five teams at last year’s tournament.

After competing in the county meet last season, Novi Detroit Catholic Central went on to win the Division 1 state title, Oxford made the quarterfinal round, and several others advanced to regional action.

“It’s certainly one of the premier tournaments in Michigan,” Farmington High assistant coach Howard Welsh said. “You got all the best teams in Oakland County, you got over 40 teams there, two-day tournament, so the competition is at a very, very high level.”

With a tournament featuring multiple top programs, the atmosphere gets to be pretty intense over the two days.

“I think it’s one of the few tournaments that can give a real postseason kind of environment, specifically on the second day,” Adams coach Mike Holtz said. “You have a lot of high-end talent. You’re going to have a lot of chaos as far as the stands are probably going to be pretty packed. You’re going to have a lot of distractions with noise and the PA system, and people being announced to go to this mat and upsets happening.”

To go along with the top programs that will be competing, there will also be a lot of individual talent hitting the mats.

With these teams being from the same county, many of the individual matchups from these early season tournaments could happen again in the state tournament.

Being able to win an early season match or finding success as a team early can boost confidence.

“The tournament does one of two things. It either takes you on and takes you over, or you take it on and take it over,” Holtz said. “It’s one of those tournaments that definitely sets the trajectory for the season for both teams and individuals.”

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