Macomb Dakota’s Nick Alayan jumps into the stands to celebrate with fans after winning the Division 1 119-pound state wrestling title March 2 at Ford Field. Alayan defeated Davison High’s Andrew Chambal 6-4. Alayan lost to Chambal in last year’s state final.

Macomb Dakota’s Nick Alayan jumps into the stands to celebrate with fans after winning the Division 1 119-pound state wrestling title March 2 at Ford Field. Alayan defeated Davison High’s Andrew Chambal 6-4. Alayan lost to Chambal in last year’s state final.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Local wrestlers battle Michigan’s best at state finals

By: Zachary Manning | C&G Newspapers | Published March 4, 2019

 Clinton Township Chippewa Valley’s Kenny Snyder, right, dumps his opponent March 1 in the individual state final at Ford Field.

Clinton Township Chippewa Valley’s Kenny Snyder, right, dumps his opponent March 1 in the individual state final at Ford Field.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 Rochester High's Kavan Troy is embraced by assistant coaches Shane Shadaia, right, and Cody Devoe. Troy won the Division 1 state title at 103 pounds by pin over Davidson High’s Aden Williams.

Rochester High's Kavan Troy is embraced by assistant coaches Shane Shadaia, right, and Cody Devoe. Troy won the Division 1 state title at 103 pounds by pin over Davidson High’s Aden Williams.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

 Farmington High senior Donovan King raises his hand in victory after winning the D-2 heavyweight wrestling state championship March 2 at Ford Field. King is the third state champion in program history.

Farmington High senior Donovan King raises his hand in victory after winning the D-2 heavyweight wrestling state championship March 2 at Ford Field. King is the third state champion in program history.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

 Birmingham Groves’ Damon Dunbar takes down his opponent in the individual wrestling state final March 2 at Ford Field. Dunbar recorded his 150th on his way to a fourth-place finish in Division 1 at 145 pounds.

Birmingham Groves’ Damon Dunbar takes down his opponent in the individual wrestling state final March 2 at Ford Field. Dunbar recorded his 150th on his way to a fourth-place finish in Division 1 at 145 pounds.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

 Rochester Hills Stoney Creek’s Andrew Hampton stands on the podium at the individual wrestling state finals March 2 at Ford Field. Hampton won five of his six matches en route to a third-place finish in Division 1 at 112 pounds.

Rochester Hills Stoney Creek’s Andrew Hampton stands on the podium at the individual wrestling state finals March 2 at Ford Field. Hampton won five of his six matches en route to a third-place finish in Division 1 at 112 pounds.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

DETROIT –– Grapplers from all over the state of Michigan gathered March 1-2 at Ford Field to battle in the individual wrestling state championships.

Nearly 900 wrestlers competed, but only the top eight in each weight class and division earned All-State honors.

This year, a total of 27 wrestlers from the C & G coverage area were able to claim that honor.

Utica Ford II sophomore Gary Nilson was one of those grapplers able to stand on the podium, as he took sixth place in the Division 1 135-pound weight class. This was Nilson’s first trip to the state finals.

“I wasn’t able to wrestle here last year because I tore my meniscus in districts,” Nilson said. “Being here is amazing. I was a little scared in my first match, but I was able to calm down.”

After going through the tournament for the first time and being able to place, Nilson was able to pinpoint one thing that could help him next season.

“Composure — you have to stay composed. The refs are tough and the fans are relentless. If you don’t have composure, you won’t place well,” Nilson said.

As for Rochester High’s Kavan Troy, being able to win a state title in D-1 at 103 pounds was an amazing feeling. It was even better to do it in front of a stadium full of fans.

“I just enjoy the environment. It’s so cool in front of all these people. The whole wrestling program is just a really cool environment,” he said.

Warren Lincoln’s Jaren Johnson was able to finish second in the D-2 285-pound weight class. This was Johnson’s second trip to finals. He went 0-2 last year.

Johnson ended this season at 39-2 overall. After the final match, Johnson’s coach, Will Rewitzer, was able to recap what he saw in the match and detail just how special of a wrestler Johnson has become.

“Jaren had an amazing year. Last year, he wasn’t on anybody’s radar. He won some big matches this year and held his own (at the state finals). He proved his worth this year,” Rewitzer said.

Madison Heights Lamphere’s Matthew Tomsett was able to take second place in the D-2 135-pound weight class. While it was tough to lose the match, he was able to reflect on his time with the program.

“Great school, great coaches, great atmosphere,” Tomsett said. “They really care about the whole team, not just parts of the team. It’s a team.”

Clawson High’s Alexander Shrum was also able to wrestle his way onto the podium, as he finished sixth in the D-3 125-pound weight class. Shrum didn’t place at last year’s state finals, so he’s happy with what he was able to do this season.

“It was crazy. I would just look up and see everyone in the stands. This is my first time placing, and getting a medal was really cool,” Shrum said. “I’m really proud of myself. All the hard work in practice, it means something in that final push.”

Sports Writers Mark Vest, Jacob Herbert and Jason Carmel Davis contributed to this report.


State’s best

Many grapplers from local prep programs have earned All-State honors. The top eight finishers in each weight class in all four divisions receive All-State recognition. Following is the listing of the All-State wrestlers from inside the C & G Newspapers coverage area.

DIVISON 1
103 pounds
• Kavan Troy, Rochester High, state champion.

112 pounds
• Brendan Ferretti, Macomb Dakota, state champion.
• Andrew Hampton, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek, third place.
• Austin Bashi, West Bloomfield High, sisth.

119 pounds
• Nick Alayan, Macomb Dakota, state champion.

125 pounds
• Justin Tiburcio, Macomb Dakota, runner-up.

130 pounds
• Andrew Barrett, Macomb Dakota, eighth.

135 pounds
• Gary Nilson, Utica Ford II, sixth.

140 pounds
• Zach Wells, Utica Ford II, fifth.
• Brandon Alkazir, Macomb Dakota, seventh.

145 pounds
• Damon Dunbar, Birmingham Groves, fourth.

152 pounds
• Brett Stanley, Warren De La Salle, seventh.

160 pounds
• Eli Andary, Macomb Dakota, seventh.

171 pounds
• Dustin Solomon, Macomb Dakota, fifth.

189 pounds
• Greg Zavalnitskiy, Walled Lake Central, eighth.

DIVISON 2
Heavyweight
• Donovan King, Farmington High, state champion.
• Jaren Johnson, Warren Lincoln, runner-up.
• Joel Radvansky, Warren Woods Tower, third.

112 pounds
• Josh Howey, Warren Woods Tower, fourth.

119 pounds
• Joe Haynes, Warren Woods Tower, runner-up.

125 pounds
• Chaise Mayer, Warren Woods Tower, state champion.

135 pounds
• Matt Tomsett, Madison Heights Lamphere, runner-up.

160 pounds
• Omari Embree, Warren Woods Tower, state champion.

189 pounds
• Angel Defay-Marrero, Ferndale, sixth.

215 pounds
• Taye Ghadiali, Warren Fitzgerald, state champion.

DIVISION 3
125 pounds
• Alexander Shrum, Clawson High, sixth.

189 pounds
• Kendel Taylor, Madison Heights Bishop Foley, state champion.