Rochester Adams grappler finding success his way

By: Christian Davis | Rochester Post | Published January 12, 2016


ROCHESTER — “Scientific” and “chess” are words that an average wrestling fan may not associate with the sport, but ones that Rochester Adams coach Mike Holtz uses to help describe his senior grappler Sam Addy.

“He’s very scientific with his approach to competing. Sam has plans, contingency plans,” Holtz said.

Before every match, Holtz reminds his wrestler, “It’s chess, not checkers.”

“A lot of kids in wrestling think it’s simplistic, ‘I just go out, and I go forward.’ That’s kind of a checkers approach,” Holtz added. “Sam strategizes.” 

Addy’s style helped lead him to an Oakland County championship in late December. Last season, he placed fifth.

“Styles are so different. I wrestle different, so my style works well on some kids and (on) some kids it doesn’t,” Addy said. “So I go in with a game plan that ‘if this doesn’t work, I’ll do this.’”

He said he’s often purposely given up points in the first and second rounds to bait his opponent into a move with a false sense of confidence.

“I’m calculating the whole time. If this will work, when (do) I want to use it?” he said. “If I can pin them in the end, it doesn’t matter what the score is. I can still win.”

In the county tournament, Addy won by fall his first four matches and then by a decision in the final.

He’s one of five seniors on the team, along with Jake Anderson, Dylan Howcroft, Joe Schram and Tony Tuppins, who have helped Adams to a 6-1 overall mark.

“They’re keeping the theme of being good leaders in and out of the classroom,” Holtz said of the class.

The coach also spoke highly of the future of the program, as the Highlanders have 11 freshmen on the team.

“They’re coming in hungry, and they’re looking to compete with the guys that are the starters. … They’re not afraid to get beat up, because if they learn something, it’s worth it,” Holtz said. “I don’t think a coach can put that attitude into someone.”

When the postseason rolls around, the Highlanders will have a chance to win the program’s first back-to-back district championships since 1998-99.

Addy also has the chance to take his scientific approach to the highest level and shoot for a state title. Last season, he placed sixth in Division 1. The program’s last individual title came from Luke Lazzo in 1999, also at 160 pounds. 

“He has all the ability to make that an opportunity,” Holtz said.

For more on wrestling, visit