Wrestlers march onto the field at Ford Field prior to the start of the individual wrestling finals. Twenty-nine wrestlers from programs in the C & G Sports coverage area earned All-State honors.

Wrestlers march onto the field at Ford Field prior to the start of the individual wrestling finals. Twenty-nine wrestlers from programs in the C & G Sports coverage area earned All-State honors.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

Local wrestlers shine at state finals

By: Jason Carmel Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published March 6, 2018

DETROIT — Individual state wrestling champions have been crowned once again, and All-State honors have been earned.

Many grapplers from the C & G Sports coverage area were in both categories. 

The individual finals took place March 2-3 at Ford Field in Detroit.

In total, 29 wrestlers from the local coverage area earned All-State honors, which takes a top-eight finish. Three grapplers — Macomb Dakota 103-pound sophomore Brock Prater, Walled Lake Central 140-pound senior Nick Freeman and Dakota 171-pound senior Layne Malczewski — captured state titles, all in Division 1.

Championship feel

Malczewski and Prater are the first state champions in the history of the Dakota program. Malczewski, who will wrestle at Michigan State University, finished the season at 55-0. The senior beat Davison High’s Cal Stefanko 5-0 to capture the championship.

“The fourth time’s the charm; I finally got it,” said Malczewski, who is a four-time All-State wrestler. “I’ve been working over the summer, trying as hard as I can for this. Obviously, putting in that extra work paid off.”

“I was just trying to be smart on my feet. Once I got the first takedown, I knew I could win the match. My defense has been great all year; I haven’t been taken down all year. This is the best feeling ever, to bring one back to my hometown. It’s just a blessing.”

Freeman’s state title is his second, having won at 135 pounds last season. Freeman, a University of Michigan commit, ended the season with a 29-0 record.

“It feels good. I have bigger goals than this, but it’s my senior year, so I knew it was the last time I’d be out here. It’s nice to finish on a strong note,” Freeman said. “I knew people would be gunning for me, but it makes it more fun.”


Lots of different emotions
Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse 103-pounder Cole Dunn called the event “crazy.” He said earning a spot on the podium is the culmination of a lot of hard work.

“I was nervous at first, but then I got down to business,” said Dunn, who finished fifth in his D-1 weight class. “I wrestled my (butt) off. Being here and making All-State just shows what hard work can do. I’m (going to) try to go to a lot of camps this summer and work on a lot of different things to do better next year.”

Utica Ford II junior Zach Wells earned All-State honors for the first time. He placed eighth at 130 pounds in D-1. He said competing at the state finals was a battle.

“All of my hard work has paid off,” Wells said. “I see now what long practices can get you. The goal is to definitely win a state title next year.”

Birmingham Groves sophomore Damon Dunbar placed seventh in the D-1 130-pound class. This season was his first earning All-State honors.

“I’ve been trying to get better so I could make states,” Dunbar said. “States is kind of hard to do. … If I put in enough work, I felt like I was (going to) make it. I ended up making states, and I didn’t do as good as I wanted to.”

Fraser High senior Chris Hackney finished All-State for the second consecutive season. At this year’s final, he placed sixth in the D-1 189-pound weight class.

“It’s definitely a good accomplishment,” Hackney said. “I’m happy that I was All-State for two years, but I was disappointed with this year’s performance coming back off an injury. Sixth place, it’s still a solid finish, but it’s not what I wanted.”

Rochester Hills Stoney Creek sophomore Blake Noonan finished second at 103 in D-1 to end the season at 46-1. 

Noonan said he would have liked things to end differently, but is still proud of his accomplishment.

“It teaches me to come back and work harder for next year,” Noonan said. “I like representing my school like this. It would’ve been cool to be only the second state champ in school history, but I guess that will be another day. I’m going to work all summer for that.”

Masters of the mat

The individual wrestling state championships took place March 2-3 in Detroit. Following is a listing of the grapplers from programs inside the C & G Sports coverage area who earned All-State honors. State champions are denoted by an asterisk.

Division 1

103 pounds
• Brock Prater, Macomb Dakota*
• Blake Noonan, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek
• Brendan Ferretti, Dakota
• Austin Bashi, West Bloomfield High
• Cole Dunn, Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse

112 pounds
• Nick Alayan, Macomb Dakota
• Sam Freeman, Walled Lake Central

119 pounds
• Terrin Machart, Utica Ford II
• Justin Tiburcio, Dakota

130 pounds
• Damon Dunbar, Birmingham Groves
• Zach P. Wells, Ford 

135 pounds
• Isiah Berry, Southfield A & T

140 pounds
• Nick Freeman, Walled Lake Central*
• Tommy Gawlowski, Dakota

160 pounds
• Dustin Solomon, Dakota

171 pounds
• Layne Malczewski, Dakota*
• Reggie Bostock, Warren De La Salle 

189 pounds
• Chris Hackney, Fraser High

215 pounds
• Marcus Fresch, Roseville High

• Rahmi Khalil, Dakota


Division 2
103 pounds
• Joe Haynes, Warren Woods Tower

112 pounds
• Dru Wilson, Tower

119 pounds
• David Stepanian, Tower

125 pounds
• Chaise Mayer, Tower

130 pounds
• Matt Tomsett, Madison Heights Lamphere

152 pounds
• Jajuan Lovejoy, Tower

171 pounds
• Steven Dunmire, Warren Fitzgerald

189 pounds
• Taye Ghadiali, Fitzgerald

215 pounds
• Joel Radvansky, Tower


Division 3
112 pounds
• Allan Davis, Clawson High

140 pounds
• Tracy Hubbard, Warren Michigan Collegiate